Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible
- Quick acceleration from most versions
- sharp handling
- impressive fuel economy
- premium vibe inside, especially in the hatchback
- highly customizable.
- Limited interior space
- firm ride (especially with larger optional wheels)
- convertible's lackluster base engine and poor rearward visibility.
Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Although the 2015 Mini Cooper isn't very practical, it's a sophisticated little car that's fuel-efficient and great fun to drive.
The 2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop (Mini's moniker for the two- and four-door Cooper hatchbacks) marks the second year for the third-generation Mini Cooper. Last year's full redesign brought with it a pair of new turbocharged engines, a much-improved automatic transmission, bigger dimensions, an overhauled interior with upgraded materials and a host of fresh features. The big additions this year are a four-door Cooper hatchback with more cargo room and enough space for five passengers and a new, more powerful John Cooper Works hardtop.
The theme for the 2015 Mini Cooper, if there is one, seems to be an increase in space, while retaining all the fun. The two-door hatchback is larger than its predecessor, but it remains an unusually small car that fully warrants the Mini name. The newly introduced four-door hatchback is only 6.3 inches longer than the two-door, so it'll still fit in some pretty tight parking spaces. Interior space bridges the gap between the smaller two-door Cooper and the larger Countryman. The backseat of the two-door provides more room than the previous-generation car, and the four-door hatchback gets a fifth seat, but both places will still be uncomfortably tight for adult passengers. Similarly, maximum cargo capacity for the two-door is up more than 50 percent at 38 cubic feet, and the four-door gets a little bit more room with 40.7 cubes, but both of those measurements are considerably less than what you get in a comparable VW Golf, for example. If practicality is a priority, this isn't the car for you.
On the flip side, the Mini's a cinch to park just about anywhere, and the competition generally can't match its nimble, champing-at-the-bit driving character. Under the hood, the hatchback's base turbocharged three-cylinder engine or upgraded four-cylinder in the S version are both quite likable thanks to strong power and fuel efficiency. Even more power is available in the form of the new John Cooper Works hatchback version with an impressive 228-horsepower turbocharged engine. As for the convertible (which still features Mini's old 1.6-liter four-cylinder), the base engine is lackluster, but as long as you step up to the Cooper S or John Cooper Works version you're in for a treat every time you run through the gears.
If you're shopping for a stylish subcompact, one of our favorites is the aforementioned 2015 Volkswagen Golf and the high-performance version, the GTI. Both offer comparable refinement, excellent driving dynamics and more space in a reasonably compact wrapper. The cheaper 2015 Fiat 500 is an adorable European charmer, but it lacks the Cooper's sophistication, rich feature set and dynamic excellence. The relatively versatile 2015 Hyundai Veloster is also worth considering, particularly with the optional turbocharged engine. As far as convertibles go, the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata is arguably a more rewarding drive, but you'll be giving up a backseat. Overall, though, the Edmunds.com "B" rated 2015 Mini Cooper is one of the most entertaining small cars you can buy and is the only car to make it as a recommended subcompact in our 2015 Coupe Buying Guide.
trim levels & features
The 2015 Mini Cooper is available as a two- or four-door hatchback (hardtop) and a two-door convertible. The two-door hatchbacks and the convertible are both available in base Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) trims. The four-door hatchback is available in base Cooper and Cooper S trims. The convertible features a power soft top with a glass rear window and a partial-open "sunroof" function.
Both the two- and four-door Cooper hatchback models come standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, adjustable driving modes, full power accessories, automatic climate control, a refrigerated glovebox, cruise control, a trip computer, height-adjustable front seats, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks, color-adjustable ambient lighting, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio, an USB/iPod adapter and an auxiliary input jack.
The Cooper S hatchback adds a more powerful engine, a hood scoop, a black mesh grille, dual center-mounted exhaust tips, a "torque-vectoring" electronic limited-slip differential, 16-inch wheels with run-flat tires (regular tires are optional), LED foglights and sport seats. Additional equipment for the John Cooper Works hatchback includes 17-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, an even more powerful engine, a sport-tuned suspension, an aerodynamic body kit, a sport steering wheel and special cloth upholstery. The standard suspension is available as a no-cost option.
