2016 MINI Cooper Review
2016 MINI Cooper Review
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
Used Cooper for saleAppraise This Car
MINI Cooper model years
See Edmunds pricing data
Has Your Car's Value Changed?
Used car values are constantly changing. Edmunds lets you track your vehicle's value over time so you can decide when to sell or trade in.
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- All available engines blend quickness and fuel-efficiency
- razor-sharp handling keeps the Mini glued to the road
- lots of add-ons mean a high degree of personalization
- interior looks classy and upscale.
- Ride can be stiff and jittery, especially with larger tires
- more expensive than most rivals.
Previously available as a carry-over version of the last-gen hatchback, the 2016 Mini Cooper convertible is updated with the body style and powertrain choices of the current hatchback. There are also slight changes to the features included in options packages.
Who says you can't have it your way? It's a question asked by the 2016 Mini Cooper, a sporty compact that allows for a seemingly endless degree of customization. It's also stylish and a blast to drive. Let's find out what else makes the Mini Cooper so special.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$151/mo for Cooper Base
Avg. Compact Car
The subcompact class is populated by vehicles that are easy to drive in congested city centers, earn great fuel economy and do little damage to the pocketbook. Fun, however, is often in short supply. The 2016 Mini Cooper Hardtop is designed to rewrite that story. While it's more expensive than most rivals, this BMW-built runabout adds lots of value with its energizing driving experience and premium character.
Electric Blue is one of 14 exterior colors available on the 2016 Mini Cooper. The roof and mirrors can be white, black or body-colored.
Picking a Cooper means choosing among one of three available engines. In prior years, the base engine was pretty weak-kneed, but the latest turbocharged three-cylinder is surprisingly peppy, frugal with gas and a fine choice for most shoppers. For more of a hot-blooded experience, Mini also offers the hopped-up S and JCW, which boast turbocharged four-cylinder engines with considerably more punch. Of course, nimble handling is another Cooper hallmark, while its list of available features and personalization options is unrivaled.
There are naturally some reasons why shoppers may want to consider something else. The Mini Cooper's sporty handling comes at the expense of ride comfort, particularly with larger wheels and tires installed. As noted, the Cooper is also more expensive than other subcompact cars, and it only gets worse as you add all of those cool options you found on the Mini configurator website.
If you're looking for a less expensive subcompact that still has some pizazz, check out the regular Ford Fiesta or the high-powered ST version. The Fiesta is slightly larger than the Mini, and the ST develops similar horsepower to the Cooper S, although the Ford can't match the Mini's upscale vibe. Fiat's personable 500 is worth a look, too, as it's available with a range of engines and individualized options, much like the Mini. Moving up a size, the Ford Focus/Focus ST, Scion FR-S and Volkswagen Golf/GTI come highly recommended. But overall, the Mini Cooper is a great choice for shoppers wanting a subcompact that rises well above the mundane.
Performance & mpg
Regardless of engine or number of doors, the 2016 Mini Cooper comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission (with hill-start assist and automatic rev-matching for smooth and simple downshifts), while a six-speed automatic (also with rev-matching) is optional. For extra fuel savings, an automatic stop-start feature shuts off the engine while the car is stopped.
The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder that develops 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, a two-door with the automatic transmission recorded a 0-60-mph time of 7.4 seconds. That's a quick time and second only to the Ford Fiesta ST in the subcompact class. Fuel economy is also impressive, especially considering the available performance -- the EPA estimates 32 mpg combined (28 city/39 highway) for the two-door with the manual, while the manual four-door earns 33 mpg combined (29 city/39 highway). Both automatic versions return about 1 mpg less.
The Cooper S is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Ordering the automatic transmission adds steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. In our testing, a four-door S with the automatic sprinted from zero to 60 in 6.3 seconds (just a tick slower than a VW Golf GTI). A manual-equipped convertible was slightly slower at 6.8 seconds. Fuel economy for both body styles is estimated at 29 mpg combined (26/33) with the automatic, while the manual is rated at 27 mpg combined (23/33).
