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2021 Mini Cooper review

Research, photos, specs, and expertise

Mini Cooper highlights

Customer rating

Pros

  • Nimble and responsive
  • Upscale interior
  • Options for personalization

Cons

  • Ride can be stiff
  • Tight rear seat
  • Pricier than competition

Mileage (EPA estimate)

23 city, 32 highway, 26 combined

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The 2021 Mini Cooper is a fun-to-drive compact car with a premium vibe

The Mini Cooper comes into the 2021 model year with no changes to its classic design. However, a new high-performance variant resides at the top of the lineup. The all-new Mini John Cooper Works GP is the fastest and most powerful production Mini ever, boasting 301 horsepower from its turbocharged engine. Also new to the lineup is the Mini Cooper S Sidewalk Edition, a stylish convertible available in limited numbers. Available as a two-door Hardtop, four-door Hardtop, or two-door convertible, the Mini Cooper has a unique look that makes it instantly recognizable. All variants exhibit the brand's excellent handling; however, some may find that the suspension is a bit stiff. The Mini stands out from the competitors like the Honda Civic or Volkswagen GTI with its premium interior and stylish looks, although it does tend to be pricier than these other options. The two-door may be a bit cramped in the rear seat, but those opting for the four-door will find a little more room for backseat passengers.

All Mini Cooper years

What is new for the 2021 Mini Cooper?

  • Cooper trims have been upgraded with Lane Departure Warning, Smart Key, Manual Transmission, and Navigation System as standard equipment this year.

2021 Mini Cooper trims

Curious how Mini Cooper trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

Base:

  • 134-hp, 162-lb-ft of torque 1.5L
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Smart Key
  • Rear View Camera
  • Power Mirrors
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Traction Control
  • Parking Sensors
  • View our Mini Cooper inventory

S:

John Cooper Works:

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Mini Cooper

What We Like

Performance: The Mini Cooper has always been great fun to drive, with good power and excellent handling. With the introduction of the John Cooper Works GP, Mini brings a new level of performance. Boasting 301 horsepower, sport-tuned suspension, more powerful brakes, and lightweight wheels, the JCW GP hit 60 mph in just over 5 seconds in Edmunds' testing.

Interior: It may be a tiny car, but the Cooper provides a surprisingly roomy front seat area with good headroom and legroom. Available sport seats offer solid support and remain comfortable even on long road trips. Adults will find the rear seats challenging to access in the two-door model. The four-door provides a bit more space in the back seat.

Technology: Mini offers the Cooper with an 8.8-inch touchscreen display with navigation as well as a digital driver display, which gives the Mini a high-tech feel. Apple CarPlay® integration is available, but Android Auto™ is unavailable. In a nice callout to the original Mini, the main display is housed in a circular frame in the same location as the speedometer on the original Mini. Toggle-style switches also pay homage to the classic Mini.

What Needs Improvement

Utility: Mini offers the larger Clubman for those looking for a bit more utility, but the Cooper Hardtop doesn't have the cargo space for much more than a soft-sided duffle bag or groceries. The convertible has even less room, just a tiny little trunk with a meager 5.7 cubic feet of space when the top is down.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

3
Above Average

RepairPal gave the Mini Cooper an overall reliability rating of 3 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Mini Cooper 26th out of 27 among Subcompact Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper features and specs

Base 2WD 2D Convertible

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Run Flat Tires
  • Side Airbags
  • Soft Top
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automated Parking
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Harman Kardon Sound
  • Leather Seats
  • Navigation System
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Smart Key

Drive Wheels

2WD

Engine size

1.5L

Horsepower

134

Torque (ft-lbs)

162

Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity

11.6

Wheelbase

98.2"

Overall length

151.1"

Width

68"

Height

55.7"

Leg room

F 41.4"/R 30.9"

Head room

F 39.8"/R 39"

Front tires

P175/65HR15

Rear tires

P175/65HR15

Seating capacity

4

Transmission

Automatic

2021 Mini Cooper FAQ

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