Used 2012 MINI Cooper Roadster Pricing

Consumer Rating

2012 Highlights

The 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster is an all-new model.


  • Sharp handling
  • distinctive exterior styling
  • great fuel economy
  • highly customizable
  • slightly more cargo capacity than the Mini convertible.


  • No measurable performance gain over Mini convertible
  • choppy ride (especially in the John Cooper Works trim)
  • convertible top lacks refinement
  • limited outward visibility.

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Features & Specs

2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl 6M)S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)John Cooper Works 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Transmission6-speed manual6-speed manual6-speed manual
Horsepower121 hp @ 6000 rpm181 hp @ 5500 rpm208 hp @ 6000 rpm

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2012 MINI Cooper Roadster


Consumer Rating

2012 MINI Roadster Convertible S
Fun, fun, and more fun! This is the most amount of fun I have ever had driving a car. Nothing else compares! As far as convertibles I have owned a Miata, Z4 and a Mustang GT in the past and this Mini has a fun factor those 3 could not touch. Sure the Mini is not the fastest out of those 3, but they did not evoke a fun to drive attitude as much as the Mini. The option list on the Mini is crazy good, and (take note BMW) everything works like it is supposed to. The upgraded stereo is a must and so is the semi automatic top. By the way the 2013 have the semi-auto top standard.
Cooper S Roadster
Probably the most fun you can have on the road. Yes the ride is a little stiff (which is not helped by the OEM run-flat tires provided) but drop the top and begin to smile. The roadster actually has a trunk that is usable along with a package storage shelf behind the seats that can hold small parcels, small gym bag, etc. Add to that Mini build quality and BMW engineering and the result is one of the best cars I have owned.
2012 Mini Cooper Roadster (base w/Auto Trans)
I purchased a used 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster Base model with auto transmission about 1 year ago. This car is my first convertible and is more fun than any other car I have owned in the past 40 years. I am constantly looking for an excuse to drive it. I get favorable comments from strangers about the car all the time. It now has 17k miles on it and I have not had any mechanical issues at all. The car as purchased did ride too rough for my taste but switching to Koni FSD struts and non-run flat tires has cured that issue. I have no idea what car I could ever buy to replace this. Even my Nissan 370Z seemed boring in comparison.
More About This Model

With the launch of the 2012 Mini Roadster Cooper S, the company has officially transitioned from making the purely versatile to the mostly fashionable. It's the first time Mini has ever offered a two-seater convertible, and it sits alongside the new two-seat Coupe in a six-car lineup.

Built to squeeze more life from an aging platform, the 2012 Mini Roadster Cooper S is being put forth as an alternative to the Mazda MX-5 Miata. That's no small task given the Miata's history, but Mini has plenty of history of its own.

Like the recently introduced Coupe, the Roadster is less an all-new model than another reinterpretation of existing themes. It's fractionally shorter and just under an inch lower than the familiar, four-seat Mini Convertible, and the Roadster shares a nose with the Coupe. Priced from $24,350 for the Cooper to $34,500 for the John Cooper Works, it's just a smidgen cheaper than the four-seat ragtop but seeks to score a new audience with its charm and exclusivity.

Why Choose the Roadster?
There are two key reasons why people will choose the 2012 Mini Roadster: the way it looks and the fact that it's more exclusive than the Convertible. Mini would add, "the way that it drives," too, but we'll come to that.

First shown at the Frankfurt auto show in "concept" form in 2009, the Mini Roadster has barely changed for production. The only obvious addition is a pop-up rear spoiler, which rises above 50 mph and retracts below 37 mph.

The "three-box" shape with the flat trunk lid echoes that of the Coupe. To our eyes, though, the canvas hood is more aesthetically pleasing than the Coupe's inverted baseball cap. It's nicely integrated, too, avoiding the Convertible's awkward hump when the roof's folded down, although the absence of rear seats is a high price to pay.

