Mini Cooper 2-Door Hardtop: Models, Years, Specifications & More

The Mini Cooper is a popular small two-door hatchback that originated in the United Kingdom. The original Mini was designed by Alec Issigonis and launched by the British Motor Corporation in 1959. According to Wikipedia, it was known for its space-saving front wheel drive layout that allowed the car to have an 80% occupant to car size ratio. The original Mini became an iconic symbol of the British car industry in the 1960s.

Over its long history, the Mini has been produced in two-door, four-door, convertible, station wagon, van, and pickup body styles. However, the two-door Mini Cooper and its variants have always been the most popular and recognizable versions. The current generation Mini Cooper two-door hatchback debuted in 2014 and is now sold around the world by BMW, which acquired the Mini brand in 1994.

Body Styles

The Mini Cooper is available in two main body styles: the classic Mini Cooper Hardtop and the Mini Cooper Convertible.

The Hardtop is a traditional two-door coupe with a fixed metal roof. It offers a sporty, energetic driving experience and more interior room than the convertible, with 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear (MINI Cooper Hardtop vs. MINI Convertible). The Hardtop comes in multiple trim levels including the Mini Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW).

The Convertible is a soft-top convertible version of the Hardtop, with a retractable cloth roof. It provides open-air driving fun and a more premium interior. However, the convertible top takes up some interior space, resulting in 6.0 cubic feet of cargo room (2021 MINI Hardtop 2 Door vs Convertible). The Convertible is available in Cooper, Cooper S, and JCW trims as well.

Both body styles deliver nimble handling and a fun driving experience signature to the Mini brand. The choice comes down to whether you prefer the open-air freedom of a convertible or the interior space and performance focus of the hardtop.


The Mini Cooper has had three generations since it was relaunched by BMW in 2001. Here are the key differences between the generations:

Gen 1 (2001-2006): The first generation Mini Cooper had retro styling and charming character. According to The Mini Specialist, the R50 hatchback model launched the rebirth of the Mini brand with fun driving dynamics. The R53 Cooper S model followed in 2003 with a supercharged engine.

Gen 2 (2007-2013): The second generation saw styling revisions, new engine options, and an emphasis on fuel efficiency. As noted by Autolist, the R56 models moved the Mini brand further upmarket. There were also new body styles like the Clubman wagon and Convertible.

Gen 3 (2014-present): The F-generation third generation Coopers are larger with more interior room. According to Lohen, the F56 brought turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines, improved handling, and an array of technology and customization options.

The MINI Cooper is available in multiple body styles, including the standard 2-door Hardtop, the 4-door Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, and Electric models. Some of the most popular MINI Cooper models through the years include:

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is one of the most iconic MINI models, with its classic 2-door design. Popular trims include the Cooper S, John Cooper Works, and special edition models like the Sidewalk Edition.

The MINI Cooper Countryman, first introduced in 2010, is a popular crossover SUV model from MINI. Top versions are the Cooper S Countryman and John Cooper Works Countryman.

The MINI Cooper Convertible, launched in 2005, provides open-air driving fun. Popular options are the Cooper S Convertible and John Cooper Works Convertible.

Special and limited edition MINI models are also sought-after by enthusiasts. These include the MINI Seven, which pays homage to the original 1959 Austin Seven, and the retro-inspired MINI Cooper Classic Trim.


The Mini Cooper 2-door hardtop comes with a choice of two turbocharged engines. The base Cooper model is powered by a 1.5L 3-cylinder engine producing 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. According to Mini USA, this engine allows the Cooper to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds. The higher performance Cooper S model comes with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine producing 189 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque. Mini claims a 0-60 time of 6.4 seconds for the Cooper S.

For even more performance, the John Cooper Works version comes with a tuned 2.0L 4-cylinder producing 228 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. Mini says this version can hit 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.

According to U.S. News & World Report, other engine options over the years have included “a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder (134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque), a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque) and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque (John Cooper Works).”

