2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Review: Luxury Go-Kart

by Michael Butler

The legendary underdog and blue-collar feather-weight champion has long since grown up into a premium hatchback that costs more than a Golf GTI and has a flashier interior than most rivals; so, has it lost the spirit of the original? Not necessarily. The third-generation Mini Cooper Hardtop enters the new decade with a healthy number of updates, and the same quirky appeal that has won over so many across the world, but manages to retain the go-kart-like handling of past generations and still feels as unique and fun to drive - although in a more grown-up way. The 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop is available in Cooper and Cooper S trims, and we think both bring something to the table. But, with a high starting price and average features list, some competitors offer more value for money. The beauty of the Mini brand is that it will sell despite its high asking price; it has garnered a cult following over the years, and since its rise to stardom in the swinging sixties, it hasn't lost its status as a style icon.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Cooper Hardtop?

Mini has tweaked its Cooper range with subtle feature rearrangements, additions, and upgrades. For starters, the Signature sub-trim now includes a 7-Speed dual-clutch transmission, LED fog lights, LED headlights, and active driving assistant. Upholstery updates include a new cloth and leatherette combination Black Pearl and Light Grey upholstery. The 2020 Cooper also gets new wheel options, which include 18-inch MINI Yours spoked British alloy wheels with run-flat tires. Standard features now included on all models are Active Driving Assistant, a leather Chesterfield/Satellite Grey upholstery option, and a new exterior mirror cap design for improved aerodynamics.

Pros and Cons

  • It's still fun to drive
  • Classic Mini looks
  • German engineering
  • It's highly customizable
  • It gets tight inside the cabin
  • Expensive options
  • Not a lot of cargo space
  • Seems a bit too gimmicky for some

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Cooper 2-Door
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,400
Oxford Edition 2-Door
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,400
Cooper 4-Door
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,400
Oxford Edition 4-Door
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,400
Cooper S 2-Door
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$27,400

Cooper Hardtop Exterior

Since the first retro Mini appeared two decades ago, the car-buying market has been in love with its quirky good looks and playful character. The 2020 Mini Cooper continues that legacy and is one of the most recognizable cars on the road today. For 2020, Mini hasn't changed much but has made slight adjustments to things such as the wing mirrors, which, according to Mini, allow for better airflow than the previous year model. Standard exterior equipment on the 2020 Mini Cooper are alloy wheels that range in size from 15-, all the way to 18-inch alloy wheels, a set of roof rails for added practicality, a panoramic sunroof, LED Headlights and taillights, LED Fog Lights on signature sub-trim cars, and a universal garage door opener with compass for cars equipped with the Iconic sub-trim package. Mini offers a ton of exterior appearance options that makes it easier to build a completely unique car.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Front View Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Rear View Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Rear Angle View Mini
See All 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop is available as a three-door or five-door hatchback with the exterior dimensions changing according to the number of doors. Three-door models measure a stubby 151.1 inches in total length and are 68 inches wide, growing to 76.1 when you include the side mirrors. The little hatch sits 55.7 inches off the ground and zips around on a 98.2-inch wheelbase. Curb weight for the three-door Cooper ranges between 2,767 pounds for the Cooper, and 2,862 for the Cooper S. The larger five-door model measures 157.4 inches in Cooper form, and 158 in Cooper S form, but both share the same 76.1-inch width, 56.1-inch height and a wheelbase of 101.1 inches. The curb weight for the five-door Cooper comes in at 2,870 pounds for the Cooper, and 2,989 for the Cooper S.

  • Length 151.1 in
  • Wheelbase 98.2 in
  • Height 55.7 in
  • Max Width 68.0 in
  • Front Width 58.5 in
  • Rear Width 58.5 in

Exterior Colors

It would be a crying shame if Mini only offered the 2020 Cooper in anything less than ten colors; the modern Cooper has become something of a style icon, and those who own these cars love to individualize them with cool color combinations, so it comes as great news that Mini offers their famous Cooper in no less than 12 colors in S configuration, with Classic sub-trims only getting four, while to top of the range eIconic getting all 12.. For those who like to play it safe, the 2020 Mini Cooper is also available in Midnight Black, White Silver, and Pepper White. We think the Mini Cooper looks best when splashed in something more vivid, and some of our personal favorites include the vibrant Solaris Orange, Starlight Blue, or the weird and wonderful Emerald Grey. If you're into your motorsport history, you'll be pleased to note the option of British Racing Green. All Coopers can be decorated with white or black hood stripes.

