2021 Mini Cooper


What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Mini Cooper? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Mini Cooper small hatchback can be had as a two- or four-door hardtop, or in two-door form as a convertible, electric SE, or performance-oriented John Cooper Works (JCW). It doesn’t have many natural competitors left, but parent company BMW offers an X1 small crossover without the charm of the Mini Cooper.

Is the 2021 Mini Cooper a good car?

Review continues below

The 2021 Mini Cooper is a stylish, fun-to-drive small hatchback that makes up for its cramped space and middling safety ratings with oodles of charm. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 Mini Cooper?

The welcome return of a 6-speed manual transmission across most of the lineup headlines the biggest developments for the smallest Mini for 2021. The Sidewalk Edition returns exclusively to the Cooper S convertible, the Oxford Edition can now be had with any hardtop, and the SE electric model is available to order.   

The 2021 Mini Cooper effuses charm and personality, with available British heritage elements backed by BMW quality. Everything from rounded door handles to round headlights and, on the inside, circular vents and a circular head unit, make the urban runabout as cute—and as circular—as a button.

Three turbocharged engines and three transmission choices include a 184-hp battery electric vehicle with only 110 miles of range. Weighing under 3,000 pounds, the Mini Cooper and its turbo engines return fuel economy of 30 mpg combined, on average. The turbo-3 base model hustles to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, while at the other end of the spectrum, the 228-hp turbo-4 in the JCW does it under six seconds. The Cooper S stitches together fun and value the best, and the standard 6-speed manual transmission conspires with direct steering and superb if not stiff handling for a hoot every time you get behind the wheel. 

Convertible and two-door models allegedly seat four people but we wouldn’t. The longer, roomier four-door models seat five and have more cargo room, but the Cooper in either size is really meant for two, and a fun-loving mutt. 

Synthetic leather upholstery graces base models while heated leather seats can be optioned, but Mini skimps on tech features that should be available if not standard on all three trims. Apple CarPlay comes standard only on the top Iconic trim, and Android Auto isn’t even available, for example. 

Mini’s mixed safety scorecard is buoyed by standard automatic emergency braking, but Mini could offer more driver assist systems to improve small car safety in an SUV world. 

How much does the 2021 Mini Cooper cost?

Available in three trims and four powertrains, the 2021 Mini Cooper starts reasonably enough at $23,250 but jumps to the ridiculous with the JCW convertible in top Iconic trim for $45,750.

Where is the 2021 Mini Cooper made?

It’s made in England and the Netherlands.

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