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#22

in 2011 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $14,004 - $23,958
Original MSRP: $19,400 - $34,300
MPG: 29 City / 37 Hwy
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2011 Mini Cooper Interior

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

Most members of the automotive press like the 2011 Mini Copper’s interior for its comfortable front seats and high-quality materials. For 2011, Mini has made a few minor interior adjustments. Items that were painted silver last year are now matte black, the steering wheel gains a chrome ring, the audio controls are simplified and the base model comes with a Boost CD system.

  • "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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Seating

The 2011 Mini Cooper seats four, but based on general consensus, the Mini should be a two-seater that fits four when necessary. The front seats are comfortable, though taller passengers will be short on leg space. In the back row, reviewers don’t complain about seat comfort and quality of materials. Rather, they complain about space, which is practically nonexistent.

  • "Those riding in the front seats enjoy excellent head and legroom." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 have always liked the Mini Cooper's quirky, well-made interior. They are, however, rather preoccupied with the “Openometer” gauge on convertibles that logs how much time drivers spend with the top down. They says it’s an interesting feature, but impractical. 

Standard features include air conditioning, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, an on-board computer that indicates average fuel/speed, outside temperature, trip computer and range. The base model also has a six-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio and a Boost CD player, satellite radio and HD Radio Technology. Mini also offers a variety of optional packages. The Premium Package includes a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, auto air conditioning with an active carbon air filter and a Harman Sound System. Those in colder areas might like the Cold Weather Package, which adds heated front seats, heated power folding mirrors, heated washer jets and retractable headlight washers.

  • "Interior decor is a distinctive, complex blend of colors, shapes, and textures, all with solid workmanship." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

Most shoppers looking at the 2011 Mini Cooper aren’t concerned with cargo space, which is a very small 5.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up. With the back seats down, space more than triples to 24 cubic feet. But in comparison to other small cars with folding rear seats, the Mini’s cargo capacity isn’t adequate. The convertible offers slightly less space with the rear seats folded: 23.3 cubic feet.

The Mini Cooper is all about looks, not maximizing cargo space, so if you need to haul people and your stuff, there are other options that will meet your needs. The Volkswagen Golf is known as a fun driver. In addition to great performance, the Golf offers a lot more cargo space: 15 cubic feet with the seats up.

  • "The convertible's cargo volume is more than respectable at 6 cubic feet." -- Cars.com
  • "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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