Solely available as a two-door, the John Cooper Works variant ups the output of the turbocharged 2.0-liter to 228 hp and 236 lb-ft. We tested a JCW Cooper with a manual transmission and achieved a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds; Mini says an automatic-equipped JCW is a few tenths of a second faster. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg combined (25/31) with the automatic and 26 mpg combined (23/31) with the manual.
Standard safety features on the 2016 Mini Cooper include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. 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 overall protection, with four stars for total front crash protection and four stars for overall side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Cooper hatchback its top score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal-offset crash tests, as well as a "Good" score in the side-impact, roof-strength and head restraints/seats (whiplash protection) tests.
In Edmunds brake testing, several Mini Coopers with summer tires have come to a halt from 60 mph between 113 and 116 feet. These stopping distances are good for the class but a little underwhelming given the summer-rated tires. A Cooper S convertible with Pirelli PZero summer tires came to a stop in an astounding 101 feet. Although we haven't tested a Cooper with all-season tires, we expect them to come to a stop about 15 feet longer than those equipped with summer tires.
The 2016 Mini Cooper's small footprint, low center of gravity and light weight give it excellent handling characteristics, making this car fun to drive no matter which engine powers it. Even just zipping around town, it feels playful and engaging, and parking in tight spots is a cinch. Along curvy roads, the Cooper feels taut and tenacious, clawing for grip with rare enthusiasm. It's not as communicative or balanced as the rear-drive Scion FR-S, but otherwise this is one of the best-handling cars for the money.
The trade-off for its exhilarating driving dynamics is a firm ride that borders on harsh when ordered with larger wheels. This is particularly true for the JCW and its standard sport-tuned suspension. Ordering the adaptive suspension dampers for the JCW is highly recommended, as we've found them to noticeably smooth out the ride. We've also noticed that the four-door Cooper, with its longer wheelbase, is a bit more comfortable than the two-door and sacrifices little in the way of performance. All body styles are relatively quiet at highway speeds, although we've heard interior panels squeak and creak over hard bumps, especially in the convertible.
The base engine provides impressive power considering its diminutive size. It loses some steam at higher rpm, but for most drivers it's a very solid pick. Both turbocharged four-cylinder engines have the Mini punching above its class, allowing it to keep up with larger cars like the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf GTI. We're fond of either transmission option, but the automatic engine stop-start function can be distractingly rough as it brings the engine back to life after a stop. Fortunately, it's easy to disable via a toggle switch, and the car remembers your preference between drives.
Step into the 2016 Mini Cooper and you'll find a cabin with materials of a higher quality than those in other subcompact cars. Soft-touch plastics coat the doors and dashboard, which can be customized with several different trim coverings. Ambient lighting on the doors changes color depending on which driving mode is selected.
The Mini's controls are easy to reach and the toggle switches on the lower part of the center stack are a cool touch. There are a still a few ergonomic issues, though (yep, still a Mini!), such as interference from the center armrest when it's lowered and lack of visibility out the windshield for taller drivers. The convertible's thick pillars and small rear window inhibit rear visibility as well, so we recommend removing the back seat headrests if you're just carrying one passenger.
As for the convertible's top, press and hold the unlock button on your key fob or use the toggle switch inside the car to operate the soft top. Hold once to open the area above the front seat occupants' heads for a sunroof effect, and release and hold again for the full open-air experience. The top folds down on top of the trunk rather than into it, so there's a little bit of a hump that impedes your view when looking straight back.
We do like the Cooper's easy-to-read gauges, and the available 8.8-inch central display screen is notable for its sophisticated feature set and exceptionally crisp graphics. Similar to BMW's iDrive, the display is operated by a controller knob on the center console. It takes some time to learn how to use, and the knob's location is a bit awkward, but overall it's a comprehensive and very useful system.
