2012 MINI Cooper Review | Edmunds.com
 

2012 MINI Cooper

   
 
MINI Cooper Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 181 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2012 MINI Cooper

  • Thanks to British character and German engineering, the 2012 Mini Cooper is a great pick for a small coupe or convertible.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sharp handling; stellar fuel economy; excellent all-around performance in S and JCW trims; endearing retro styling; innovative convertible roof; highly customizable.

  • Cons

    Poor rearward visibility in convertible; stiff and noisy ride; lacks rear legroom; weak base stereo.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, the Mini Cooper offers the "Mini Yours" series of high-end customization options. A leather-covered dashboard, unique wheels…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)


Oil consumption & fuel mileage

by on
Vehicle: 2012 MINI Cooper S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Great little car I purchased new for my wife however it has consumed 2 quarts of oil in on 3500 miles she has put on it.Fuel mileage is no where close to what is claimed.....Just traded it in on a Porsche Carrera that is getting the same fuel mileage as the Mini did with no oil consumption thus far :)




Fun and quality

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Vehicle: 2012 MINI Cooper S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

We purchased a fully loaded 2012 Cooper S Convertible thinking it would just be a fun cruiser. I have been awed by its excellent handling and performance. Its become my daily driver and despite having a lead foot, I'm getting 33 mpg mostly country driving. The quality is that of a luxury car - compared to the Honda CR-V and Toyota Prius I also have in the garage. The Honda and Toyota feel like tin cans in comparison. Once you get used to the quirky controls, the car is nothing but fun.




2012 mini s convertible

by on
Vehicle: 2012 MINI Cooper S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I wanted a mustang GT wife wanted this car and of course, we have the Mini in the garage. Once I got used to how small the car is, now I can appreciate the whole set up. I think of it as a can-am spider, but more confortable. Mileage is great even if you dog it, can see anything, but its so small thats not a problem. And you know, when I'm stuck in traffic, I have the top down, life is good, its really fun to drive, get lots of looks, and maybe not off the line, but going down the highway, most cars are gonna have a hard time keeping up. I drive it like a drove my motorcycles.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2012 MINI Cooper Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Mini Cooper offers the "Mini Yours" series of high-end customization options. A leather-covered dashboard, unique wheels and leather upholstery with contrasting striping and piping are among those optional highlights. A few more standard features, such as an aero kit for JCW versions and floor mats for all Coopers, round out the changes.

Introduction

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. As such, it's no surprise the modern Mini Cooper has remained so popular since its debut about a decade ago.

Pleasingly, you needn't step up to the sportiest trim levels to get lively performance. Thanks to the Cooper's light weight, even the base model's 121-horsepower inline-4 provides enough of a kick for most folks. Then again, the turbocharged Cooper S's more spirited acceleration doesn't exact much of a fuel penalty either. Should you want the maximum in Mini performance, you could opt for the fired-up John Cooper Works edition, which provides 208 hp while still maintaining a measure of frugality with fuel.

In addition to making it easy to place on a tight, winding road, the Mini Cooper's small size makes it a breeze to park on crowded city streets, enabling it to snag a curbside spot that most every other car would have to pass up. Yet inside, the Cooper is surprisingly spacious for two people. Adding to its cheeky appeal, Mini offers plenty of factory personalization options and dealer-installed accessories to make your Mini "mine."

But despite this Mini's fun-loving nature, it's not without a few faults. The trade-off for the Cooper's nimble handing is a rather firm ride that may strike some as too stiff. And that backseat? It's barely big enough for kids, as its lack of legroom is almost comical. That said, you can always check out the longer-wheelbase Cooper Clubman or four-door Countryman should you need true four-seat capacity.

Still, should you find the compromises in comfort outweighing the fun factor, you may want to check out the similarly small (though not quite as sprightly) Fiat 500. Another intriguing choice this year is the new Hyundai Veloster; this innovative hatchback is roomier and cheaper than the Cooper. For alternative drop tops, there are the 500 convertible, BMW's more refined 1 Series and Volkswagen's comfortable Eos. But overall, none of these cars can quite match the Cooper's unique blend of personality, performance and frugalness. If those are priorities for you, the 2012 Mini Cooper is hard to beat.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mini Cooper is available in two-door hatchback and convertible body styles. Each is available in three trim levels: Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW).

