The 2018 MINI Cooper: A MINI for All

The MINI Cooper is an iconic vehicle that continues to delight owners with its sporty exterior, cute design, and go-cart-like handling. More than just a simple compact car however, the 2018 MINI Cooper is available in several trims and versions, each with their own unique offerings.

The MINI Countryman is offered in many trims, including the Cooper, Cooper ALL4, Cooper S, Cooper S ALL4, the John Cooper Works ALL4 model, and finally the Cooper S E ALL4, which is MINI’s first plug-in hybrid available. These models range from $26,900 to $36,900. The “ALL4” designation, as you may have guessed, denotes an all-wheel-drive-capable model.

The MINI Clubman is offered only in the Cooper, Cooper ALL4, Cooper S, Cooper S ALL4, and the John Cooper Works ALL4. Customers will pay anywhere from $24,900 to $35,900, while those who opt for the convertible will have to shell out between $26,900 and $36,900. Convertible options are limited to the Cooper, Cooper S, and the John Cooper Works models.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of options out there. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the two-door and four-door models to make things a bit simpler. MINI Cooper two-door models start out at $21,900, with four-door versions beginning at only $1,000 more.

Performance Specifications

There are three engine options available for the MINI Cooper, excluding the hybrid powertrain of course, which is only available in the Countryman body style. All MINI engines, however, are turbocharged. Base models receive a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine capable of 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque.

MINI Coopers with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine are capable of 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, unless they’re stamped with the John Cooper Works symbol. In that case, the same four-cylinder engine is capable of 228 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. All models are available to be paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic.

MINIs can be purchased in any of the following colors, dependent on the trim level you choose:

  • Midnight Black
  • Pepper White
  • Chili Red
  • Moonwalk Grey
  • British Racing Green II
  • Starlight Blue
  • Electric Blue
  • Melting Silver
  • Solaris Orange
  • Emerald Grey
  • Lapis luxury Blue

Fuel Efficiency

Kelley Blue Book posts a 28 city and 38 highway EPA-estimated mpg rating for MINI Coopers equipped with the 1.5-liter three-cylinder. The four-cylinder 2.0-liter models achieve a 23 city and 32 highway mpg rating. These numbers rank the MINI fifth in fuel efficiency, behind the Honda Civic and Fit, Toyota Prius, and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.

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Entertainment and Safety Features

According to Kelley Blue Book, the NHTSA awarded the 2018 MINI Cooper four out of five stars for all safety tests. Considering the MINI can be compared to models like FIAT, the Benz smart car, and Mazda’s Miata, you’re probably going to lose in a fight against anything more substantial than a mid-size sedan, but most manufacturers double up on already-intensive safety measures to compensate.

Customers looking into the MINI Cooper two-door model can choose from the following:

  • Cooper models begin at $21,900 and feature the 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, with either a six-speed manual or automatic.
  • Cooper S models gain one more cylinder, 16-inch wheels, and Performance Control.
  • Finally, John Cooper Works models can be purchased for $31,900. For that much money, customers will receive high-performance parts, dyno-tuning, and a full-body aero kit, all standard.

Those looking for the four-door model can choose from the Cooper and Cooper S models, for a $1,000 premium on top of the two-door price. For both two-door and four-door models, customers can choose specifics by trim level.

MINI offers three different trims for their 2018 models: classic, signature, and iconic. The classic trim includes a 6.5-inch display, a rear camera, parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 15-inch wheels. The signature trim level gets you a panorama roof, heated seats, keyless entry, and 16-inch wheels. At the iconic level, customers will have access to Apple CarPlay, navigation, leather seats, LED headlights and taillights, and 17-inch wheels.

There are also many additional accessories for the MINI Cooper. Customers can choose between a black or a white stripe down the bonnet, for an additional $100. There are also many different wheel options available, from your typical silver alloys to blacked-out spokes. Roof rails are an additional $250, and the options stack up from there. Edmunds reports customers can choose the Premium package, which includes a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, the Sport package, the Technology package that focuses on driver-assisting features, the Fully-Loaded package which combines all three, and finally the Cold Weather package with heated front seats.

How the 2018 MINI Cooper Stacks Up

Consumer Reports commends the third-generation MINI Cooper for its ability to better isolate noise, but experts at Kelley Blue Book still noticed road noise when getting the MINI up to speed. All the same, you may not notice the rumble of the road beneath you as you flick the MINI’s shifter while cruising around town. Most, if not all, reviewers loved the handling and responsiveness of the turbo MINI engines, even Kelley Blue Book ranked it 11th in horsepower capabilities.

With a smaller vehicle, however, comes a tinier cabin. U.S. News praised the interior styling of this year’s MINI, which is pretty good for a car that saw its last redesign nearly five years ago. They did notice though that the back seat, in both two-door and four-door models, is a bit cramped and the handling presents a stiffer ride than most. All the same, if you’re buying a MINI to cart all your groceries home, you’re probably the same person that tries to fit into the 15-items-or-less line with a full basket.

Edmunds experts had a lot of wonderful things to say about the technology and standard features on the 2018 MINI Cooper, from the multitude of customization options to the now-standard rearview camera and rear parking sensors. If the MINI wasn’t easy enough to park already, parallel parking just got better.

Pros

  • Turbo engines
  • User-friendly infotainment center
  • Tons of options

Cons

  • Small back seat
  • Firm ride
  • More expensive than competitors

Whether you like the 2018 MINI Cooper because you fancy yourself an undiscovered stunt driver or because it’s decent on gas mileage and tiny enough to parallel park, the Cooper has a lot to offer. Test drive the 2018 MINI Cooper and see for yourself why this pint-sized model is so popular.

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