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#20

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,918 - $26,228
Original MSRP: $19,500 - $35,100
MPG: 29 City / 37 Hwy
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2012 Mini Cooper Interior

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

The 2012 Mini Cooper has a retro-inspired interior that reviewers like, though they think the unique design makes the interior controls hard to use. Inside, the Cooper’s small frame offers comfortable front seats, but rear passenger space and cargo room are very limited.

  • "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
  • "Of all the ways to describe the Mini Cooper's interior, we doubt anyone would call it boring." -- Edmunds

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Seating

The 2012 Mini Cooper seats four, but based on reviewer comments, the Cooper should be a two-seater that fits four in a pinch. The front seats are comfortable, though taller passengers may be short on leg space, and may want to reconsider the optional sunroof, which cuts down on headroom. In the back row, reviewers don’t complain about seat comfort and quality of materials; they complain about legroom, which is practically nonexistent with adults in the front seats. And if you climb into the convertible’s back seat, there’s less shoulder room compared with hardtop models.

Faux-leather seats are standard, but there are a variety of optional cloth and leather seats. Heated front seats are also optional.

  • "Those riding in the front seats enjoy excellent head and legroom." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Don't get us wrong-getting in and out of the Mini's rear seat is still a pain, but we would much rather spend an hour back there than in the Fiat's back row, despite it being a few cubic feet short of the 500's." -- Car and Driver
  • "The rear seats, by comparison, are much less accommodating, with a notable lack of legroom." -- Edmunds
  • "The convertible is even narrower, which restricts shoulder room, and the seat back is more upright, which reduces comfort." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers have always liked the Mini Cooper’s quirky, well-made interior. They are, however, annoyed that its stylish dashboard compromises driver focus and usability.

The Mini Cooper comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel that has mounted cruise and audio controls, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, push-button start, a six-speaker stereo with HD radio technology and a one-year subscription of satellite radio. Bluetooth and a USB port, which are common standards in this class, are optional. Navigation is available with Mini Connected, an optional infotainment system that integrates entertainment functions and even allows you to stream Pandora, an Internet radio service.

  • "Many dashboard gauges and controls sacrifice functionality for ‘retro’ style. The large, center-mounted speedometer forces drivers to divert their eyes from the road, though some versions offer a small, redundant digital speedometer in the tachometer face." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

Most shoppers looking at the 2012 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 with other small cars, the Mini’s cargo capacity is poor.

The convertible offers slightly less space with the rear seats folded at 23.3 cubic feet, and 6 cubic feet with two rear passengers. These are good numbers for a convertible.

  • "Cargo space is also restrictive, at a very meager 5.7 cubic feet, but folding the rear seats flat increases that to a very usable 24 cubes." -- Edmunds

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