Familiar Chassis
The Roadster's suspension has been plundered from the Mini parts bin. The dampers are from the Convertible, while the springs are from the Coupe. Otherwise, it's the familiar setup of MacPherson struts at the front and a multilink rear. A sport suspension with changes to the dampers, springs and antiroll bars is available as an option.

Mini is offering three versions of the Roadster in the U.S.: the 121-horsepower Cooper, the 181-hp Cooper S and the 211-hp John Cooper Works. All feature a variant of the 1,598cc engine, while the "S" and "Works" also boast a turbocharger. We drove a Cooper S on modest 16-inch rims and the standard suspension.

Mini claims that the addition of a steel bulkhead behind the seats has increased the rigidity of the Roadster by 10 percent compared with the Convertible. On the road, that makes a huge difference. While the sportier versions of the convertible have an awkward tendency to flex and torque steer, the Roadster feels impressively solid. The steering is suitably quick-witted, and while the electric system is not overburdened with feel, it delivers a level of agility matched by few other cars. The performance of the Cooper S — Mini claims zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and a 141-mph top speed — also feels nicely suited to this car.

The trade-off, though, is a ride quality that remains on the firm side of acceptable. It's as if to differentiate the Roadster from the standard hatchback, Mini has seen fit to deliver a "sporty" ride, by which it means solid. Mini is justifiably proud of its "go-kart" handling, but it shouldn't have to be accompanied by a go-kart ride quality. And this is the standard suspension. Overall, the rear-drive MX-5 remains the purer, more rewarding driving experience.

No Abundance of Refinement
In a bid to reduce the cost and complexity of the 2012 Mini Roadster, the fabric hood now has just a single layer, compared with the Convertible's dual-layer setup. On the road, this has a significant bearing on refinement. The Roadster is, to put it bluntly, crude. Wind noise at highway speeds feels like a '90s throwback, and the exposed roof elements hardly smack of premium appeal. Moreover, with the roof up, the over-the-shoulder visibility is dreadful.

Another throwback of questionable merit is the absence of electric assistance. It is possible to raise the hood from the driver seat, but only if you have arms that combine the length of Mr. Tickle with the forearms of Popeye. At $750, the semiautomatic soft top is a must-have option. You still have to twist a handle to lock it into place, but at least it rises and falls without human help. In the U.K. it's standard, but U.S. buyers are forced to cough up extra for it as an option.

With the roof down, the Roadster ensures you're at one with the elements. That steeply raked roof line also generates more buffeting than you'll find in the Convertible, although the problem can be alleviated with the purchase of a wind deflector. That's another ($250) option and another must-have.

At least the underpinnings have afforded the Roadster decent practicality. In common with the Coupe, the Roadster has a broad hatch that links the cockpit with the trunk. The latter has a capacity of 8.5 cubic feet, which compares more than favorably with the Miata's 5.3 cubic feet.

Worth the Sacrifice?
The Roadster is a logical extension of the Mini brand, but is hardly the last word in originality. The big challenge for the Mini types in Munich is to conjure something more imaginative without offending its more traditional fans. The handsome, innovative Rocketman looked like the way forward, but has now been cancelled.

We have no doubt the Roadster will find a willing army of fans who must have the latest Mini. It is fun to drive and, to our eyes, better-looking than the Coupe, but the ride quality is still questionable and the roof is crude. For $28,000, we expected more.

After considerable seat time in the 2012 Mini Roadster Cooper S, we couldn't help but think that we still find the original Mini (the modern one) the best of the breed. The constant tinkering over the years has brought about some different looks, yet the dynamics of that first hatch were spot-on from the start. The Roadster's funky styling scores it some points, but it's not enough to make up for its other notable shortcomings.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored press event to facilitate this report.

Used 2012 MINI Cooper Roadster Overview

Pre-owned MINI Cooper Roadster models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 208 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2012 MINI Cooper Roadster comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual.

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