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2015 MINI Coupe

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2015 MINI Coupe Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.9

The 2015 Mini Coupe is arguably the most eccentric model from an already-eccentric brand. Or just think of it as the most concentrated Mini available. With only two seats and a small cargo area, this car is not exactly a beacon of practicality. Compared to the Hardtop sibling from which it’s derived, the Coupe holds half as many people and doesn’t have the cargo flexibility of the standard Mini hatchback. But what the Mini Coupe lacks in everyday usability, it makes up for in attitude and the brand’s inherent go-kart-quick handling. Its styling, defined by a “floating” roof and integrated spoiler worn like a backward baseball cap, is a like-it-or-not affair. If you’re in the former camp, act soon: The Coupe is exiting Mini’s lineup shortly.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a highly styled, grin-inducing vehicle with a laissez-fair attitude, the Mini Coupe could be just the automotive statement for which you’ve been yearning. This British 2-seater is also among the most exclusive cars you can buy for under $23,000.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There are good reasons why the Coupe is exclusive. Its tiny dimensions, limited passenger space, and potentially twitchy road manners limit who will spend their hard-earned money on this automotive toy. The Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Fiat 500 and standard Mini Hardtop grant pizzazz and more practicality for less money.

What's New for 2015

Mini is trimming its model lineup, with the Coupe and its 2-seat Roadster counterpart not getting the callback to enter a second generation on Mini’s latest platform. Still, like all 2015 Minis, the Coupe gets automatic climate control, and the fog lights switch from halogen to LED.

Driving the Coupe
Driving Impressions

The Mini Coupe’s driving characteristics range from terrific, more terrific and to even more terrific as you move upward through trim-level and horsepower steps, with each feeling slightly “racier." With...

... a skilled driver the mid-trim Cooper S Coupe zip from 0 to 60 mph in the mid-6-second range. The top-line John Cooper Works version, with 208 horsepower, is yet another leap ahead and, on the top end and with an appropriate location, will nudge 150 mph. As you might guess, this diminutive 2-seater isn't the most comfortable for long-haul cruising but is fine for shorter freeway commutes. Its real forte is on twisty roads, where its handling prowess will have you looking forward to every turn. Just one warning: That chopped top and the automatically rising rear spoiler limit visibility to the sides and rear, so keep a watchful eye.

IMMEDIATELY QUICK HANDLING RESPONSE
All Minis have super-responsive handling, but the Coupe, particularly in the Cooper S or John Cooper Works versions, hangs onto twisty roads like a handshake with flypaper. It makes champions of us all.

NO-COST MAINTENANCE
Every new Mini comes with three years/36,000 miles of factory-recommended maintenance that includes oil changes, brake pads and rotors, the air filter and more. Mini calculates savings at up to $1,428, and who wouldn't want that in their pocket?

2015 MINI Coupe Details
Interior

Mini interiors are just as cheeky as their style-centric exteriors, and the 2015 Mini Coupe is no exception. A massive, round speedometer dominates the center dash. In front of the driver is a round tachometer, and there are round air vents, door pulls and speakers from side to side. Locations and operation of various switches borders on eccentric, but familiarity breeds familiarity and/or frustration with having to reach forward of the gear shift to operate the windows. The Coupe’s two seats are comfy and supportive. There’s a removable shelf behind the seats and a handy pass-through to a 9.8-cubic-foot trunk.

Exterior

There's no denying the Mini Coupe's "helmet roof" is unique. It will likely be one of the major reasons you are drawn to or repelled by the design. On a less-subjective note, you can spot the higher-performance Cooper S and John Cooper Works variants by the dual tailpipes that exit from the center of their bumpers, and the front-fender air vents that are chrome instead of black. All models include a rear spoiler that deploys at speeds above 50 mph, thus adding to both the sporty appearance and aerodynamic stability at higher speeds.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Mini Coupe comes in Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW) trims. The base Cooper includes 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio with Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter, leatherette upholstery, 6-way manual-adjust seats, keyless entry and push-button ignition, and 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with run-flat tires. A Sport button livens the car's responsiveness. Cooper S models come with a turbocharged engine, 16-inch alloy wheels and unique exterior treatments, while the JCW Coupe gets the most powerful engine, dynamic traction control with an electronic differential lock and a stiffer suspension, 17-inch alloys, and Brembo performance brakes. In addition to the complimentary maintenance program, new Minis include 4 years of roadside assistance.

Optional Equipment

One of Mini's mantras is its belief in "you-ification" – creating a car that's as individual as its owner. When you go to build one online, Mini informs you that over 10 million variations are available, enabling you to have your say on everything from mirror caps to Recaro seats. Among the more prominent options are a 6-speed automatic transmission in lieu of the 6-speed manual, a navigation system smartly integrated into the huge center speedometer, 10-speaker harman/kardon audio system, leather seats, a sport suspension, and the Mini Connected system with smartphone integration.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Mini Coupe is offered with three versions of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine: The base, naturally aspirated version makes 121 horsepower, while the turbocharged Cooper S and JCW models are rated at 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. While the base version performs completely adequately, the Cooper S and JCW are real eye-openers, with acceleration and performance that seem at first surprising, given the cars’ small size. The turbo engines have great throttle response, deliver plenty of kick to get up and go, and are remarkably efficient, rated at 35 miles per gallon on the highway with the 6-speed manual transmission and 34 mpg with the 6-speed automatic. One caveat: All Coupes require 91-octane premium gasoline.

1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
118 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
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 25/34 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 mpg (automatic)

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