If you want a small car packed with retro-chic style and sporty handling, the Mini Hardtop delivers. Available in three power levels, as well as two- or four-door configurations, the Mini Hardtop distinguishes itself with its looks, quirky interior, and extensive customizability. Think of the Mini Hardtop as a premium-badged subcompact hatch, and the price with options won't surprise you as much.
The Mini Hardtop's small size makes driving in the city a breeze. Mini's focus on sportiness is one of the best reasons to consider a Hardtop model. Agile handling, communicative steering, and excellent body control make throwing the car around into corners a joy. The turbocharged engines provide plenty of power to move the little Hardtop around. Minimal turbo lag makes power delivery smooth and fuss-free, even on the three-cylinder, which is peppy for a base engine. Even the all-electric Cooper SE model is a blast to drive, offering the same driving character and fun as its gas-powered siblings
Unfortunately, it's not all good news for the scrappy English hatchback. The sporty handling comes at the cost of comfort. A super stiff suspension means you'll get bounced around over bumps and road imperfections. The standard all-season tires get overwhelmed by the chassis if you push too hard, causing it to understeer. Like parent company BMW, Mini doesn't provide much standard equipment. The base version doesn't get Apple CarPlay compatibility, and its standard 6.5-inch display is small by modern standards. If you appreciate the Mini's strengths but want more space, consider moving up to a Clubman.
The base Cooper trim uses a 1.5-liter turbo I-3 with 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Moving up to the Cooper S gets you a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. JCW models use the same engine as the Cooper S, but rated at 228 hp and 236 lb-ft for the regular one or 301 hp and 331 lb-ft on the limited-run GP model. A six-speed manual comes standard on the Cooper and Cooper S while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. The standard JCW model is available with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed torque converter automatic; however, the JCW GP is only offered with the latter.
EPA ratings for the base Hardtop in Cooper trim are 26/37 mpg city/highway with the manual or 28/37 mpg with the automatic. The more powerful Cooper S is rated at 23/33 mpg if you opt for the manual or 26/35 mpg with the automatic. JCW models are rated at 23/33 mpg with the stick or 26/34 mpg with the manual. The JCW GP is the least efficient model with an EPA rating of 23/31 mpg.
There's an all-electric variant called the Mini Cooper SE, which is available only as a two-door Hardtop. On a single charge, the Cooper SE can travel up to 110 miles, which is short by modern EV standards. Power output from the electric motor is 181 hp and 199 lb-ft. Then again, few electric cars come close to its low-$30,000 base price.
NHTSA: 4 stars (out of a possible five stars; only the two-door has been tested)
Mini's Active Driving Assistant is standard on the 2021 Hardtop. That bundles together forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and front automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control is only available on the Signature and Iconic trims as part of the Driver Assistance package, which also includes automatic parking assist.
Cargo capacity is a paltry 8.7 cubic feet with the all seats up or 34.0 cubic feet with the rear seats down. The four-door Hardtop offers a little more cargo space with 13.1 cubic feet with all seats up and 40.7 cubic feet if you fold the back down.
Mini's infotainment system features a 6.5-inch screen as standard. A larger 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility is available on the Signature trim via the Touchscreen Navigation package or as standard on the Iconic grade. Signature and Iconic grades are also offered with a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The Mini Hardtop is available with an extensive number of customization features, ranging from Union Jack roof and side mirror covers to diamond-quilted leather upholstery, illuminated interior trim, and a tablet holder. S and JCW models are available with adaptive dampers that allow you to choose between two suspension modes.
|$0||0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 24, 36, 39, 42, 48, 60 Months - Mini announces APR rates on select models.||06-30-2021|
|$0||1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Mini announces APR rates on select models.||06-30-2021|