  • Chili Red
  • Starlight Blue Metallic
  • Melting Silver Metallic
  • British Racing Green IV Metallic
  • Pepper White
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • MINI Yours Enigmatic Black Metallic
  • White Silver Metallic
  • Moonwalk Grey Metallic
  • Solaris Orange Metallic
  • Emerald Grey Metallic
  • Thunder Grey Metallic

Cooper Hardtop Performance

The original Mini started its life with a naturally aspirated engine that ranged between 0.9 and 1.3 liters, which proved to be more than adequate at hauling the featherweight car around town and even race tracks across the globe. Those days are unfortunately behind us; you'll only find turbocharged units under the hoods of 2020 Mini Coopers, but we're not complaining at the increased performance afforded by forced induction. The base model Cooper will surprize most drivers with its peppy acceleration and in-gear tractability and should prove to be more than enough for all those but the hardcore S fans. In town, the base model car pulls strongly, and will happily sit at highway speeds. The zero to sixty sprints will take around seven seconds according to independent tests. The more powerful Cooper S is a true hot hatch, and its larger capacity motor breathes real life into the Cooper chassis. It's a weapon around town, and will get to sixty in the mid-six-second range. Either way, there's lots of turbo-assisted torque available from both motors.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Front View Driving Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Rear View Driving Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Engine Mini

Engine and Transmission

The 2020 Mini Cooper is available in two flavors: mild and hot. The mild variant is powered by a TwinPower turbocharged 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder direct-injection engine with double VANOS, which produces a respectable 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,250 rpm, and is basically a 3.0-liter BMW straight-six that's been lobbed in half. All Cooper models are equipped with a standard seven-speed Steptronic transmission with a dual-clutch system and deliver clean and crisp shifts that complement the Cooper's inherently sporty nature. If you're looking for something spicier, the Cooper S offers a TwinPower turbocharged 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder direct-injection engine producing 189 hp and a chunky 207 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers a wide torque band, but isn't too eager to rev out to its redline, and loses some driver engagement points. All Cooper S models come standard with a seven-speed Steptronic DCT Sport transmission that is sharper to shift than the standard Cooper transmission, but can be just as relaxed as the less sporty transmission.

  • Engines
    1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Since its inception, the Mini Cooper has been a brilliantly-handling little car, and this has become one of its most beloved characteristics. People love to compare these cars to go-carts for the way that steering inputs instantly translate into the nose changing direction, as well as for its pure on-road grip. Not much has changed with the 2020 Cooper and Cooper S; the driving experience is still inherently sporty, and driving one of these cars on a twisty bit of road is still a thoroughly engaging experience. One drawback to this is that the stiff suspension setup, especially in the Cooper S, can get a bit harsh on bumpy roads and at slow speeds in town. For those who understand and appreciate what the Mini Cooper is all about, this shouldn't be a significant issue, but if you're looking for the maximum amount of refinement and road comfort, we'd suggest staying away from the Cooper S.

Cooper Hardtop Gas Mileage

The modern trend of switching over to small-capacity turbocharged engines is one that Mini has been more than eager to follow. The base Cooper's turbocharged 1.5-liter engine only makes use of three cylinders, and even the more traditional turbocharged 2.0-liter offers impressive economy, especially for a high-output performance-orientated engine. Stick with the 1.5-liter model, and it will return an EPA estimated 28/36/31 mpg city/highway/combined. The little hotrod that is the Cooper S with its 189 hp engine and seven-speed Steptronic DCT Sport transmission will manage an impressive 26/35/30 mpg, only one mile per gallon off the base model. All Mini Cooper base and S models are equipped with an 11.6-gallon fuel tank, which should allow the Mini to travel between 348 and 360 miles between fillups.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    11.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 28/36 mpg
* 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop 2-Door FWD