So in summary, Mini Cooper engine options range from 134-228 horsepower depending on the model, with 0-60 times between 6.1-7.6 seconds.

Safety Features

The MINI Cooper 2-Door Hardtop comes with an array of standard and available safety features to help protect passengers. According to MINI USA (, standard safety features include front, side-impact, and knee airbags that adjust inflation rates depending on crash severity. The MINI also has a rigid body structure and rollover protection bars for strength and stability.

Available advanced safety tech includes the Active Driving Assistant with forward collision warning, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control (Patrick MINI, The MINI can also be equipped with parking sensors, a backup camera, Blind Spot Detection, and a head-up display for visibility and awareness on the road. Additional high-tech safety features include Driving Assistant Plus with surround view camera, speed limit info, high beam assistant, and active cruise control with stop & go (Motorwerks MINI,


The Mini Cooper two-door hardtop is a relatively small vehicle, but clever interior design allows seating for two adults in the front and two children in the rear. According to Mini of Clear Lake, the Mini Cooper two-door has 41.4 inches of front legroom and 32.3 inches of rear legroom. Front shoulder room measures 51.2 inches. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats is 8.7 cubic feet.

Despite its compact size, the Mini Cooper doesn’t skimp on tech and convenience features. Even base models come standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, USB inputs, and a 6-speaker audio system. Higher trims add options like navigation, wireless device charging, a Harman Kardon premium sound system, and a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen.

The Mini Cooper has a reputation for offering a fun driving experience. The interior design features a large central speedometer and infotainment display. Available ambient lighting allows drivers to customize the interior mood. Leatherette or leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and chrome interior accents add style and luxury to the cabin.


The 2023 Mini Cooper 2-Door Hardtop has a starting MSRP of $25,000 for the base Cooper model. The higher trims, such as the Cooper S and John Cooper Works, have starting MSRPs of $29,900 and $32,900 respectively.

There are several stand-alone options and packages that can increase the MSRP on any Mini Cooper 2-Door Hardtop model. Some popular options include:

  • Automatic transmission – $1500
  • Media package with navigation – $1500
  • Premium package with panoramic sunroof, power fold mirrors, and auto-dimming interior mirror – $2000
  • Sport seats – $500

Fully loaded models with all available options can reach over $40,000 in some configurations. Overall, the Mini Cooper 2-Door Hardtop spans a wide range in pricing to appeal to various budgets and tastes.



According to Consumer Reports, the Mini Cooper has below average predicted reliability. Repair costs can be high due to the complexity of some repairs and the use of premium parts.

Problem areas for the Mini Cooper have included:

  • Engine cooling system – leaks are common
  • Power equipment – issues with convertible tops, locks, latches, and windows
  • Transmission – automatic transmission failure has been reported
  • Electrical system – problems with battery, alternator, ignition system
  • Drive system – issues with axles, CV joints

Overall, Consumer Reports recommends considering an extended warranty for the Mini Cooper due to the above average repair costs. Proper maintenance and care is required to maximize longevity and minimize major issues.

Alternatives to the Mini Cooper

The Mini Cooper is known for its sporty, compact design and fun driving dynamics. For those interested in similar alternatives, here are some other cars to consider:

The Volkswagen GTI is a sporty compact hatchback that competes directly with the Mini Cooper. It has a turbocharged engine, nimble handling, and an upscale interior. The GTI provides a more refined and practical daily driver than the Mini.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a lightweight rear-wheel drive roadster, similar to the classic British roadsters that inspired the original Mini. It provides an agile, engaging driving experience on par with the Mini Cooper.

For a more upscale option, the Audi A3 brings touches of luxury to the compact segment. It has a more refined interior and ride than the Mini but still offers sporty handling.

Other alternatives like the Fiat 500 and Hyundai Veloster provide unique styling and driving fun similar to the Mini Cooper.

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