Cargo room is at a premium in the 2016 Mini Cooper. For more rear space, consider the four-door configuration.
The Cooper's front seats offer firm support and an ideal driving position. Whether you choose the two- or the four-door, though, rear passenger space is pretty tight. Cargo capacity for the two-door measures a puny 8.7 cubic feet behind the rear seatbacks, expanding to 34 cubes with those seatbacks folded down. The four-door expands to 13.1 and 40.7, respectively. Even the two-door's numbers actually aren't terrible for the subcompact class, and as we learned from a year-long test of a 2014 Mini Cooper, the car's boxy shape makes it more versatile than you might think. The convertible's trunk space is even tighter, measuring just 7.6 cubic feet. The cargo opening is fairly small, although interior release handles allow the bottom of the soft top to be folded up, increasing the opening for larger items.
2016 MINI Cooper models
The 2016 Mini Cooper is available as a two- or four-door hatchback and a convertible. All body styles are available in base Cooper and Cooper S versions, while the high-performance John Cooper Works (JCW) trim is reserved for the two-door hatch (a JCW version of the convertible is slated for next year).
Both two- and four-door Cooper models come standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, an electronic limited-slip differential, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, adjustable driving modes, full power accessories, automatic climate control, a cooled glovebox, cruise control, height-adjustable front seats, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and color-adjustable ambient lighting. Technology highlights include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system (six speakers for the four-door model) with HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack.
The Cooper S adds a more powerful engine, a hood scoop, dual center-mounted exhaust tips, 16-inch wheels with run-flat tires (regular tires are optional), LED foglights, sport seats and, for the two-door model, a six-speaker sound system. Additional equipment for the John Cooper Works variant includes 17-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights, an even more powerful engine, an aerodynamic body kit, a sport steering wheel and special seats with cloth upholstery. The standard suspension is available as a no-cost option for the JCW.
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, include LED headlights, an array of 17- and 18-inch wheels, adjustable suspension dampers, a dual-pane sunroof, a roof spoiler, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a head-up display, an automated parking system, a 6.5- or 8.8-inch central display screen, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, heated front seats, satellite radio, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and cloth or leather upholstery. 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.
Standard features and equipment packages for the convertible are generally the same as the hatchback, with a few notable exceptions. The base Cooper convertible comes with the 6.5-inch display screen and center armrest, which cost extra on the hatchback. Packages are also slightly different: the hatchback's Wired and Wired Upgrade packages are bundled together and called Technology on the convertible. The Premium package includes additional items in the convertible, including heated front seats and auto-dimming mirrors.
The cabin of the 2016 Mini Cooper is full of high-quality materials that easily surpass those in most competitors.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
BMW doesn't honor its warranty
Dr. Henry Mullaney, 12/19/2015
2015 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Mini Cooper provides a 3 year warranty on the car, but BMW refuses to honor it. BMW makes the engine, clutch, and transmission for Mini Cooper. To simplify logistics, they use the same clutch on all their Mini drive chains. As an engineer, I know that the first rule for choosing a clutch for a car is that it should be able to handle the torque produced by the engine. The Mini clutch … was designed for the standard 140 HP Mini engine. The JCW comes with 208 HP. To make matters worse, the Mini clutch is backwards from standard clutches. During shifting, the clutch disengages the transmission and not the engine. That means that the thrust bearing continues to rotate while handling a lot of load. The standard half inch steel bearing cannot hold up to the 208 HP engine. There is an easy fix to this problem which engineers know about. You replace the half inch steel bearing with a three quarter inch ceramic bearing made to handle the horsepower. To save less that $10 per car, BMW decided not to do this. Therefore their clutches wear out. The last time my clutch failed, about 2 years after purchase with a three year warranty, BMW refused to pay for my warranty repair, and I am out about $2000. I asked my dealer to use a heavy duty clutch which I would buy during this last repair. But their contract with Mini Cooper doesn't allow them to use any parts but BMW parts. BMW tells me that I do not know how to drive a clutched car. I have driven Saabs with standard transmissions and clutches for over 20 years and have never had a clutch failure. I currently drive a 1999 Saab 9-3 convertible with 150,000 miles on it, with the original clutch still working fine.
