2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door Review

Pros & Cons

  • All available engines blend quickness and fuel efficiency
  • Nimble handling helps keep the Hardtop glued to the road
  • Many available add-ons mean a high degree of personalization
  • Interior looks classy and upscale
  • Ride can be stiff and choppy, especially with larger tires
  • More expensive than most rivals
  • Manual transmission has a vague clutch and shifter
  • 1.5-liter/automatic transmission combo is clunky at low speeds
Other years
MINI Hardtop 2 Door for Sale
List Price Range
$17,995 - $25,195

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Which Hardtop 2 Door does Edmunds recommend?

A strong case can be made for either the Cooper or Cooper S — it really depends on how you view the Hardtop. Those who primarily consider it a playful, highly customizable alternative to vanilla subcompacts will be happy with the Cooper's fuel-efficient yet peppy turbo three-cylinder. If you have visions of The Italian Job dancing in your head (as we do), only the Cooper S will satisfy your thirst for power and excitement. It strikes a nice balance of ride and comfort, and it's far easier to live with every day than the rougher-riding and more expensive John Cooper Works model.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

While financial considerations typically drive the purchase of a subcompact car, the 2018 Mini Hardtop is something else entirely. It has the hallmarks of a tiny coupe, such as limited cargo volume and a mostly useless back seat, but the Hardtop has some qualities that justify its high price tag.

Unlike other pint-size runabouts, the Hardtop emphasizes quality. Its elegant cabin is trimmed with upscale materials, and the precision switchgear bears no resemblance to the flimsy buttons you'll find in other cars in the class.

Subcompacts are often a snooze to drive, but the Cooper Hardtop bucks this trend with its excellent handling. It absolutely flies around corners, allowing you to have some fun and do your best Italian Job impression even if you don't opt for one of the more powerful engines. And with more customization options than any vehicle less expensive than a Porsche, your Mini can be tailored down to the design of the mirror caps.

There are drawbacks, of course. With so many options available, your perfect car will be hard to find on a dealer lot, and custom orders can quickly reach stratospheric prices as you add features such as an upgraded engine, navigation and leather seats. And on a more intrinsic level, the small wheelbase, sporty suspension and low-profile tires mean the ride is almost always choppy.

The two-door Mini Hardtop offers far more personality and fun than you'll get in most any other small car, though. If you can set aside the rough ride and limited interior space, you might just find that the 2018 Mini Hardtop is worth the premium paid.

2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door models

The 2018 Mini Hardtop two-door hatchback is sold in three trims, each with its own powertrain. The Cooper is fairly expensive for a subcompact, but its high-quality materials and playful personality elevate it far above the rest of the class. The Cooper S adds a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a few performance goodies, well worth its extra cost. The John Cooper Works tops the Hardtop range, with extra power under the hood, an exterior body kit and a sport-tuned suspension.

The base Cooper is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque) that drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Standard features include 15-inch alloy wheels, an electronic limited-slip differential, automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a cooled glovebox, height-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks. Technology highlights include Bluetooth, smartphone app integration, a 6.5-inch display screen, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio and a USB port.

The Cooper S adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (189 hp, 207 lb-ft), a hood scoop, dual center-mounted exhaust tips, 16-inch wheels with run-flat tires (regular tires are optional), LED foglights, sport seats and adjustable driving modes.

Going with the John Cooper Works gets you a more powerful version of the Cooper S motor (228 hp, 236 lb-ft) plus 17-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, LED headlights, an aerodynamic body kit, a rear spoiler, a sport steering wheel and special seats with cloth upholstery. The standard suspension is available as a no-cost option for the JCW.

Although there are many stand-alone options, most are bundled into packages, most of which are available on all three trims. The Premium package consists of keyless entry, a dual-pane sunroof and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The Sport package (Cooper and Cooper S only) includes adjustable suspension dampers, 16-inch wheels (17-inch wheels on the Cooper S), sport seats, adjustable driving modes and LED headlights. The Technology package bundles front parking sensors, an automated parallel parking system, a navigation system and an 8.8-inch display screen. The Fully Loaded package (Cooper and Cooper S only) combines all three packages, while a separate Cold Weather package adds auto-dimming mirrors, power-folding exterior mirrors and heated front seats.

Other available features include all-season tires, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control 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.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Mini Hardtop Cooper (turbo 1.5L inline-3 | 6-speed automatic | FWD)

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mini Cooper has received a few minor revisions but our findings remain applicable to this year's Cooper Hardtop.

Driving

The Hardtop's reputation for playful driving dynamics is confirmed, even on this base model. The high level of confidence encourages spirited driving, but the car stumbles during traffic-filled commuting, with unsavory lurches at low speeds from the optional six-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration

Even in the base model, the Hardtop is one of the quickest cars in this class/price range. With only 134 horsepower on tap from a turbocharged three-cylinder, it manages an impressive 0 to 60 mph time of 7.4 seconds. Our test vehicle was prone to uneven acceleration and unexpected surges, though.

Braking

Stopping from 60 mph required 114 feet, a bit long for a car so small with summer tires. In everyday driving, the automatic transmission causes clumsy lurches as you roll to a stop.