The base Cooper convertible is equipped similarly to the base hatchback aside from its previous-generation hardware, but it doesn't get the adjustable driving modes, and it comes standard with 16-inch wheels. The Cooper S and Cooper JCW convertible likewise receive performance-themed perks similar to those of the Cooper S and JCW hatchbacks.
The LED foglights and sport seats are offered as options on base Cooper models. Other available features, many of which are grouped into various packages with fun names (Flash, Wired, Loaded, Fully Loaded, etc.), include LED and xenon headlights, an array of 17- and 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adjustable suspension dampers, chrome exterior trim, a dual-pane sunroof, a roof spoiler, power-folding mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a head-up display and an automated parking system, cloth or leather upholstery, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, heated front seats, satellite radio and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Even more personalization is available through a large selection of custom details such as hood stripes, contrasting hardtop roof colors and special interior trim pieces.
performance & mpg
The base Mini Cooper hatchback comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 134 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission (with hill-start assist and a rev-matching feature for smooth downshifts) is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional.
At the Edmunds.com test track, a base two-door hatchback with the automatic sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. This is a very impressive time relative to other base-model compact hatchbacks. Mini estimates that the four-door will get to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds with the automatic and 7.7 with the manual. EPA-estimated fuel economy is similarly impressive, and whether you get the two- or the four-door Cooper, estimates clock in at 31 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway) with the automatic and 33 mpg combined (29 city/40 highway) with the manual.
The Cooper S hatchback packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, the latter featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. For the two-door hatchback, Mini estimates its 0-60 performance at 6.5 seconds (manual) and 6.4 seconds (automatic). At the Edmunds.com test track, the four-door hatchback proved even quicker than Mini's estimate for the automatic, posting a quick 6.3-second sprint to 60 mph. Fuel economy (for both the two- and four-door models) is 29 mpg combined (26 city/33 highway) with the automatic and 27 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) with the manual.
The John Cooper Works hatchback comes with a higher-performance version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that cranks out 228 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It is also offered with the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Mini claims that the JCW hardtop will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds with the automatic and 6.1 seconds with the manual. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg combined (25/31) with the automatic and 26 mpg combined (31/23) with the manual.
All hatchbacks come with an automatic stop-start feature that shuts off the engine when you're stopped to save fuel.
The base Cooper convertible is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual with hill-start assist is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. Mini estimates a manual-equipped drop top will go from zero to 60 mph in an unhurried 8.9 seconds, which is nonetheless considerably quicker than the automatic's 10.2 seconds. Fuel economy for the base convertible is 30 mpg combined (27 city/34 highway) with the manual transmission and 29 mpg combined (26/34) with the automatic.
The Cooper S convertible has a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a choice between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic (with optional paddle shifters). Mini estimates 0-60-mph acceleration at 6.8 seconds for the manual and 7.2 seconds for the automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 28 mpg combined (25 city/34 highway) with the automatic and 29 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway) with the manual.
The John Cooper Works convertible has a higher-performance version of the turbo 1.6-liter rated at 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual and six-speed automatic (with optional paddle shifters) are again available. Acceleration to 60 mph is estimated at 6.6 seconds with the manual and 6.8 seconds with the automatic. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined (25/34) for the automatic and 29 mpg combined (26/35) for the manual.
Standard safety features on the 2015 Mini Cooper include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control and front-seat side airbags. The Cooper hatchback also comes with front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags as standard equipment, while the convertible features pop-up rollover bars and (in lieu of curtains) larger front side airbags that extend higher up for added protection. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional.
In government crash tests, the two-door Cooper received four out of five possible stars for front crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Cooper hatchback its top score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset crash test.
In Edmunds brake testing, a base two-door Cooper hatchback (with the optional Sport package's 17-inch wheels and run-flat summer tires) required just 114 feet to come to a halt from 60 mph, which is very good for its class.