1 out of 5 stars
Princess and Always in the shop
The Roadster, 12/06/2016
2015 MINI Cooper 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
This is the worst car that I have ever owned. I have had a alpha romeo spider veloce, honda crv and one other car for over 10 years each with over 150,000 miles on them. This car is cheaply and poorly made and was more expensive than both of them. In the first year that I owned it all of the electrical wiring went and I had to have it towed in, less than 7,000 miles. Covered by the … warranty $8,000 plus. The following winter the water pump went and I had to have it towed in yet again. In year 3 the drivers seat started to frwy whith less than 20,000 miles. Last year the brakes were falling apart and they had to be changed when the car only had about 24,000 miles on it. I am at the dealer yet again 6 months later and although I purchased an extended warranty most of it isn't covered. $600 plus to have the hood fixed because it won't open because the original cheap parts have rusted in 4 years. Another $400 plus for new spark plugs and something else because the engine is malfunctioning with only 31,000 miles in the car. Another oil change because all the oil leaked and I couldn't get to it since the cable broke to open the hood. Inferior parts and quality. Run from this vehicle and buy a Honda, Toyota or Subaru. I can not recommend this car to anyone and will never buy another. But at least it's paid for!
5 out of 5 stars
2015 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 6M)
I am very pleased so far. Build quality and design make it a great deal to own. It came with 16 inches runflat tires so the ride is on the firm side but more compliant than the previous model I had. I must admit that on deteriorated pavements at low speed it is not where it shines, otherwise the drive is rewarding. The options include most packages except HK radio, connectivity and gps, … the leather seats are really nice and comfortable. I used to drive in a more spirited way, the green setting made me zen to some point so I get an average of 35 mpg in mix driving so far. After one year and 10000 miles, I got a real average of 33.6 mpg on a mostly city driving which is impressive, the computer indicates around 35. The sports seats with leather option are comfortable but non tilt adjustable which is a major issue, since leather and sport seats are a 2000$ option. Technology is very basic, there is no back up camera etc, I would have expected more on a car with that price tag. Keep on driving, at the wheel you are in another world.
1 out of 5 stars
Why I love/hate my Mini
Bill Baggins, 07/26/2016
2015 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Love first: Driving it is awesome, quick ,fun ,real sports car feel. Very easy to see out of, no blind spots at all!! Love the sound system, Harmon Kardon. Now HATE !!! gauges are impossible to see ( small letters n numbers) without reading glasses ! yes I'm over 50. poor contrast at night ,dark red on black when the lights are on. Oh but during daylight hrs, its white on black. What … the @#$% are you thinking ? Clunk noise in suspension making me nuts , The dealer cant seem to "replicate", I have to take service tech for a ride to show him . Oh yea I hear it . Assured me everything is indeed A OK. Still clunks over bumps. $30,000.00 clunker I guess. I think they want me to go away and just make my payments and be quiet. Gasket coming out of side window !! Really ? BMW product ? 10k miles the windshield shows pitting ! No dipstick to check oil ? The radio is impossible to navigate , to complexed. That could be the over 50 issue, I'm sorry. 1/29/2017 Dealer replaced rear shocks , I told them that I was not going to take the car back until it was fixed at first oil change . Guess What , they found the problem !!!!!!! Update : July 2017 : Traded the Mini in ! Took a little beating , but I think it was for the best . No regrets.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2016 MINI Cooper, so we've included reviews for other years of the Cooper since its last redesign.
2016 Cooper Highlights
|Combined MPG||32 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$151/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall4 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat3 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover11.1%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood