All 2019 Mini Coopers -- 2-door, 4-door, Convertible -- offer the entertaining manners we’ve come to expect of Mini, along with a healthy dose of style. At $22,750, the 2019 Mini starts within many budgets, but the long list of options, together with the presence of several upmarket models, quickly drives the price well above that of competitors such as the Honda Fit.
You'll Like The 2019 MINI Cooper If...
If you’re an Anglophile and can’t afford, say, a Jaguar or a Range Rover, the 2019 Mini Hardtop is a charming choice, as English as Harrod’s and as agile around town as the Artful Dodger. The new Mini is affordable, too; the 2-door Hardtop starts at $22,750, the 4-door Hardtop, at $23,750. The 2019 Mini Convertible starts at $27,750. (All prices include a destination charge of $850.)
You May Not Like The 2019 MINI Cooper If...
Need to carry adults in the back seat? Think of alternatives. Even the 4-door Mini Hardtop, technically a 5-seater, isn't especially roomy in back. Also, Mini as a brand belongs to BMW, which may help suspension tuning and steering feel but translates into higher prices than you’ll typically see for most other subcompacts.
Welcome detail changes set the 2019 Minis apart. These include brighter LED headlights, while new LED taillights incorporate a prominent Union Jack styling element. For 2019 there are new Mini logos, revised wheels, wireless smartphone charging and a new multifunction steering wheel. The 2019 Mini, which has a new 6.5-inch touch screen, is available in four new exterior colors (grey, blue, orange and an optional piano black).
Inside, the 2019 Mini Cooper Hardtop and Convertible artfully blend modern technology (new 6.5-inch touch screen) with retro kitsch (chrome toggles that look vintage 1966). The centrally mounted touch screen dominates the dash, which also features a tachometer and speedometer mounted in a large pod behind the steering wheel. The new touch screen supports Bluetooth, and benefits from what Mini calls an “optimized user interface.” Moreover, we like the Mini seats. They’re modern, not retro, and they are both comfortable and supportive. Remember this, though: Back-seat room isn’t great. Three people can fit across the back bench of the 4-door Hardtop, but they’ll be rubbing elbows and thighs.
Even after all these years, the Mini still looks great; it’s a superb example of a design team successfully rising to the challenge of properly updating an automotive icon (the original Mini). We like the car’s low and wide stance, which helps with the handling. The 2-door and 4-door Hardtop models are conventional hatchbacks, so they’re good for carrying cargo, while the Mini Convertible has a drop-down tailgate that provides access to a small cargo hold and serves as a small perch for tailgating. The 4-door Mini Hardtop is about six inches longer than the 2-door, but neither car is ungainly around town. And did we mention those Union Jacks in the taillights?
All 2019 Mini Coopers tip the scales at less than 3,000 pounds, so they negotiate corners with confidence and change direction with a quick flick of the steering wheel. Even the base 2-door Hardtop, powered by a turbo 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower, feels decently quick. It hits 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, but the turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the Cooper S is much quicker, thanks to its 189 horsepower. The 2-door John Cooper Works edition, with a 228-horsepower version of the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, is quickest by far, equipped with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual with paddle shifters. Whichever Mini you choose, 2-door, 4-door or Convertible, the car feels almost as wide as it is long, with suspension tuned for sporty driving. While the 2019 Mini is fun on sinewy back roads, long stints on the highway are not the car’s forte, due in part to a fair amount of road noise.
With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $22,750 (including an $850 destination charge), the base 2019 Mini Cooper 2-door Hardtop is a bargain. If you’re looking for something a little feistier, the 2019 Cooper S 2-door Hardtop starts at $26,750, while the hot-rod JCW Hardtop begins at $32,750. Add $1,000 for 4-door versions of the base car and Cooper S. The 2019 Mini Convertible starts at $27,750, including $850 destination. An S Convertible is $31,750, while the JCW edition starts at $37,750, exactly 10 grand more than a base convertible. Is it worth it? It’s a dramatically different car, a ferocious open-top slot car as opposed to a fun open-air runabout. It’s your call, but this serves to remind us of just how varied the 2019 Mini lineup is. While there are no direct competitors for the Mini, you might consider it against a Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic or Hyundai Veloster. Always check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the 2019 Mini, which is expected to have a good resale value.