Steering

Steering feel is sharp and direct, great for drivers with a penchant for curvy roads. For the typical commuter, it could feel a bit too busy or quick, particularly on the highway, as it reacts to small or unintentional inputs.

Handling

Even though this is just the base Cooper model, the Hardtop is surprisingly capable when cornering hard. The front tires lose grip first, but it's predictable and controllable. The Cooper feels playful and nimble thanks to its small footprint.

Drivability

The Mini Hardtop is a fun little car to blast through the canyons, but it suffers during more mundane driving. The lurches under slow acceleration and braking are the main culprits, along with a noticeable shudder through the cabin from the engine's stop-start function.

Comfort

The Mini doesn't rate high in comfort, thanks to its emphasis on athleticism. The stiff ride quality can be jarring, partially a result of our test car's optional 17-inch wheels and standard run-flat tires. Less spirited drivers should stick with the smaller standard wheels.

Seat comfort

The optional sport seats provide excellent all-around support for drivers with average builds. Wider body types will likely find the narrow, aggressive bolsters constricting or intrusive. Cushioning is adequate for longer drives.

Ride comfort

The Mini has a stiff ride quality with initial impact harshness that may be attributed to the larger optional wheels and run-flat tires. Enthusiasts will probably be OK with it, but we think most drivers will find it tiresome.

Noise & vibration

At idle, the three-cylinder engine has an unrefined diesel-like clatter. Once underway, it sounds much better, with a pleasant burble. There's a noticeable amount of road noise, and at highway speeds there's some wind noise, too.

Interior

Although this latest generation Mini Cooper is larger than ever, it's still challenged when it comes to interior space and cargo capacity, both of which are smaller than some rivals. The placement of the infotainment controller is far from ideal. You do get a lot of personality, though.

Ease of use

The low-mounted infotainment dial makes operation challenging as it is obstructed by the center armrest and parking brake. The system itself is well executed, as are the many logically placed switches and buttons.

Getting in/getting out

The short (lengthwise) doors and tall opening make getting in and out of the front seats easy, even in tight spots. They do, however, complicate access to the rear seats, forcing an inelegant stoop and crawl.

Roominess

There's plenty of headroom in the front for taller drivers, but the Mini still feels quite compact because of its narrow width. The rear seats are very small, even for children, with little legroom and low-mounted seat cushions.

Visibility

Outward visibility is excellent. The tall side windows and upright windshield afford a nearly unobstructed view, and the mirrors are thoughtfully placed and sized. A rearview camera now comes standard on all trim levels, but there's really no need for one when backing into a tight parking spot.

Quality

For the most part, the Mini has excellent interior materials, using less hard plastic than competitors. We did detect occasional creaks, and that tends to slightly diminish the overall impression of quality.

Utility

Cargo space is tight, at a tiny 8.7 cubic feet, as is interior storage with small but numerous bins. Maximum cargo is slightly above average at 38 cubes. A clever trunk floor panel keeps the load surface flat and hides a bin underneath.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Constant engine light
Pak Lai,09/02/2018
Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
My car has only about 30,000 miles and the engine light came on and they couldn’t diagnose the problem. I had an Acura for 235,000 and the light never came on. 2nd problem, there were a few times when the engine started after the stop, the entire infotainment system went blank and the car shut off. I’m so glad there were no cars behind me. The car dealer were the worst I’ve ever dealt with at the Mini Ontario California. I will never buy a Mini again.
My Second Mini
Joe Hester,04/28/2018
Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 6M)
This is my second MIni Cooper and the third generation rocks. The car is very quick with the new twin turbo and it has a little growl when you punch it. I am a little disappointed with the MPG. I only travel city never highway and I am only getting 23 MPG. You would think with a 3 cylinder the gas mileage would be better. Over all I am very happy with the car. With only 850 miles on it I hope to have many more.
Mini tidbits
Cathy Levin,06/10/2018
Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Seats are difficult sitting for long periods of time if you have any lower back issues. Electronics not intuitive for older generation! Love everything else
Little Beast
C,04/04/2018
Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Gas mileage goes out the door in Sport mode. This car wants to be driven.

Safety

Our experts like the Hardtop 2 Door models:

Parking Assistant
Finds an available parallel parking spot and guides the Hardtop into the space with minimal driver input.
Front and Rear Park Distance Control
Sounds an alert as the Hardtop approaches an object in front of or behind the vehicle.
Active Driving Assistant
Maintains a set distance between the Hardtop and the vehicle in front while the cruise control system is active.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat3 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door

Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door Overview

The Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door is offered in the following submodels: Hardtop 2 Door Hatchback, Hardtop 2 Door John Cooper Works. Available styles include John Cooper Works 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 3cyl Turbo 6M), and Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Pre-owned MINI Hardtop 2 Door models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 1.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 228 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door Cooper S is priced between $17,995 and$25,195 with odometer readings between 14658 and47842 miles.
  • The Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door Cooper is priced between $19,025 and$19,500 with odometer readings between 35122 and49382 miles.

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Which used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Doors are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2018 Hardtop 2 Doors listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,995 and mileage as low as 14658 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door.

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Find a used certified pre-owned MINI Hardtop 2 Door for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $12,890.

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 MINI Hardtop 2 Door?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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