Although there are now seemingly as many Mini Cooper variants as there are coffee flavors at a Starbucks, the modern-day Mini Cooper Hardtop pays the most accurate homage to the original Mini. Debuting in England in 1959, the first Mini coupe was affordable, stylish, a hoot to drive and a snap to park. Iconic status followed, with the Mini and its sportier Cooper variant becoming especially popular among nonconformists in the 1960s.
Fast-forward to now and you have the latest version, the Mini Cooper Hardtop. It possesses many of the traits that Mini fans have found so endearing over the years, yet it is fully up to date with the latest technology and design. A four-door model is also available for those car shoppers looking for a Mini with extra versatility.
Current Mini Cooper Hardtop
The Mini Cooper Hardtop is available in both two- and four-door body styles. With its longer body, the four-door is the obvious choice if transporting big kids or adults in the back seat is a requirement. But the two-door, with its smaller dimensions, has strong appeal if maneuverability and classic design take precedence over rear passenger and maximum cargo space.
There are three main trim levels: base, S and John Cooper Works (JCW). Standard highlights of the base Cooper include a rearview camera, automatic climate control and smartphone app integration. Stepping up to the S means a more powerful engine, larger wheels and front sport seats, while the top-dog John Cooper Works (two-door only) features an even more potent engine, a sport-tuned suspension and an aerodynamic body kit. The lengthy options list features a dual-pane sunroof, an automated parallel parking system, adaptive cruise control, and a wide variety of exterior and interior style customizing choices.
A turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower drives the base Cooper. The Cooper S has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 189 hp, while the JCW boasts a more powerful version of the S' engine that cranks out 228 hp. All send their power to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Their zero-to-60-mph times range from around 7.4 seconds for a base Cooper down to 6.0 seconds for a JCW.
In reviews, we've found the Cooper Hardtop's agile handling, spirited performance and highly customizable nature to be very appealing. Even choosing the base Cooper means fun on the road. However, as you move up the trim levels, the ride gets increasingly stiff unless you opt for the adjustable dampers that are available on the JCW edition.
Used Mini Cooper Hardtop models
The Mini Cooper Hardtop debuted for the 2017 model year. Note, however, that this is just the new name for this vehicle. Prior to this, Mini referred to the vehicle as simply the Mini Cooper from 2002 to 2016. For more information on these used models, please see more on our Mini Cooper page.
Read the most recent 2018 MINI Hardtop 4 Door review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used MINI Hardtop 4 Door page.