Mini didn't make any changes to the Cooper's powertrain choices for 2023. That means that the base model sticks with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, whereas the Cooper S has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 189 hp and 206 lb-ft. In all cases, power is directed to the front wheels only. If you still want more power, take a look at the JCW model that we review separately.
The Mini Cooper S 2-door will take 6.4 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph with the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and the less powerful Cooper two-door needs 7.6 regardless of which gearbox it's fitted with. The heavier four-door model isn't too far behind, taking 6.5 seconds in Cooper S guise with the dual-clutch and 7.9 seconds with the three-pot engine. In both Cooper S models, going for the six-speed manual increases the 0-60 time by a tenth of a second. All Cooper S variants can reach a top speed of 145 mph.
While the Cooper is fun enough, the Cooper S we drove proves that the extra money is worth it. This model's bigger engine simply adds to the car's grin factor.
Two turbocharged engines continue to service the Mini Cooper Hardtop lineup. The first is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with 134 hp and 162 lb-ft. It's paired to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The more potent Cooper S has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 189 hp and 206 lb-ft, and comes with the same transmission options.
It should come as no surprise that the combination of the S model's more powerful engine and the manual gearbox is our favorite. However, even the 134-hp model feels sprightly considering the car's weight of under 3,000 lbs. The dual-clutch gearbox is responsive but changing gears yourself in a Mini simply feels right.
The catch point on the clutch is right in the middle of the stroke, which makes for easy, smooth shifts at any speed. The throw on the stick shift is comically long though. It likes to be launched hard at about 2,500 rpm - but then get ready for second gear because it comes quickly.
As this car is not overpowered, you will have to downshift from cruising gears to lower, attack gears when passing. Or, if you hang in fifth gear on the expressway, you can get from 70 to 90 mph pretty quickly. We'd maybe ask for a little more engine and exhaust noise in the cabin, though.
|Mini Cooper Hardtop Trims||Mini Cooper Hardtop Engines||Mini Cooper Hardtop Horsepower||Mini Cooper Hardtop Transmissions||Mini Cooper Hardtop Drivetrains||Mini Cooper Hardtop MPG/MPGE|
|Cooper 2-Door||1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas||134 hp @ 4500 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|Cooper 4-Door||1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas||134 hp @ 4500 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|FWD||31 MPG |
|Cooper S 2-Door||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||189 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|Cooper S 4-Door||2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas||189 hp @ 5000 rpm||6-Speed Manual|
|FWD||27 MPG |
Gas mileage specs aren't affected by the body style you choose, but the engine and transmission choices do have an impact on consumption. The most efficient models are the 1.5-liter models with the automatic transmission. They will return 29/38/32 miles-per-gallon city/highway/combined. With the 2.0-liter engine and the automatic, those numbers drop to 28/38/31 mpg. Next are the 1.5-liter derivatives paired with the manual that return 27/37/31 mpg. Finally, the Cooper S variants with the manual use the most fuel. These models will manage 23/33/27 mpg.
All models come with a small 11.6-gallon gas tank. However, reasonable consumption means that you can travel 371 miles between refills for the most efficient models, and around 313 miles with the Cooper S manuals. We were happy to land above the city mpg rating in the Cooper S, especially considering how we drove it in a mix of city and highway conditions. We came to 27.4 mpg combined, which is above the EPA average.
|Mini Cooper Hardtop Trims||Cooper 2-Door||Cooper 4-Door||Cooper S 2-Door||Cooper S 4-Door|
|Mini Cooper Hardtop Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)||27/37||27/37||23/33||23/33|