Cooper Hardtop Interior

One of the Mini Cooper's greatest party tricks is its eclectic interior design, which blends some quirky retro features, such as the large center speedo and rev counter, with modern amenities like sporty heated bucket seats and climate control. Since falling under the watchful eye of BMW, Mini has stepped up its interior game by a long stretch: the 2020 Mini Cooper feels like a premium piece of equipment, and we approve of its blend of retro-modern and premium touches. Standard equipment for 2020 includes heated front seats, a leather sport steering wheel with multifunction buttons, automatic climate control, as well as a universal garage door opener on top-spec models. All cars also get a backup camera with rear park distance warning control. The Signature sub-trim car adds a panoramic sunroof and leatherette upholstery.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Dashboard Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Central Console Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Gear Shifter Mini
See All 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

As the name suggests, the 2020 Mini Cooper isn't the largest of cars, but it has grown significantly, even when compared to its modern predecessors, so taller drivers are now well taken care of. The smaller three-door car offers its front passengers 41.4 inches of legroom and a spacious 40.3 inches of headroom, while the shoulder room in the front is measured at 50.6 inches. In the rear, there are 30.8 inches of legroom and 36.9 inches of headroom, enough to fit a couple of average-sized adults, but don't expect them to sit comfortably, especially over long distances. The larger four-door car offers the same 41.4 inches of legroom in the front but slightly less headroom at 39.9 inches. It is somewhat less cramped in the back though, with 32.3 inches of legroom and 37.5 inches of headroom.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 38.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 30.8 in
  • Rear Head Room 36.9 in

Interior Colors and Materials

Mini places a lot of focus on allowing new owners to customize the appearance of their new cars, inside and out; so, for 2020, you get a ton of interior color and material options. The base model Mini Cooper features leatherette Carbon Black materials, a leather sport steering wheel,

Hazy Grey interior surfaces, and a Carbon Black color line. The Signature sub-trim adds an Anthracite headliner, Fiber Alloy interior surfaces, as well as a wide range of available color schemes, such as Piano Black Interior, Carbon Black, or Glowing Red. Iconic sub-trims add cross-punched leather as well as available illuminated piano black surface material.

Cooper Hardtop Trunk and Cargo Space

The Mini Cooper makes transporting human beings fun, and revels in the fact that it is a rather impractical machine for doing anything else. The Mini has historically been bad at carrying lots of stuff, and over half a century later, it still doesn't like carrying too much. The hard-top versions of the Cooper are fortunate to have the most trunk and cargo space when compared to the soft-top variants, but it still leaves much to be desired. With the rear seats in the upright position, the 2020 Mini Cooper offers a paltry 8.7 cubic feet, which is just enough space to fit the wardrobe and pamper-kit for your chihuahua's upcoming dog show. The good news is that the rear seats do fold down, which, in the case of the Cooper two-door, opens up 34 cubic feet of space. The four-door Mini naturally offers more space; with the rear seats in the upright position, you get an acceptable 13.1 cubic feet of space, which opens up to 40.7 cubic feet once the rear seats have been folded.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Trunk Space Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Trunk Space 1 Mini
2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Trunk Space 2 Mini
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    34 ft³

Cooper Hardtop Infotainment and Features

Features

Mini does a great job of luring buyers in with its cheeky design language and fun-to-drive persona, but it's only once you're ready to get out the checkbook that you realize that in base trim, the Cooper doesn't offer all that much. Base trim cars get automatic climate control, leatherette seating surfaces, 15-inch alloy wheels, as well as keyless entry, cruise control, push-button start, and not much more. The Signature sub-trim adds an anthracite headliner, a panorama roof and LED head and taillights as well as ambient lighting. Go for a Cooper outfitted as an Iconic sub-trim, and you get a premium leather interior and larger 17-inch alloy wheels. Cooper S models also get a set of supportive sport seats for added driver confidence, and for added safety, Mini offers an available head-up display unit. Cooper S models in Signature configuration add premium features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, forward collision warning, and LED lighting, while Iconic cars add leather seating and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Infotainment

The interior of the 2020 Mini Cooper hardtop will divide opinions; some love the design quirks, while others seem to see through it all - but one thing that is sure to create some solidarity is the fact that the standard infotainment system is a horrendous mess. The standard 6.5-inch infotainment screen is set inside the iconic circular center console and is near-on impossible to use; menus are hidden behind more menus, and it's a nightmare, in general, to interact with. Standard features include Bluetooth streaming and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. There's an 8.8-inch display on offer, which, in the Iconic sub-trim, comes with a standard Harman Kardon sound system with 12 speakers, but modern essentials such as Apple CarPlay, as well as navigation are optional extras. Wireless phone charging and voice activation with natural language understanding are also available to add on.

