What's New for 2012:
- Many additional custom options
- Roadster model set to debut later in 2012
The 2012 Mini Cooper is a highly customizable small car available in several configurations, with a long list of options. The three basic trim levels are the base, S, and John Cooper Works, all of which are available as hatchback coupes or convertibles, with a roadster newly available. The Mini Cooper Clubman is a longer, more spacious version of the basic model, and the Mini Cooper Countryman is a small crossover SUV. Wheel sizes range from 15 to 17 inches. The John Cooper Works trim offers a sportier suspension, extra color options, racing stripes, and other exterior decorations. The convertible top can be partially retracted to function similar to a sunroof.
Base Mini trims feature air conditioning, cruise control, power accessories, vinyl upholstery, and a 6-speaker stereo system. The S trim includes sport seats, fog lights, and alloy pedals. The John Cooper Works trim primarily includes performance-related features, and adds Brembo brakes, cloth upholstery, and other enhancements.
Many packaged and stand-alone options are available at every trim level. With different trims, options include leather upholstery in various colors, Recaro sport seats, Xenon headlights, a number of different wheel choices, automatic climate control, premium sound system, and various safety features.
Under the Hood
The base Mini Cooper is fitted with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 121 horsepower and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. An automatic transmission is available on most models--but not on the roadster at this time--as is all-wheel drive. The S trim steps up to a turbocharged version of the base trim's engine, but with 181 horsepower. The John Cooper Works trim delivers 208 horsepower.
EPA fuel-economy figures for the 2012 Mini Cooper are:
- Cooper: 29/37/32 mpg (city/highway/combined)
- Cooper S: 27/36/30 mpg
- Cooper John Cooper Works: 25/33/28 mpg
Standard safety features on the Mini Cooper include anti-lock disc brakes and front-seat side air bags.
To date, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not tested the 2012 Mini Cooper. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Mini Cooper hatchback received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset crash protection, and an "Acceptable" rating for roof strength and side-impact protection.