When it comes to small cars, the 2013 Mini Cooper excels at appealing to a wide range of drivers. For the aesthetically inclined, the Cooper is easy on the eyes; both its cute sheet metal and stylized cabin exude retro chic. Yet if driving is more your thing, the Cooper’s still got you covered with quick acceleration and handling sharp enough to make J.A. Henckels jealous. It’s no wonder the Mini has been such an enduring favorite with us.
The Cooper S has a turbocharged 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque (192 lb-ft at full throttle thanks to an overboost function). Mini estimates 0-60-mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds for the manual and 6.7 seconds for the automatic. EPA estimated fuel economy is 26/34/29 with the auto. With the convertible, you get a sunroof function that allows you to retract the forward portion of the soft top as opposed to lowering it completely. Its tailgate-style trunk opening features an upper package tray that can be raised to allow larger items to fit in the tiny 6-cubic-foot trunk. Unlike with most convertibles, the Mini’s rear seats can be folded flat to accommodate larger items.
The list of standard safety features on the 2013 Mini Cooper includes antilock disc brakes, stability control and front-seat side airbags. The hatchback comes with side curtain airbags as standard equipment, while the convertible features pop-up rollover bars and larger front side airbags that extend to head height.