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#11

in 2010 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $12,116 - $21,326
Original MSRP: $18,800 - $34,000
MPG: 28 City / 37 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 Mini Cooper Review

Review Last Updated: 7/31/12

The 2010 Mini Cooper has retro styling and some of the best performance in the class, but a small interior and an unimpressive reliability score make other cars in the class more practical choices.

The 2010 Mini Cooper is ranked:

Regardless of whether you choose the hardtop or convertible version of the 2010 Mini Cooper, you’ll get a car that offers nimble handling and good fuel economy. Three trims are available, and power increases as you move through the model line. Of the three, test drivers preferred the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models for their performance-tuned suspensions and more-powerful engines. Reviewers said the base Cooper is no slouch, however, and it gets the best fuel economy. Its 118-horsepower four-cylinder engine can get up to 28/37 mpg city/highway.

The Mini Cooper comes with air conditioning, a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and power door locks. A navigation system, USB port and Bluetooth were optional when it was new. Along with high safety scores, the Cooper has standard electronic stability control, which was optional or unavailable on many competing 2010 small cars.

The Mini Cooper is certainly one of the most agile and well-equipped cars in the class, but it can only seat four. The front seats are comfortable, but the two rear seats don’t have much space at all and cargo space is much smaller than other hatchbacks in the class. Also, the Mini Cooper’s reliability rating is worse than many competitors.

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2010 Volkswagen New Beetle is available as a coupe or convertible and has similar retro styling to the Mini Cooper. Like the Mini Cooper, the New Beetle doesn’t have much cargo room or space for rear passengers, but it does have a good list of standard and available features. With the New Beetle, you will get a slightly higher reliability score, though its safety scores aren’t nearly as good as the Cooper’s. If you want a faster or most fuel-efficient retro-styled car, you may want to stick with the Mini Cooper because its performance and fuel economy ratings are much better than the New Beetle’s.

For a better combination of speed, agility and interior space, choose the 2010 Mazda3. It’s available with several engines, and like the Mini Cooper, performance improves as you go up the model line. The Mazda3 isn’t as fuel-efficient as the Cooper, but it is significantly larger. Plus, the Mini requires premium gasoline and the Mazda3 doesn’t. The Mazda3 has three rear seats, and both the sedan and hatchback versions have more cargo space than the Mini. The Mazda3 and Mini Cooper have similar safety and reliability ratings.

Compare the Cooper to the New Beetle and Mazda3 »

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