Mini Coupe

The Essentials

  • Price from £16,640
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 65.7mpg
  • What is it? All the image and quality of a Mini hatch, in a hunkered-down sportier form

Great

  • Bags of style and a lot of fun to drive
  • Cheaper to buy than key coupe competitors
  • Should hold its value strongly, too

Gripes

  • The diesel engine is all mouth and no trousers
  • Two-seater layout will rule it out for some buyers
  • Dash layout abandons ease of use in favour of snazzy styling
  • Drive

    The John Cooper Works version is awesome - huge power and pin-sharp handling - and will have you beaming like the proverbial kid in a candy store

  • Inside

    Triumph of style over practicality - you'll need a degree in dashboard navigation to find your way around, and rear visibility is awful

  • Safety

    Plenty of kit to keep you safe if you find yourself having a little too much fun

  • Reliability

    Mini has a good reputation for reliability and keeping customers happy which gives us confidence

  • Space

    Not bad for two plus luggage, although the boot is rather shallow

  • Standard and extras

    Standard kit includes air-con, parking sensors, alloy wheels and a CD player. Myriad options allow you to tailor the car to your own taste

  • What's it like to drive?

    The range-topping 208bhp John Cooper Works offers awesome pace, whereas the 141bhp Cooper SD diesel is noisy and inflexible. There are two more petrol models: the Cooper with 121bhp and the much quicker Cooper S with 181bhp.

    Being based on the Mini hatchback means the Coupe version gets the same quick steering and sharp handling, so it's great fun to drive. Diesel versions suffer from slightly twitchy steering, though. The ride is smooth across the range, apart from the sportiest JCW model, which gets stiffer suspension and even sharper steering.

    All versions generate a lot of road noise, and wind noise is also a problem at motorway speeds. Petrol models sound good when revved but remain annoyingly boomy at cruising speeds.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Coupe is a two-seater car and as such, is limited in its practicality - although things aren't as bad as you might imagine. The driver and passenger get loads of head and legroom, and there's plenty of adjustment to get comfortable behind the wheel.

    There's some storage behind the seats and a clever hatch that allows you to access the boot from the cabin or lie long items flat. The boot itself is a useful 280 litres in size, but is shallow with an uneven floor, so you'll struggle to squeeze in a buggy.

    All versions come with alloys, air-con, parking sensors and a CD player with DAB radio. The extensive Mini options list applies, meaning you can customise to your heart's content.

  • How reliable is it?

    The Coupe didn't feature in the most recent JD Power ownership satisfaction survey. However, most of the car's nuts and bolts are shared with the Mini hatch, which only managed an average score for mechanical reliability.

    The Coupe's go-kart handling might well give you the urge to push the car to its limits, but stability control is on hand to save you if anything goes wrong. Sophisticated brakes should also help you avoid an accident, but if you can't, there are front and side airbags to keep you from harm. The Coupe hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Mini Coupe has bags of style and is fun to drive. Unlike all other Minis, it's more affordable than its major competitors, including the Audi TT. Resale values will be strong, too. So, if you're after style and fun, and you don't need any more than two seats, it's certainly worth a look.