By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe is among the newest arrivals in the automaker's growing lineup. Introduced last year, the Coupe is a tiny 2-seater that puts an emphasis on agility and speed. Call it a go-kart for adults. The Cooper Coupe shares engine choices and mechanicals with its Mini siblings, but this 2-seater is the most distinctly styled in the automaker's lineup thanks to its "helmet" style roof that appears to float above the car. While style is the priority in this niche vehicle, the Coupe is not totally impractical. A wide-opening rear hatch and a decent amount of cargo space make this car a joyous and fuel-efficient grocery fetcher, as long as you're not shopping at Costco.
If you're a Mini fan who's willing to trade a couple of seats for even more style and better driving dynamics than the Mini Hardtop, the Cooper Coupe is an enviable option. With a starting price of around $22,000, the Coupe is a relatively inexpensive way to make a big statement.
Even among Mini devotees, the 2013 Mini Coupe's roof configuration is a point of visual debate. And if an extra pair of seats or additional cargo space are a higher priority than your sense of style, the Cooper Hardtop offers Mini's fun looks and dynamic ride with more everyday practicality.
As with the rest of Mini's lineup for 2013, Bluetooth wireless connectivity is now standard, replacing Sirius satellite radio, which becomes an option. John Cooper Works editions are now more fuel-efficient and can be had with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe offers three levels of driving characteristics that correspond with what's under the hood, though all of them are a mini step beyond each Coupe's Hardtop...kin. The familiar trio of 4-cylinder engine choices also offers similar straight-line performance. The base 1.6-liter adequately shuffles the Coupe to speed, but the fun literally accelerates with either of the turbocharged versions. The Cooper S is a truly vibrant vehicle, with 0-60 mph times in the mid-6-second range for both automatic- and manual-transmission versions. The top-line John Cooper Works (JCW) trim makes this a mighty Mini, with its 208-horsepower engine enabling the car to zoom to 60 mph in as little as 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 149 mph. Where all Minis excel, and this one especially, is on twisty roads. One caveat for drivers: The Coupe's small greenhouse compromises side and rear visibility, especially when the rear spoiler rises.
This little button, standard on all models, transforms the Coupe's driving dynamics by increasing steering effort and quickening throttle response. On automatic-transmission models, shifts are more aggressive, while Cooper S and JCW versions receive a heartier exhaust note while decelerating.
ACTIVE REAR SPOILER
This little wing on the trunk lid automatically lifts at speeds over 50 mph to increase downforce on the car. It also looks pretty cool. That being the case, you can raise it manually at lower speeds at the push of a button.
If you're familiar with Mini interiors in general, you'll be familiar with the cabin in the Cooper Coupe. There is, of course, the larger-than-life speedometer in the very center of the dash, a gauge whose circumference is only slightly smaller than the steering wheel. Mini's standard, eccentric array of tiny buttons, knobs and toggle switches are also par for the course, and just as potentially frustrating as ever. The Coupe's two seats are comfortable, and behind them is a removable parcel shelf above a fixed bulkhead. A lockable pass-through opening leads to a 9.8-cubic-foot trunk.Exterior
The Mini Cooper Coupe is defined by its contrasting-color "helmet roof" that appears to float over the rest of the car. Unlike the traditional Hardtop with is rectangular shape, the Coupe is rounded because of its convex roof. In back is a hatch-style deck lid that lifts high for easy access to the cargo hull. Cooper S and JCW versions have twin tailpipes to designate their higher power outputs, while the base version makes due with a single exhaust outlet. All three versions have a rear spoiler that automatically pops up at speeds over 50 mph and adds to the Coupe's sporty appearance.
All three versions of the 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe come with remote entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio system with auxiliary input, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, an air-conditioning system with microfilter, and a climate-controlled glovebox. Base versions ride on 15-inch alloy wheels, Cooper S versions roll on 16-inchers, and JCW models use 17-inch wheels. On the safety front, all Mini Coupe models have four airbags, traction- and brake-control systems, and specialized crumple zones and side-impact door beams. Routine maintenance is free for three years or 36,000 miles, and 24-hour roadside assistance is standard for four years/unlimited miles.
Like all Mini models, the 2013 Cooper Coupe can be highly customized outside and in. Among the more notable options are leather upholstery, the Mini Connected telematics system – with or without navigation – heated seats, a 10-speaker harman/kardon premium sound system, sport seats, and automatic climate control. For those who don't want to do their own shifting, a 6-speed automatic transmission is available. A Dynamic Traction Control system is available for those who enjoy – and think they can handle – more spirited driving.
