2013 MINI Cooper Roadster Review
This review was written when the 2013 MINI Cooper Roadster was new.
Though it’s priced higher than the Mazda Miata, reviewers agree that the 2013 Mini Cooper Roadster offers top-down fun and an engaging driving experience.
The Mini Roadster is available with three engines, and while test drivers say that the base four-cylinder Roadster has adequate power, most prefer the quicker S Roadster and John Cooper Works models. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and auto writers love its short, precise throws and excellent clutch pedal feel. The 2013 Mini Cooper Roadster gets up to 27/35 mpg city/highway, which is better than sports cars like the Mazda Miata and Scion FR-S. Most critics like the 2013 Roadster for its exceptional handling and quick, accurate steering. However, one reviewer writes that the Mini Roadster doesn’t ride as smoothly as the Miata. Additionally, the 2013 Roadster also earns a lower reliability score than most competing sports cars.
Reviewers say that the Mini Roadster’s interior includes an attractively-designed cabin that uses high-quality materials, as well as a surprising amount of cargo space for such a small car. While reviewers note that the Roadster’s cockpit is snug, they still write that the seats are comfortable, and that there’s decent head- and legroom. The Roadster’s unlined soft top draws some criticism however, as test drivers say that there’s a lot of wind and road noise on the highway. Additionally, one reviewer says that many basic controls, such as the toggle switches for the windows, are small and inconveniently placed, but others write that the optional navigation system is fairly intuitive, and that it functions similarly to BMW’s iDrive. A six-speaker stereo with HD Radio and Bluetooth comes standard in the 2013 Mini Roadster, while optional features include a Harman Kardon sound system, rear parking sensors, navigation and the Mini Connected infotainment system.
- "Now in its second year of production and part of Mini's strategy to expand its lineup, the Roadster is a tiny 2-passenger ragtop that emphasizes fun over practicality." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Slightly cheaper, lighter, and stiffer, the Roadster is a subtly different riff on an open-topped Mini. Even with its two seats and stubby little trunk, however, we have a hard time thinking of this as a sports car. More sports-car-like? Yeah, okay -- I mean, roger that." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
- "And with the top down and the pop-up rear wing deployed (at 50 mph), the roadster becomes a chunky little bulldog of a sports car with a level of c'mon-let's-play appeal that's hard to resist." -- Car and Driver (2012)
- "The Cooper S Roadster is serious fun, but it's also serious money." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The Subaru BRZ it isn’t a convertible, but its small back seat may come in handy if you think that the Roadster’s two-seat cabin is too small. The BRZ also impresses reviewers with its nimble handling and responsive engine.
If you’re looking at the base Roadster, but want a little more power, consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Reviewers love the Miata for its nimble handling, while a strong reliability rating and a lower base price may also heighten the Miata’s appeal.
Details: 2013 Mini Cooper Roadster
The 2013 Mini Cooper Roadster is a two-seat, front-wheel drive convertible. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard. The Mini Roadster comes in three trims: base, S Roadster and John Cooper Works Roadster. S Roadster and John Cooper Works models come with more powerful turbocharged engines. For 2013, the Mini Cooper Roadster gains a standard power soft top and Bluetooth connectivity, while satellite radio, which was previously standard, becomes optional. That aside, the Mini Cooper Roadster is basically unchanged for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012, as well as the current model year.