The base Cooper comes standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, floor mats, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, multicolor ambient lighting and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, HD radio, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The Cooper convertible models add 16-inch alloy wheels and a full power convertible top that includes a sunroof feature. The Cooper's Sport package adds 16-inch wheels on the hatchback and 17-inch wheels on the convertible, foglamps, traction control, a rear spoiler, sport seats and hood stripes.

The Cooper S adds 16-inch wheels, a turbocharged engine, firmer suspension tuning, foglamps, sport seats and alloy pedals. The Cooper S Sport package adds 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, traction control and hood stripes. The John Cooper Works includes a more powerful turbo engine, upgraded Brembo brakes, an aerodynamic body kit and cloth upholstery. A limited-slip differential and a firmer suspension can be fitted to both the S and the John Cooper Works.

Major optional features (some of which are grouped in packages) include adaptive xenon headlights, a dual-pane sunroof, automatic climate control, heated front seats, keyless ignition/entry, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, Bluetooth and an iPod interface. Others include different wheels, parking sensors, cloth or leather upholstery, a navigation system and a multitude of different interior trims and materials. Furthermore, a multitude of dealer-installed features are additionally available.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Mini Cooper comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 121 hp and 114 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual with hill-start assist is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. Mini estimates a manual-equipped hatchback will go from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds (9.7 seconds with the automatic). EPA-estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined with the manual (27/35/31 convertible) and 28/36/31 with the automatic.

The Cooper S has a turbocharged version of the same engine good for 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque (192 lb-ft at full throttle thanks to an overboost function). Mini estimates 0-60-mph acceleration in 6.6 seconds for the manual and 6.8 seconds for the automatic. EPA estimated fuel economy is 27/36/30 with the manual and 26/34/29 with the auto.

The John Cooper Works cranks up the turbo boost to produce 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only available transmission. Mini estimates a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds for the hatchback and 6.6 for the convertible. Fuel economy is 25/33/28.

Safety

All 2012 Mini Coopers come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control and front-seat side airbags. Side curtain airbags are standard on the hatchback, while the convertible features pop-up rollover bars and larger front side airbags that extend to head height. Traction control is optional. In Edmunds braking, various Mini Cooper S models with 17-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph between 112 and 115 feet -- excellent results.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the hatchback its best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset test, and its second-best score of "Average" in the side-impact and roof-crush tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Of all the ways to describe the Mini Cooper's interior, we doubt anyone would call it boring. The massive center-mounted speedometer is a nod to the original Mini, but in terms of practicality, it comes off as a bit gimmicky. Despite the Mini Cooper's small size, the front seats are surprisingly spacious. There is no shortage of headroom or legroom and the cabin feels extraordinarily airy. The rear seats, by comparison, are much less accommodating, with a notable lack of legroom. 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.

The convertible features a sunroof function in which you can retract the forward portion of the soft top as opposed to lowering it completely. The convertible's tailgate-style trunk opening has an upper package tray that can be raised to allow larger items to fit in the tiny 6-cubic-foot trunk. Unlike with most convertibles, the Mini's rear seats can be folded flat to accommodate larger items, but the rollover hoops and soft-top mechanism prevent the loading of bulkier objects. Rear visibility for the convertible is poor with the top down (as it stacks rather high) and even worse with the top up.

Driving Impressions

No matter which flavor of 2012 Mini Cooper you might be interested in, you can expect thrilling handling and quick responses to driver inputs. On the downside, the Mini's ride is on the stiff side, and can be rather loud as well. Opting for the Cooper S or John Cooper Works models further stiffens the ride, leading us to recommend that mainstream buyers forego the sport suspension and larger wheels.

The base Cooper will likely satisfy most drivers, while the S adds quite a bit of excitement and the JCW turns the fun dial up to 11. The six-speed manual transmission is notable for its precise shifter and compliant clutch. The automatic isn't the smoothest-shifting unit in the world, but in Manual mode it responds quickly to the driver's inputs to the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Talk About The 2012 Cooper

2012 MINI Cooper Discussions See all Started By

einbayer
einbayer
08-12-2012
any rates available for S and non S convertible cooper 2012/2013...


aquaholic1
aquaholic1
10-09-2013
I have a 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman S. It has been a great car up until 35000 miles when the clutch went out. We had taken the car several times for a burning smell with no luck or explination. The d...


theredrover
theredrover
04-23-2013
I bought a brand new, base model 2013 Mini Cooper Hardtop in early summer of 2012 at Mini of Tempe in Arizona....