2013 Cooper Coupes use Mini's familiar 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, which in Cooper S and JCW forms is turbocharged to be more powerful. The JCW version of the engine has been tweaked to be more fuel-efficient yet just as powerful as before. The base engine provides adequate acceleration, but the real fun is had with the turbo versions, which feature broad, flat torque "plateaus" and a great midrange response. An "overboost" feature on those engines increases maximum torque output for short periods of quicker acceleration. All Mini Cooper Coupes are fuel-efficient but require premium gasoline.
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/37 mpg (manual), 28/36 mpg (automatic)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
(192 lb-ft of torque @1,750-4,500 rpm in overboost)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
192 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-5,600 rpm
(207 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,200 rpm in overboost)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 25/34 (automatic)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe starts at $22,150. Cooper S versions begin at $25,450, and top-line John Cooper Works editions climb to $32,050 before options are added. The Mini Coupe's base price is higher than that of the Fiat 500, Scion iQ, and Chevy Spark, and less than that of the Mini Cooper Roadster, Audi TT and BMW 1 Series. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2013 Mini Coupe. Like other Minis, the Coupe's resale value is expected to remain strong over the years.
By MINITOO on Friday, August 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, a grown ups go-cart!"
Cons: "Lacks one touch movement to close the windows."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had this car for almost 3 months in Chicago. This is by far the best automobile I have owned. I enjoy and have owned my fair share of high end foreign vehicles, this one seems to stand out more than the rest. It could be that it has plenty pep due to the turbocharged engine. It could be due to the comforts of the interior and stylish exterior. It could be that it does not have rear seats for back seat drivers. Or simply put, an awesome car to drive and enjoy. All I can say is fun fun fun.........love this car!"
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By knightshold on Sunday, May 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling and acceleration, fun, fun, fun!"
Cons: "2 passenger. Not to take grandma to doctors"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Wow! I have driven the JCW for 10 months and its performance still excites. It handles like a go-cart! Yes it's a 2 seater, but what is the advantage of an empty rear seat? Instead you get a useful trunk. The surround sound system delivers incredible sound! Six forward gears, turbo, and a 208 hp engine is a temptation to take it up to 150. As an engineer, it isn't the hp itself. The hp/weight is a better measure of performance, but torque/weight = acceleration. That's the name of the game! The car's low stance, rear spoiler, wide tires, and firm suspension give incredible handling! Since it uses a Saab designed turbo, there is no turbo lag, but you need to keep rpms over 2000 to get full turbo. Fuel injection works with the turbo to match the fuel with the air supply. Dynamic timing increases the spark advanced to suit the rpm. Even driven hard by me, I am getting 32.3 mpg. Less aggressive driving gets 35. Comfortable bucket seats with side support are important if you are making 0.5 g corners. The dash is like a cockpit. The brakes are huge and the stopping distances very short. The tach is right in front of the driver, where it should be in a sports car. (BTW, a car w/o a tach is NOT a sportscar!) In the center of the dash is a huge speedometer. This recalls the location of the speedometer in the Mini's of the '60s when they were a popular car for rallies. I was often the navigator in the right seat of the Minis of those days. That was before calculators, and I did computations with a slide rule and you got a better look at the speed when it was centrally located. There are 2 banks of switches, aircraft style, one low in the central dash & the other above the windshield. The heater/air/air conditioners are controlled by two rotary switches, one for the fan and the other for the temp. A third rotary switch controls air distribution. The rear view mirror must be set carefully. When done so, you get a full view of the entire rear window without the rear spoiler getting in the way. The seat heights and length are manual. With the standard tires I passed many snowtire equipped cars on my way up the steep hill in 3 inches of snow this winter. This is an ideal car for a sports car enthusiast. It is most like a Porsche at a third of the price!"
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Noojin3 on Saturday, May 11, 2013
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Upgrade to Roadster
Pros: "Performance, Ride Comfort, Sporty Look, Fuel Econ."
Cons: "Only 2 seats; battery can discharge if not driven"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Mini Cooper Coup (new model in 2012) was an absolutely great sports car and it always got positive looks and lots of comments and questions everywhere I went! The design looks like a very expensive foreign sports car; very striking and unique design. Performance was excellent and I especially liked the automatic wing that would rise and lower based upon speed. The car had many available options and you could customize it to your tastes. In addition to its performance, the fuel economy was great--up to 35 mph Highway, which is hard to beat today. Its compact size made it easy to park and weave through traffic. I had the leather package special edition which was very nice. I took the car on 650 mile drives at a time for 12 hour stents on the road and the ride was very comfortable and this was with sport seats, sports suspension and the sports package. I could take sharp curves at 60 mph and the car hugged the curve with no body lean. Excellent on mountain roads as well. I only sold it because I was wanting the convertible. Also, for a two seater, it had a very large trunk compatible with the BMW 328i trunk."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful