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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop

Overview
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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Review

By

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.2
  • 7.9
  • 6.5
  • 7.5
  • 6.9
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#5

out of 24

Fuel Economy

#21

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Low/wide front photo 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
2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Front angle view photo

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.

2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Details
2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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 Hardtop Engine photo

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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2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 312 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

Love this car. superfun to drive, cute reliable.

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

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: "cute, fun to drive, reliable, great engine, safe"

Cons: "i can feel bumps in the road more than my other ca"

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

"Only think i don't like is the feel of the road. There are a lot of potholes where i live and i feel them more in this car than my last car."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Fun car when it wasn't in the shop

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Mechanical problems

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Fun"

Cons: "Mechanical nightmare"

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

"Bought brand new. Chain tensioner issues began at 5k. Valve job at 24k. Fuel pump and thermostat replacement. New motor at 54k. Expensive to fix and not reliable. I will never own another BMW product."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car till something goes wrong

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Really fun to drive"

Cons: "Eceptionally expensive to fix"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Really enjoyed this car-fun to drive, pretty good gas mileage, quiet even with the top down. But, at 95000, the transmission went out. Dealer says $8500 for a replacement. My son bought the same car at the same time. His main computer went out with 38000 miles. A $3000 repair. I won't be buying another."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

FUN car I ever owned

By on Monday, March 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "GO-Kart feel, sophisticated"

Cons: "poor suspension(standard), thermostat issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I love my MINI, so lets get that out of the way. The handling is ridiculous and the fun factor really speaks for itself when driving a MINI. This is my second MINI. I've owned a 2008 Cooper and now this 2011 Cooper S for three years. It's had it's share of ups and downs. The great part has been driving this car on vacation averaging 35mpg combined. The bad part has been the quality of the parts on the car made. I've had a thermostat that needed to be changed at 24k miles, 50k miles rear sway bar endlinks replaced(OEM parts stink), and 54k miles the valve cover needed to be replaced. There are some squeaks and weird rattles that occur at times, you would think for a $27K car it wouldn't be an issue but it is. My friends Focus, 200, and Escape has better quality than poorly made suspension on the car. I love my MINI, but it has been a love-hate relationship. I'm at my whits with this car, I'm thinking of fixing the rattle from the suspension. But I'm also thinking of trading it in for a 135i this summer."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great high performance little car. Not for bigs.

By on Sunday, March 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast, fun car. Great convenience features"

Cons: "Tires are run flats and don't last long."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Third mini. Liked them all. Turbo gets better gas mileage than 2005 w/supercharger. Timing chain guides backed out but all under warranty. Left front brake caliper seized and required new one as well as new rotors and pads. Need to keep close tabs on engine oil. Electronics very reliable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have EVER owned.

By on Saturday, March 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

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
8/10

Pros: "Great price. Fun to drive. Reliable. Comfortable."

Cons: "Back seat & cargo space"

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

"No reliability issues. Great performance. Have 6-speed and love it - excellent acceleration. Exterior paint looks like new & it's a 2008. Have driven cross country and back in great comfort. Takes the winds in Oklahoma like they are not there. Front seats very comfortable. Climate control excellent. This wonderful vehicle is a 1-2 person auto. The only disadvantage is cargo room - hate having to put down back seat to have space for excess cargo transport. Difficult to access back seats from front doors and the back seats basically serve no purpose except to transport pets - they, however, must enter from rear of car. 'Course I recognized this when I purchased the Mini. I STILL LOVE THE CAR!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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