2012 Mini Cooper Review
The 2012 Mini Cooper combines great driving dynamics and good fuel economy into a small frame, but uncomfortable rear seats and a small trunk are also part of the package.
The 2012 Mini Cooper doesn’t have a perfect interior. Its small frame makes seat comfort hit-or-miss for most adults, and there’s barely any cargo space with passengers in the back seat. The cabin is well-made, but critics think that its retro-inspired dashboard is hard to use. If you want a subcompact European car that’s more practical than the Cooper, reviewers think the FIAT 500 is a better choice.
However, for most test drivers, those ergonomic issues are null and void once you put your foot on the gas pedal because the 2012 Mini Cooper is one of the best-performing vehicles in the class. The base Cooper isn’t nearly as powerful as the Cooper S or John Cooper Works models, but it has enough punch to satisfy most drivers as they head to and from work, and has great cornering abilities for those occasional winding roads. If an agile and zippy small car is at the top of your shopping list, test drivers think few small cars dominate the 2012 Mini Cooper.
Other Cars to Consider
Like the Mini Cooper, the Volkswagen Golf is known as a top performer with sleek looks and a nice interior. Some reviewers consider the Mini Cooper a better-performing car, but if you need more interior space, the Golf is the better option. It has spacious rear seats and more cargo space.
For 2012, the small car class welcomes a new European model into the mix, the FIAT 500. Reviewers have spent some time comparing the Mini Cooper and the FIAT 500, and have decided that the model you choose depends on what you’re looking for. The FIAT 500, for example, is less powerful, but the driver has a more commanding view of the road and there is more cargo space, making the 500 more practical than the Cooper. But if you want more horsepower and great corning abilities, go for the Mini Cooper. Even the base model won’t disappoint.
Details: Mini Cooper
The 2012 Mini Cooper is sold in several trims. The base model is the Mini Cooper Hardtop. Next up is the performance-oriented Mini Cooper S. Both of these models are also available as convertibles. A top-of-the-line John Cooper Works model is also available as a hardtop and convertible.
For 2012, the Mini Cooper receives new standard wheels and new customization options.
See the full list of 2012 Mini Cooper specs.
- "It doesn't come around very often, but driving an eco-friendly car and enjoying the experience needn't be mutually exclusive. The 2012 Mini Cooper is a prime example. It offers up an engaging drive and plenty of charm, all the while returning fuel mileage similar to what you'd get from a boring economy car." -- Edmunds
- "Minis may look like economy cars, but these diminutive hatchbacks and convertibles are actually sporty driving machines. They brim with character and are available with a dizzying array of personalizing accessories. The Base models have no surplus of power, but S and John Cooper Works versions are jackrabbit quick. All handle with the agility of sports cars that cost thousands more." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Mini lost to the Fiat in only three objective rankings (rear-seat space, cargo space, and as-tested price) and absolutely clobbered it in the performance metrics." -- Car and Driver