Cooper Hardtop Problems and Reliability

The little Mini surprises with a solid reliability record; in the past three years, the Mini Cooper has only been recalled twice. In 2018 a recall was issued for a malfunctioning crankshaft sensor, which could lead to a stalling issue, and late in 2019, another was issued for missing crash pads for the rear side trim panels. Other than that, the Mini Cooper has enjoyed a trouble-free life, and J.D. Power gives it a consumer verified rating of 80 out of 100. Mini will cover the Cooper with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which includes drivetrain protection and roadside assistance. You also get a 12-year corrosion protection plan and a three-year/36,000-mile maintenance plan.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Cooper Hardtop Safety

Under BMW's eye, a lot of effort has been put into ensuring the Mini is one of the safer hatchbacks on the road. Unfortunately, the NHTSA has not yet tested the current year model; in fact, the last time they tested a Cooper was way back in 2016 when it scored four out of five stars. The IIHS, on the other hand, has put the latest model through a partial test, where it scored Average to Poor in the headlight department and got an Advanced score for its vehicle to vehicle crash prevention system. It's worth noting, however, that both the 2018 and 2019 Mini Cooper scored a Top Safety Pick award.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

All 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop cars are fitted with two front, two side-impact, and two ceiling-mounted airbags, as well as two knee-airbags for a grand total of eight. All cars also get standard rear park distance control, cruise control, and active driving assistance. Cooper S models in Signature trim and above add forward collision avoidance with brake assist. For those interested in advanced safety equipment, Mini offers a $1,000 Driver Assistance Package on certain sub-trims, which adds semi-autonomous parking assistance, front and rear parking distance control, as well as active cruise control.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop a good car?

What made the original Mini such a cult classic no longer applies to its modern equivalents. Gone are the days of minuscule dimensions, feather-light curb weights, a low asking price and just about enough power to spin a washing machine. The modern Mini is a premium-priced fashion statement that appeals to the haves who want to make a statement. All is not lost, however, the Mini still clings onto its motorsport heritage by offering a dynamic driving experience, and even base trim cars will surprise drivers with their eager cornering capabilities. The days of naturally aspirated engines are also in the past: the 2020 range of Mini Coopers are all turbocharged, and while this detracts from the overall character of the car, it does improve performance, especially in town, where the added torque comes in handy. The Mini Cooper will split opinions when it comes to its looks, outside and in; its limited practicality and high asking price work against it, too, but those who love them, love them fiercely, and we understand why; somewhere behind all the gimmicks lies the heart of a true Mini.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop?

The price of the 2020 Mini Cooper is spread across two body styles, two models, and three sub-trims, so there's something for everyone here, but they all have one thing in common: they're quite pricey. The base model in two-door configuration will set you back $23,400, excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $850. Moving up to the Signature sub-trim will cost you $26,400, and to get into the top-spec Iconic sub-trim will set you back $30,400; that's almost two grand more than the quicker, more practical and more refined Volkswagen Golf GTI. Four-door cars are naturally priced higher and start at $24,900 for the Classic sub-trim, rising to $31,400 for the Iconic sub-trim, with the $27,400 Signature in between. The Cooper S in two-door guise starts off with an MSRP of $27,900 for the Classic, $30,900 for the mid-range Signature, and topping out at $34,900 for the fully-loaded Iconic sub-trim. Four-door models start at $28,900 for the base spec-car, $31,900 for the mid-tier variant, and finally rising to $35,900 for the top-end Iconic version.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Models

The 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop is available as a two-door and four-door model and can be had in either Cooper or the hotter Cooper S configuration.

Cooper models are powered by the less powerful TwinPower 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 134 hp and has been set up for a more pliable ride, while the Cooper S gets a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged motor, sport tuned suspension, upgraded brakes and other chassis improvements.

