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2013 MINI Cooper Clubvan KBB Expert Review

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MSRP $26,090

Fair Purchase Price N/A

Invoice $24,065

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KBB Expert Rating 7.2 / 10
10/7.2
This Car - 2013 MINI Cooper Clubvan
How It Compares to Similar Cars
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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/7/2012


More than a decade after re-launching in the United States under BMW, Mini's vehicles continue to make a big impact on the small-car landscape. More than just compact cars that fit anywhere, Minis offer some of the best smiles per gallon. Mini's stable of diminutive British vehicles is anything but small, expanding in both size and function with new editions such as the larger Countryman, Paceman and delivery-oriented Clubvan. Despite their growing numbers, all Minis remain based on the original Hardtop's architecture and use a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that comes in a variety of power outputs. Base Mini Coopers have a relatively low starting price, but these cars' premium build quality and highly customizable features are reflected in prices that rise quickly with trim levels.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a car that feels more like an adult-sized go-kart, you'll love the Mini. These tidy 4-passenger vehicles are also effortlessly stylish inside and out, and offer high fuel economy. The Clubvan deletes the rear seat and replaces it with a level floor and an aluminum mesh divider.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even in the larger Clubman form, the 2013 Mini Cooper does not have an expansive interior. If you need to carry more than one passenger on a regular basis, you'll want to step up to a Mini Countryman. The new Clubvan is stylish, but it's not as functional as a Ford Transit Connect.

What's New for 2013

Bluetooth is now standard and satellite radio is made optional. John Cooper Works (JCW) models can now be had with an automatic transmission. Joining the lineup this year is the fastest Mini ever made – the he limited production John Cooper Works GP – and the Mini Clubvan featuring opaque side windows and an expanded cargo area.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Minis are nothing if not fun. With a rigid body structure and sporty suspension, Minis are attracted to twisty roads like metal to a magnet. For a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the Mini is immensely nimble in corners. Perhaps more impressive is how solid these cars are on the highway. For such a small vehicle, the Mini displays little to none of the nervousness that can plague other subcompacts at freeway speeds. The Convertible also deserves kudos for feeling remarkably planted. Even with the base engine, Mini Coopers are a blast to drive. We endorse Mini's excellent 6-speed manual transmission in all of the brand's models, but especially in the base form, as that engine with the automatic transmission makes the vehicle noticeably slower. With their turbocharged engines, stepping up to Cooper S and JCW editions does just the opposite, making these vehicles even more thrilling. The 2013 Mini Cooper JCW GP, meanwhile, is a delightful deviant with great acceleration and excellent braking and cornering ability. If driving requires a soundtrack, you'll be happy to know the Mini's audio system is a good one, even in standard form.

Favorite Features

FOLDABLE REAR SEATS
Cargo space behind the rear seat of Minis is inherently meager. Flip down those seats, though, and interior space opens up commendably. Mini says its Hardtop, for example, can haul 15 bags of cement. Or, opt for the Clubvan and forgo the rear seats altogether.

FUEL ECONOMY/FUN FACTOR
The Mini is proof that you don't need a big, gas-guzzling engine under the hood to have massive amounts of driving satisfaction. The Mini may not win street races, but with up to 37 mpg, you'll experience a different type of joy when you pass your competition at the gas station.

Vehicle Details Interior

The Mini's stylish, retro exterior looks extend to the interior. High in the center dash is Mini's trademark speedometer, which has nearly the circumference of the steering wheel. Then there are all those tiny toggles and dials, the former of which are ensconced in what appear to be the world's smallest roll bars. The metal switches look and feel great, but can be awkward to use. The Mini's front seats are comfortable and relatively roomy. Worried that you won't fit up front? The automaker claims that even Sasquatch – or drivers up to 6-foot-7 – will fit behind the wheel. The Hardtop and Convertible's tiny rear seats, on the other hand, are best used for luggage. Legroom is marginally better in the Clubman, whose longer body also increases cargo room. Performance-oriented 2013 Mini GP models have only two seats.

Exterior   photo

Minis stand out with their low, squat profile. Hardtop versions stand further out with available contrasting-color roofs, while Convertibles use black fabric tops that when up create large interior blind spots. The convertible roof is automatic and has a nifty feature that enables it to remain partially open. The 2-door Hardtop has a rear hatch-style door that lifts high for easy access to the cargo hull. The Clubman/Clubvan has a small third door on the right-hand side that allows easier access to the rear passenger compartment. The Clubman/Clubvan is roughly nine inches longer than the Hardtop, and its cargo bay is accessed by two swing-out doors. S and JCW models feature an air-intake in the front hood and twin tailpipes in back.

Notable Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Mini Hardtop, with a starting price of $20,400, comes with remote entry and trunk release, a climate-controlled glove box, 6-way front seats, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio system with auxiliary input, Bluetooth wireless communication, and 15-inch alloy wheels. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with an automatic optional. A "sport" button recalibrates throttle and steering response for a more aggressive feel. On the safety front, there are six airbags, 4-channel antilock brakes, and specialized systems to control traction and braking functions. Complimentary maintenance is included for three years or 36,000 miles, and roadside assistance is provided for four years/unlimited miles.

Notable Optional Equipment

Start to configure a Mini, and its website will proudly tell you there are more than 10 million ways of doing so. Suffice to say, Minis are highly customizable cars in both aesthetics and creature comforts. For simplicity, many options can also be grouped together, which can save money vs. going a la carte. Among the more prominent options are an automatic transmission (unless you're one of the 500 to get a John Cooper Works GP, only available with a manual gearbox), the Mini Connected infotainment system with or without navigation, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, 10-speaker harman/kardon premium audio, and Dynamic Traction Control system with electronic differential lock.

Under the Hood

2013 Mini Cooper models use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels and is connected to a 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Base models are naturally aspirated (not turbocharged) and make an adequate 121 horsepower. Cooper S and JCW models use a twin-scroll turbocharger and make 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. And now there is the new top dog among Minis, the John Cooper Works GP, available only with manual transmission. This limited-edition model also uses the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, but it has been bumped to 211 horsepower and up to 207 lb-ft of torque when in "overboost." Mini says the 2013 GP can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 150 mph, making it the fleetest model in the lineup. Mini models are fuel efficient, but they do require premium gasoline.


2013 Mini Cooper
1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/37 mpg (manual, Hardtop), 28/36 mpg (automatic, Hardtop), 27/35 mpg (Convertible), 27/35 mpg (Cooper Clubman/Clubvan)

2013 Mini Cooper S
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
192 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Mini Cooper Hardtop has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $20,400, while a base Clubman goes for $22,100. At those prices, the base Mini Hardtop and Mini Clubman represent the bargains of the bunch, as prices climb quickly as trims rise and customization options are added. Convertibles start at $25,850, while the Clubvan starts right around $26,000. A Cooper S Hardtop goes for $24,000, while a JCW version is $30,800. Then there is the biggest ask of them all: The limited-edition 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, which goes for nearly $40,000 ($39,950, to be exact). At these prices, Mini's lineup represents a wide range of prices, competing with everything from a Fiat 500 Turbo and Volkswagen Golfs on the low end to BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 models at the top. Before heading to the dealership, be sure to check KBB's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for specific Mini models. Minis command a premium price when new, but retain their value very well over the years. We expect Mini models to continue to command much better-than-average resale values over the next five years.

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