All versions of the 2015 Mini Cooper have an engaging personality thanks to their eager responses to driver inputs. The trade-off is a firm ride and a sometimes raucous cabin, especially when you're driving on concrete or broken pavement. The ride quality is even edgier with the optional sport-tuned suspension. For comfort's sake, our recommendation is to skip the sporty suspension and keep the wheels as small as possible. The hatchback does have a more solid, forgiving feel on the highway than the convertible, and it's quieter than previous models. Even more comfortable, though, is the four-door Cooper, with a longer wheelbase that makes for a much more compliant ride whether you get the base or S version.
Most drivers should be plenty happy with the base Cooper hatchback's energetic turbocharged engine, though the convertible's base engine is distinctly underwhelming. Either way, the thrills increase in Cooper S trim, with the John Cooper Works offering an extra dose of fun. The six-speed manual transmission includes a remarkably precise shifter and an easy clutch, while the hatchback's automatic transmission is both responsive and smooth-shifting. The convertible's older automatic isn't as refined.
All Mini cabins brim with a sense of playfulness and fun. The convertible retains the traditional, oversized center-mounted speedometer. Although the hardtop features a similar design cue, this circular element now houses the radio controls and an optional (via the Wired package) 8.8-inch high-resolution display screen, with the speedometer relocated to a free-standing cluster atop the steering column. The hatchback also has redesigned controls, including a simplified climate control interface and power window and door lock switches on the door panels (in the convertible, these switches remain at the bottom of the center stack behind the shifter). Materials quality is significantly better in the hatchback, with upgraded finishes and extensive soft-touch surfaces.
Both body styles have up-to-date electronics, highlighted by the hatchback's improved infotainment controller (similar to BMW's iDrive) on the center console and available fan-cooled phone docking station. The optional Mini Connected infotainment interface offers extensive smartphone app integration.
The Cooper's front seats offer firm support and an ideal driving position. Whether you choose the two- or the four-door hatchback, though, rear passenger space is pretty tight. Cargo capacity for the two-door hatchback measures a puny 8.7 cubic feet behind the rear seatbacks, expanding to 34 cubes with those seatbacks folded down. The four-door is better behind the rear seats, with 13.1 cubic feet of space and 40.7 cubes when the seats are folded flat. The convertible provides 6 cubic feet in its trunk and 23.3 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded flat.
A neat feature on the Mini Cooper convertible is the soft top's sunroof function, which allows you to retract the forward portion of the top on days when you don't feel like lowering the top completely. On the downside, the top simply stacks up on itself when folded (as opposed to folding neatly under a cover), resulting in exceptionally poor rear visibility for a convertible.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
With a revised Mini Clubman still in the concept stage, this 2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door fills the somewhat confusing gap between the traditional two-door Cooper and the larger Countryman and Paceman crossovers. The four-door retains the Mini's lively spirit and improves on the formula with much more convenience.
What Is It?
Visually, the four-door Mini Hardtop is very similar to its two-door sibling. Bumper-to-bumper, the four-door is 6 inches longer, with 2.8 inches of that length added between the front and rear wheels. A longer rear overhang makes up the rest. While these measurements may not seem all that significant on paper, the advantages gained on the inside certainly are.
With more rear legroom, the four-door Mini can now easily accommodate child passengers and small adults. Cargo space increases a full 50 percent compared to the two-door hardtop. For those drawn to the Mini brand, the four-door may be more attractive than the ungainly Clubman. As importantly, it is just as fun to drive as the two-door model. When it comes to price, the four-door continues to score points, as there's only a $1,000 premium to get the two extra doors.
Prices start at $22,550 for the base model four-door hardtop that is powered by an adequate 134-horsepower 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine. The $25,950 Cooper S version gets a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that boosts output to 189 hp, along with a torque-vectoring limited-slip differential that allows it to corner with more aggression. Our Cooper S test vehicle came with almost every option available, including the six-speed automatic transmission and the aptly named Fully Loaded package, sending the price soaring to $35,900.
How Does It Drive?