Once you've decided how many doors you need and how fast you want to go, Mini further separates the Cooper range into three sub-trims, namely Classic, Signature, and Iconic. Classic sub-trim cars get a standard 6.5-inch display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport seats with Carbon Black Sensatec upholstery, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The mid-range Signature adds a few premium features to the Cooper S, such as a panoramic sunroof, keyless-access, dual-zone climate control, forward collision warning and LED lighting, and Cooper S Iconic models get leather upholstery. Other standard features shared across the range include a rear camera system with parking sensors.

See All 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The Mini Cooper is one car that people love to customize, and Mini makes it easy with a long list of appearance, and tech packages and individual options. The Classic sub-trim can add SiriusXM radio for $300, or get patriotic with a $250 set of Union Jack mirror caps. Signature sub-trim cars in the Cooper range are offered with a $1,700 touchscreen navigation package, which includes Apple CarPlay integration, Mini connected services, integrated navigation, and voice recognition. The Cooper fitted with the Iconic sub-trim package is offered with a driver assistance package that adds front park distance control, active cruise control, and parking assist. The Signature sub-trim on Cooper S models opens up the option of a premium $750 Harman Kardon sound system with 12 speakers on eight channels with 360 watts of power. Top of the line cars fitted with the Iconic sub-trim package is also fitted with a standard premium package that adds chrome line exterior trim, power-folding mirrors, SiriusXM radio, and more.

🚗What Mini Cooper Hardtop Model Should I Buy?

Which 2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop to buy will boil down to two things; how many doors you want (how much space you need) and how fast you want to go. The Mini is available as a two or four-door and in 1.5-litre turbo or 2.0-liter turbo configuration, which translates into a significant difference in interior and trunk space, as well as performance. We personally believe that a four-door Mini, especially in modern guise, goes against the principals of the original; it's basically a normal-sized car. So we'd immediately look at a two-door version. Besides, if you were looking for something practical, a Mini shouldn't be at the top of your list. Now it boils down to engine choice. At the price the Cooper S starts, we would much rather get behind the wheel of a Golf GTI. The standard Cooper, with its smaller engine, still gets a premium-feel interior and a peppy 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. We feel like it should be entertaining enough to drive, and still offer a good amount of features, especially in the Signature sub-trim.

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Comparisons

Kia Soul CarBuzz
Mini Cooper Countryman Mini
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mini Cooper Hardtop134 hp28/36 mpg$23,400
Kia Soul 147 hp25/31 mpg$17,490
Mini Cooper Countryman 134 hp26/33 mpg$28,400

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop vs Kia Soul

The Kia Soul has become a surprisingly popular car in the segment, and with a good safety record, solid reliability, and a good amount of standard features onboard, it's obvious to see why this odd-ball should be doing so well. We also need to mention that it starts off with an asking price that's several thousand dollars below that of the Cooper. In its base form, the Soul is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-pot engine which produces 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, but in GT-spec, it gets a potent 1.6-liter turbocharged unit producing 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Gas mileage ranges from 25/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined for the 2.0 manual, all the way to 29/35/31 mpg for the CVT model with the same engine. The Soul might not have the same heritage, but its unique styling and good handling will appeal to a similar crowd, and with more interior and trunk space, the Soul is also the more practical car to buy. If you're after an entertaining driving experience, get the Mini, but if you're after something more practical, the Soul is the way to go.

See Kia Soul Review

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop vs Mini Cooper Countryman

The Mini range is an ever-expanding universe of cars that all do different things but share that iconic front grille. The Countryman is an expansion of the Mini range into the compact crossover SUV market. The Countryman tries to pull off a more rugged persona by way of an available all-wheel-drive system, a slightly lifted ride height, and some tough-looking plastic exterior moldings, but under the skin, it's all the same. What the Countryman does offer is more space and practicality. Both the Cooper and Countryman are available in Cooper and Cooper S variations, which means they share the same engine and transmission options as well. The Countryman is the more practical car to use as a daily driver, and with the available AWD system, it could be an interesting, although expensive, alternative to the somewhat bland popular compact crossover offerings.

See Mini Cooper Countryman Review

2020 Mini Cooper Hardtop Video Reviews

Check out some informative Mini Cooper Hardtop video reviews below.

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