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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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2010 Mini Cooper Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Most reviewers like the 2010 Mini Cooper’s interior, considering it to be a surprisingly comfortable place to be -- at least for front passengers.

  • "For a car that has the smallest exterior of any four-passenger vehicle on the road, the Mini is surprisingly spacious inside." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Material and assembly quality is up dramatically over the last-generation car, though you'll find few controls logically arranged -- and that's just the way Mini wants it." -- Left Lane News
  • "Mini Cooper's interior layout is as head-scratching as the exterior is endearing. The pie-plate-sized, center-mounted speedometer is kitschy (think Flavor Flav's clock necklace) and largely useless. The climate controls aren't finger-friendly, even after familiarization. Meanwhile, the volume control for the stereo is stranded alone in the middle of the center stack, and what looks like the volume knob is actually a redundant tuning/track-skip knob." -- Edmunds
  • "The MINI Cooper's interior is truly one-of-a-kind, with backlit armrests in the doors, handsomely sewn seats and a bold dash featuring a huge center-mounted speedometer." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Front Seats

The 2010 Mini Cooper offers what reviewers find to be surprisingly comfortable front seats given its diminutive size. Still, some suggest that taller drivers could use more knee room.

  • "We found the seats comfortable for long-distance driving, with good support from the bolsters. The driving position is excellent." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Generous seat travel and a high ceiling accommodate even large occupants. The convertible's wide center console restricts knee space for taller drivers; the narrower console in the hatchback and…provides more space. Seats are firm and supportive but mounted too low for easy entry and exit. Both seats have height adjustment." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On the bright side, the diminutive Mini is impressively accommodating, even for taller drivers -- neither headroom nor legroom is an issue." -- Edmunds
  • "Those riding in the front seats enjoy excellent head and legroom." -- Kelley Blue Book

Rear Seats

As a general rule, reviewers suggest that drivers think of the Mini as a two-seater that will allow seating for four in emergencies. This is because its rear-seat comfort is practically non-existent. If you need to carry more than two people on a regular basis, the Volkswagen Golf is worth a look. It has a roomy rear seat and a considerably more powerful base engine.

  • "The rear seat of the hardtop is suitable for adults only for short rides and access to it anything but convenient. The convertible has considerably less rear leg room, 28.1 inches compared to 29.9 inches, so adults or even children won't fit back there unless the front seats are moved far forward." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The rear seat, however, is another matter, with nearly nonexistent legroom." -- Edmunds
  • "In the hatchback and convertible, there's sufficient headroom and seat width for two adults, but knee space is tight even with front seats set back partially [but] it disappears with them fully rearward. And small footwells that restrict movement and comfort become unusable if the front cushions aren't raised high enough to clear toes. Furthermore, ingress and egress are crouch-and-crawl affairs." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers like the quirky interior features in the 2010 Mini Cooper and seem particularly preoccupied with the “Openometer” gauge on convertibles that logs how much time drivers spend with the top down. Drivers are then able to go online and compare their stats. Materials quality is high and most of the controls are easy to use, although some complain about the audio controls.

Standard features on all models include air conditioning, speed-sensitive intermittent wipers and a CD audio system with six speakers and an auxiliary audio input jack. The optional Cold Weather Package adds heated front seats, while the Convenience Package includes things like a universal garage door opener, rain-sensing auto headlights and Bluetooth technology.

Since it’s Mini’s 50th Anniversary, the company has also introduced two new special edition packages for the Cooper. The Mayfair Package offers exclusive toffee lounge interior and white edging floor mats. The Camden Package includes features like tech white cloth or leather upholstery and a Mission Control Monitoring Communication System that allows the car to communicate with the driver -- usually in a comical fashion -- according to various car and environmental conditions. For example, if you step on the gas in the winter it might say, “Ouch, I’m not warmed up yet.” On the other hand if you take a curve well, it might congratulate you on your driving skills. The system includes over 1,500 statements and you can choose between three different voices.

  • "Its 'Openometer' gauge is useless, but since when has the Mini been only about practicality?" -- Road and Track
  • "The heating and air conditioning controls in the base model are straightforward. The audio controls built into the speedometer dial are a bit too clever for their own good, in our opinion, sacrificing ease of use for design symmetry." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Interior decor is a distinctive, complex blend of colors, shapes, and textures, all with solid workmanship." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

The 2010 Mini Cooper’s cargo capacity is limited. Behind the second row, the convertible offers only 6.0 cubic feet of space, while the hard top offers even less at 5.7 cubic feet. Both models do offer split folding rear seats, which allows the capacity to expand to a respectable 23.3 cubic feet in the convertible and 24.0 in the hard top. Still, if you need to carry both people and cargo, there are roomier small cars available.

  • "The convertible's cargo volume is more than respectable at 6 cubic feet." -- Cars.com
  • "With its large rear hatch and separate folding rear seatbacks, the Mini hardtop is quite flexible in configuration, though its overall size limits luggage space with the rear seats up to an airline roll-aboard and a brief case.With the rear seats down, there's 24 cubic feet of cargo space, more than enough for two passengers on a two-week trip, something we proved last summer." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "You won't find exposed hinges on the new convertible trunk - a change we lament. They added some additional character to the rear end. On the bright side, the trunk is quite roomy for a little car and, with folding rear seats, it has plenty of room for beach towels, umbrellas and the like." -- Left Lane News
  • "Convertibles have a small trunk with a tailgate-type slot of an opening. On all, the rear seatback folds 50/50, but the sections don't lie flat. Aside from large map pockets in the doors and a two-tier glovebox, interior storage is meager, and the console cupholders are too small to hold large cups." -- Consumer Guide

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