With a flip of a flat toggle switch glowing red in the center stack, the engine rumbles to life with a pleasing low hum. At start-up, the Mini defaults to its Normal driving mode. A rotating collar switch around the gear selector activates the Sport and Green modes with a quick flick. Sport mode sharpens throttle response, holds gears at higher revs before shifting and increases steering effort. Green mode goes the opposite direction by dulling responses and upshifting earlier to maximize fuel efficiency. Had our test vehicle been equipped with the $500 Dynamic Damper Control option, the drive setting would also adjust the ride stiffness.
Not surprisingly, the Normal mode is a happy medium for daily driving. Green Mode makes the Mini feel as though it's trudging through a thick pool of molasses, but in heavy traffic it's not a problem. What is bothersome, however, is the automatic stop-start function that is engaged in Green mode. When the car is stopped, the engine automatically shuts off. When brake pressure is reduced, the engine restarts. The system is nothing new, but Mini's execution is significant because start-up sends a strong shudder through the vehicle. Fortunately, it can be disabled while retaining Green mode's other attributes.
Sport mode is likely of greater importance to drivers willing to step up to the Cooper S model, of course. In this setting there's more immediacy in the controls, bringing out the playful Mini personality and allowing drivers to extract the maximum performance from the drivetrain.
In Edmunds' testing, the Cooper S four-door reached 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is close to most competitors. There's good torque right off the line, and gearchanges are quick and smooth. There's also no sign of the torque steer that used to plague performance-focused hatchbacks. Selecting Sport mode further livens up things with quicker and more noticeable shifts. Steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles allow the driver to take full control of the transmission, and the reactions to inputs are immediate. Rev-matched downshifts are perfectly executed. Of course, you can do it yourself with the six-speed manual, which comes standard.
The brakes are also up to hot hatchback standards when you need to slow down in a hurry. From 60 mph, the four-door required 116 feet to come to a stop, which is a few feet longer than rivals, but still very acceptable. Even with a full stomp on the brake pedal, the Mini remains solidly composed, with very little nosedive and no squirm. After repeated panic stops, the pedal softened, but stopping power remained strong.
Is It Fun?
Despite the larger footprint, the four-door Mini Cooper S is just as fun to unleash on twisting mountain switchbacks as its smaller siblings. When driven with enthusiasm, the car responds with very predictable actions and even dares you to push harder. It instills trust very early on and in some ways it feels a bit more settled than the shorter-wheelbase two-door model. You won't be chasing down dedicated sports cars in a Mini, but it will deliver plenty of thrills and smiles.
If driven just past the handling limit, the stability control system does an excellent job of keeping you on your intended path. A subtle brake application on the appropriate wheel can be felt, and that's just enough to keep the car from pushing toward the outside of a turn. The fun is never interrupted by an overly intrusive system. Four doors, it seems, come with no downside.
Is It Comfortable?
The Mini Cooper S represents the middle ground of performance between the standard Cooper and the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works model. For the added handling ability, the Cooper S does sacrifice some compliance, but ride quality isn't objectionably stiff. Shoppers seeking a softer ride may want to forgo the larger wheel options.
Our test vehicle came equipped with the optional sport seats, which provide excellent lateral support when cornering and just enough adjustments to accommodate a variety of body types. Even so, the aggressive side bolstering may be constricting for wider passengers. Plush seat cushioning remained comfortable after several hundred miles of road tripping, but the thin armrest padding did create some elbow discomfort.
The rear seats are positively spacious compared to the two-door Cooper, but there are still some limitations. There's enough headroom in the rear seat for the average adult, but legroom is tight. The front seatbacks are scooped out enough to accommodate rear passenger legs, but there's no room to stretch out. Smaller passengers will fit fine.
How Is the Interior?
Thanks to the additional two doors, rear passengers no longer have to tunnel between the front seats and roof support. The doors are rather narrow, but access is significantly easier. Otherwise, the interior is just like other Mini models, with all the personality we've come to expect.
