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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop

Overview
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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

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 the Cooper Hardtop

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.

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.

2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop 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
2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop 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 Equipment
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.

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

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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 341 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

i LOVE THE CAR BUT i NEED AN AUTOMATIC.

By on Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I don't know what you call the special lights but they are above the rear view mirror. You can change them from blue to pink, purple or orange. And it has full floor mats."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

waste of money

By on Sunday, November 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "falls apart, too expensive to repair, not reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"My car is only 6 years old and needs a new transmission because just one part can't be fixed. Have to replace the entire transmission. This is on top of other problems I've had. Many plastic pieces within the car have broken, and repairs are too expensive."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I <3 My MINI!

By on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Striking looks, good gas mileage and performance"

Cons: "expensive upkeep, german parts etc"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"These are super fun cars. So much speed and agility in such a little package. Perfect to get through traffic. Watch the movie "The Italian Job" that is how you feel when you drive it. Make sure you go with the S model"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Quick, responsive, head-turning fun

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,286

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles like a grown-up go-cart"

Cons: "No local dealer, so I have to travel for service."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this new, as a second car to drive to work and back, around town, and for short hauls alone. Mini made it as close to perfect, for those uses, as I can imagine. The S is as quick to accelerate and as responsive to the wheel as advertised. The most pleasant surprise is how solid it feels, for a small car. And great gas mileage, to boot."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Get the S version

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good gas mileage, power and comfortable. Fun too"

Cons: "tire life, premium gas, brake dust"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Turbo manual 6 speed is definitely the way to go (Cooper - S). I also tried the Cooper hardtop (not the S version) and it was under powered (in my opinion) getting onto the highway with a couple of passengers. Gas mileage for me is about 39 on the highway (exceeding the rating of 34 hwy) which is a very nice surprise. And there is a great amount of power with the S version (turbo). It's quite comfortable and easy to get in/out. The storage in the back is good and carries a surprising amount. I did a cross country trip and even driving 10 hours in a single day I wasn't stiff or sore from the ride. The extras such as heated seats, double visor, hidden security compartment, adjustable color interior lighting as all great touches. The bad. Brake dust on the front wheel rims is annoying and must be cleaned weekly. Tires are run flat (i.e. no spare tire) and only last about 30K miles before needing replacement. Need to use premium gas (don't use mid-grade either) or you'll get 'varnishing' in the engine that needs to be cleaned up or performance really suffers."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Mini but max everything else

By on Saturday, November 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, zippy, unique, comfortable inside"

Cons: "Mpg is ave., expensive BMW parts, lots of sensors"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This little car packs a punch on every category. Although small in size, it provides comfort and drive every enthusiast would truly enjoy. Drives great, steers around corners like a pro, exceeds safety standards and provides every amenity a driver might need. Not your average sedan or hatchback. Owners have pride in this vehicle, because it is just that, unique in its class and a car everyone deserves to be in."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?