2018 Mini Hardtop 4 Door

2018 MINI Hardtop 4 Door Review

Thanks to its sporty performance and hatchback design, the Hardtop combines fun and practicality.
7.8 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Mini generally does not compromise on style and passion. But the 2018 Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 Door compromises, just a little bit, to achieve some needed practicality. It trades the Mini Cooper's traditional two-door, short-roof proportions for a longer, four-door profile. The benefits are obvious: a larger rear seat (1.5 inches more leg room) and more cargo volume (4.4 cubic feet).

But the core tenets of Mini still remain. Two peppy turbocharged engines are available: a 1.5-liter three-cylinder (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet) in the Cooper and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder (189 hp, 207 lb-ft) in the Cooper S. Both engines — mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission (naturally, an automatic is available) — provide smooth power while being fairly economical. Handling remains sharp and nimble, even with the 4 Door's added size and weight.

But the real fun for Mini owners lies in the build process. The four-door Hardtop's base price is a jumping-off point for an options list that includes stylish 18-inch wheels, an adjustable suspension, leather upholstery, colorful interior trims, and painted roof motifs such as a chequered flag or Union Jack. All of these options are fun and dizzying. Just be prepared to pay to play.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, all Mini Coopers now come standard with a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Interior revisions include a more legible fuel gauge, revised controls for the windshield wipers, turn signal stalks and drive mode selector.

We recommend

The turbocharged three-cylinder engine in the base 2018 Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is surprisingly peppy. Unless you crave the extra performance of the S, we say start there. With separate packages that gather technology and performance features, as well as cool John Cooper Works parts, it's easy to get carried away with the robust options list. But if your budget allows, go with the Fully Loaded Package and then pick colors and stripes to make your Mini distinctive.



Trim levels & features

Unlike the two-door Mini Cooper, with its top-spec John Cooper Works variant and corresponding price tag, the 2018 Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is only available in Cooper and Cooper S versions. Base model Cooper is a stylish economy car, while the S features performance chops, thanks to its larger engine and standard drive modes. Either way, both cars can be optioned with a myriad of paint, interior and driver assist functions.

All Cooper models come standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, an electronic limited-slip differential, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, remote locking/unlocking, keyless ignition, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic climate control, a cooled glovebox, cruise control, height-adjustable front seats, a center armrest,premium simulated leather upholstery and 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks. Technology highlights include Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone app integration, a 6.5-inch display screen, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack. Powering the standard Cooper is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (134 hp, 162 lb-ft) paired with a six-speed manual transmission that drives the front wheels. A six-speed automatic is optional.

The Cooper S adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter 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.

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

Two John Cooper Works packages change the look and feel of the car. The JCW Exterior Package adds an aero kit, black-painted 17-inch alloy wheels, Performance Control sport software calibration to the drivetrain and stability control systems, and a spoiler over the hatch. The JCW Interior Package features JCW-specific leather steering wheel, stainless steel pedal trim and door sills, sportier seats and an anthracite headliner.

For traditionalists, the Mini Seven Edition package adds hood stripes, 17-inch Seven Edition specific two-tone wheels, silver roof and mirror caps, Mini Seven badging, a black/malt brown interior color combination, door sills and piano-black interior trim surfaces.

Other available features include a head-up display, an automated parking system, 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 first drive of the 2015 Mini Cooper S 4 Door Hatchback (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.8 / 10

Driving

8.5 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering8.5 / 10
Handling8.5 / 10
Drivability8.0 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort7.0 / 10
Noise & vibration7.0 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use6.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility9.0 / 10
Quality7.0 / 10

Driving8.5

We simply can't find a downside to having two more doors on a Mini Cooper. If anything, the longer wheelbase makes the steering less fidgety while improving the ride quality. The Cooper S engine not only makes more power than the base three-cylinder, but it's smoother and more refined.

Acceleration9.0

The Cooper S reached 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is about equal to the VW GTI and slightly quicker than the Ford Focus ST. The optional six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly, and there's no sign of turbo lag or torque steer.

Braking8.0

It took 116 feet to stop from 60 mph during our panic brake test, about average for the class. It remained composed and controllable, although the pedal got soft after heavy use. Less lurchiness coming to a stop than with base car, too.

Steering8.5

Steering feel and effort are excellent, with good precision and responsiveness. The larger four-door footprint keeps it from being as busy or sensitive as the two-door Cooper. It's a win-win.

Handling8.5

Right out of the gate, the Cooper S gains your trust with its tenacious grip. This quality encourages spirited driving, making it fun to explore the car's potential. Midcorner bumps are barely felt; the car just keeps delivering thrills.

Drivability8.0

The Cooper S has smooth power delivery, without the inelegant lurches we noticed in the base car. It's as adept at the daily commute as it is on a twisty road. The automatic stop-start system is unrefined, but it can be turned off easily.

Comfort7.0

The four-door's longer wheelbase greatly benefits ride comfort, and it feels much more settled than the base-level two-door version. Avoiding the larger, optional wheels and run-flat tires will further improve the ride quality.

Seat comfort7.0

Average-size drivers should find the optional sport seats comfortable and supportive, but wider-bodied passengers will probably feel a bit confined. Cushioning is just generous enough, and the seats are contoured well for long road trips.

Ride comfort7.0

The Cooper S has a slightly stiffer ride than the base model, but this is expected due to its sporty intentions. The ride still avoids being overly harsh, and drivers seeking a softer ride should avoid the larger wheels and run-flat tires.

Noise & vibration7.0

The turbo four-cylinder sounds good from idle to redline without being annoying. This is in contrast to the rather rattly base engine. Road noise is present but not intrusive on the highway; the same holds true for wind noise.

Interior7.5

For those who may have considered a Mini Cooper in the past but needed more space, this new four-door addresses those issues without any meaningful drawbacks. Unfortunately, these improvements aren't enough to overcome its interior deficiencies versus most rivals.

Ease of use6.0

Primary controls, gauges and screens are well placed and easy to read. The low-mounted infotainment controller is difficult to reach, especially with the center armrest obstructing access. It's too bad because the system itself works well.

Getting in/getting out8.0

The added rear doors pay dividends since those extra passengers no longer have to crawl past a narrow opening to their seats. The front and rear doors are short in length and tall in height, making access in tight spots that much easier.

Roominess7.0

There's good headroom up front, even for taller occupants, though the seats are on the narrow side. The rear seats are much roomier than in the two-door, with plenty of headroom and adequate legroom.

Visibility9.0

An upright windshield, tall windows and narrow pillars afford a nearly unobstructed outward view. It's so good that you'll rarely wish you had sprung for the optional rearview camera or parking sensors when backing into a tight spot.

Quality7.0

Compared to most competitors, the Mini Cooper uses better interior materials and has a more substantial look and feel. Overall, the cabin gives a favorable impression. Even the cool toggle switches have a satisfying heft.

Utility7.0

Cargo capacity still trails that of rivals, but the four-door's advantage over the two-door is significant. The trunk holds 13.1 cubic feet (versus 8.7 cubes), and a handy load floor doubles as a covered bin. You'll find plenty of interior bins, but they're all rather small.

Technology

The newest version of Mini's user interface is attractive but seems to be a bit more cumbersome than in previous iterations. But he maps are less cluttered than before. Voice controls work well, with natural voice commands. Many advanced safety features are available.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.