Outward visibility is as good as it gets for any vehicle. So good, in fact, that it renders the optional rearview camera unnecessary. Likewise, the gauges and infotainment screen are placed well within the driver's sight lines. With the optional head-up display, speed and navigation prompts are even easier to read.
Throughout the cabin, heavy toggle switches and unique trim elements add a lot of visual interest that is absent in other hatchbacks. Materials quality isn't much better than rivals, but the texturing and styling go a long way toward improving the overall feeling of quality. Surrounding the round infotainment panel in the middle of the dash is an array of accent lights that react to driving conditions as well as system commands. There's a certain cool factor to these lights at first, but at night they can be distracting. Once the novelty had worn off, we disabled them.
One of our main gripes with the current Mini interior is the placement of the infotainment controller. It's mounted too low in the center console to reach and operate comfortably and is further obstructed by the optional center armrest. And that's really a shame because the system, which is nearly identical to BMW's praiseworthy iDrive, is otherwise very easy to use and benefits from a wealth of features.
Interior storage also leaves a bit to be desired, as door pockets, cupholders and even the dual gloveboxes are on the small side. Cargo space does reap the rewards of the four-door's bigger profile, providing 13.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats compared to the two-door's meager 8.7 cubic feet. Folding the split rear seats increases capacity to 40.7 cubes. Underneath the raised trunk floor is an additional space for smaller items, and the panel can be lowered quickly to provide a flat load floor. Despite the cargo capacity increase over the two-door Cooper, the four-door still comes up short of both the VW GTI and Ford Focus ST.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Get?
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 29 mpg combined (26 city/33 highway), which is slightly better than competing sporty hatchbacks. These estimates were confirmed by our overall average of 28.2 mpg, which included many miles of exuberant driving.
What Safety Features Are Available?
On top of the typical standard safety features found in all current vehicles, the 2015 Mini Cooper S Four-Door also includes front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional.
What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Ford Focus ST: In terms of performance numbers, the similarly priced Focus ST outpaces the Mini Cooper S by a slim margin. Behind the wheel, however, the Focus feels more capable and even exhibits some tail-happy antics that are rare among front-wheel-drive cars. With a cargo capacity of 23.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats, the Focus handily defeats the Mini when it comes to utility. Of the few downsides, the MyFord Touch infotainment system can be frustrating to use and there is no option for an automatic transmission.
Volkswagen Golf R: Currently the top-dog hatchback, the 292-hp, all-wheel-drive Golf R takes GTI performance to all-new levels. All that power and handling comes at a cost, though, as it rings in about $11,000 more than the Focus, Mini and GTI.
Volkswagen GTI: As the originator of the sporty hatchback segment, the GTI is a solidly built performer with a more serious approach and design. It's not quite as engaging to drive hard as the Mini or Focus but it still posts performance numbers that keep it competitive. The VW's 22.8-cubic-foot cargo capacity also beats the Mini and it's available with a six-speed automated manual transmission.
Why Should You Consider This Car?
Charm has been one of Mini's strongest selling points, and the Cooper S has it in spades. With the addition of the four-door model, many of the space and cargo drawbacks are reduced without any appreciable influence on performance and entertainment. As an added incentive, Mini offers free scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles of ownership. VW offers one year of maintenance, but with Ford you're on your own.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
Despite being larger than its two-door sibling, this Mini may still pose challenges to shoppers with an eye on practicality. If space, whether it's rear passenger or cargo-related, is a priority, the Mini Cooper S four-door trails its main rivals by a sizable margin.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible Overview
The Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible is offered in the following styles: S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl 6M), and John Cooper Works 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M).
What's a good price on a Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible?
Save up to $300 on one of 9 Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $16,998 as of08/14/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible trim styles:
- The Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible S is priced between $18,030 and$21,184 with odometer readings between 14079 and55004 miles.
- The Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible Base is priced between $16,998 and$21,500 with odometer readings between 1707 and37205 miles.
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Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible Listings and Inventory
There are currently 9 used and CPO 2015 MINI Cooper Convertibles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,998 and mileage as low as 1707 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $300 on a used or CPO 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible available from a dealership near you.
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