Base 2019 Mini Coopers are equipped with the turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine (with 134 horsepower), a 6-speed manual transmission, manually adjustable seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control and the 6.5-inch touch screen. The 2019 Mini Convertible gets a power top, while the sportier Cooper S gets the more powerful 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine (189 horsepower), along with sportier seats, run-flat tires, LED fog lights, better brakes and a hood scoop. Top-of-the-line John Cooper Works editions benefit from an even more powerful version of the turbo 4-cylinder (228 horsepower) along with bigger brakes and stiffer suspension.
Minis are wildly customizable via an online configurator, so it’s good to know the significant options for 2019. These include LED headlights with brighter modules, plus daytime running lights and turn indicators that use a light ring surrounding the Mini’s headlight. If you order piano-black paint, the trim around the headlights, taillights and grille will be gloss black instead of chrome. Another significant option is a larger 8.8-inch touch screen with an improved interface and expanded features. Also available are wireless charging for your smartphone and, an additional USB port. For fun, the 2019 2-door and 4-door Mini Hardtops can be ordered with a feature that projects the updated Mini logo onto the ground in front of the driver’s door. Whenever the door is opened and closed, a light in the rearview mirror projects the Mini logo onto the ground for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open.
UNION JACK TAILLIGHTS
“Rule, Britannia!” The 2019 Mini Cooper has a Union Jack cleverly integrated into each of its LED taillights, with horizontal turn indicators, vertical brake lights and diagonal taillights teaming together to form the famous flag. We already knew Mini was from England, but this is fun.
CLEVER CONVERTIBLE ROOF
With its top closed, the 2019 Mini Convertible is a coupe. With it fully opened, it’s a convertible. But there's also a half-open mode in which the front portion of the fabric top slides back like a panoramic sunroof, providing an open-air feel without all the turbulence.
Under the Hood
Mini’s turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder, in the base 2019 Mini Cooper, produces a respectable 134 horsepower. Better yet, its torque peaks at only 1,250 rpm, so the engine pulls strongly from barely above idle. Upgrading to the Cooper S will get you a 189-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with even more low-rpm torque. The John Cooper Works edition, offered only as a 2-door Hardtop or a Mini Convertible, has a more powerful 2.0-liter putting out 228 horsepower and even more torque. In all 2019 Minis, power reaches the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic, and although these are all frugal cars, they do require pricier premium-grade gasoline.
1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 (Cooper)
134 horsepower @ 4,400 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg (manual, 2-door Hardtop), 27/35 mpg (automatic), 28/37 mpg (manual, Convertible and 4-door Hardtop)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Cooper S)
189 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (manual), 25/32 mpg (automatic), 25/33 mpg (automatic, Convertible)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (John Cooper Works)
228 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (manual, Hardtop), 25/32 mpg (automatic, Hardtop), 22/31 mpg (manual, Convertible), 24/32 mpg (automatic, Convertible)
When it returned to the U.S. market in 2002 with an all-new 2nd-generation car that beautifully captured the essence of the charming original, Mini made small cars cool again. Now, 16 years on, it’s clear Mini is not a passing fad. In fact, the 2019 Mini is more of a lineup than a model, with 2- and 4-door Hardtop body styles, plus a convertible and multiple turbocharged engine choices. From base car to feisty John Cooper Works editions, all 2019 Minis are a delight to drive, and they compete with cars such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic. Although these competitors cost thousands less, they don’t come close to matching the charm or premium retro appeal of the 2019 Mini Cooper.