2016 mini cooper-hardtop Model Overview
New For 2016
Dynamic damper control is now part of the Sport package on the 2016 Mini Hardtop in both the Cooper and Cooper S trims. The Loaded and Visual Boost packages have been removed and are no longer available on the Hardtop.
The 2016 Mini Hardtop is a front-drive subcompact hatchback available in two- or four-door variants. Two-door variants are available in the high-performance JCW model.
Two engines are available in the 2016 Mini Hardtop, a 134-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter I-3 with 162-lb-ft of torque in the base Cooper model and a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft in the Cooper S or 228 hp and 236 lb-ft in the JCW. Both engines can be paired to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Fuel economy is excellent in the base Hardtop at 29/40 mpg city/highway with the manual and 28/37 mpg with the automatic. The fuel economy on the Cooper S is slightly less at 26/33 mpg with the automatic and 24/34 mpg with the manual. Opting for the range-topping JCW drops those numbers slightly to 25/31 mpg with the automatic and 23/31 mpg for the manual. The numbers for the Cooper S and JCW are up to par with the class competitors like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Fiesta ST offer more power with the same fuel economy ratings.
Although there are four seats in the two-door and five in the four-door, the Mini Hardtop is cramped inside, making it ideal as a two-person vehicle with room in a pinch for a third or fourth. Cargo space in the two-door is limited with 8.7 cubic feet of volume behind the split-folding rear seats and 34 cubic feet behind the front seats. The four-door offers more cargo space at 13.1 cubic feet with the second row in place and 40.7 cubic feet with it down, which is competitive among subcompacts.
On addition to the standard dual front, front-side and side curtain airbags, the 2016 Mini Hardtop also comes with knee airbags for the driver and front passengers. Adaptive cruise control is available as an option along with the Active Driving Assistant, which bundles together collision avoidance systems such as forward collision warning and automatic forward emergency braking.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Standard features on base Hardtop include 15-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, a four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and keyless start. Stepping up to the S trim adds sport seats, a sport steering wheel and a six-speaker audio system. The range-topping JCW model adds LED headlights, JCW performance seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, JCW aero kit, heated side mirrors, a roof spoiler, and a more aggressive sport suspension setup.
Most convenience features cost extra on the Mini Hardtop because they’re bundled into packages or require another option for it to be available. Navigation is available as part of the Media package and comes with a 6.5-inch screen. A more feature-rich system with a larger 8.8-inch screen is available only in the Wired Package and comes bundled with a center armrest, and Enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. Buyers can also opt for a rearview camera but they must pay extra because it can only be had with the parking sensors. There’s an extensive array of personalization features available in the 2016 Hardtop, including racing stripes, checkered flag roof motifs, Union Jack side mirrors and decals, contrasting exterior colors, red interior accents, and patterned floor mats.
What We Think
Despite growing in size for its third generation, the 2016 Mini Hardtop remains a fun to drive small hatchback. In a 2014 First Test review, we said that it has one of the snappiest turn-ins and has little body lean. However, the ride on rough roads remains poor and tends to get unsettle easily on big bumps. The Mini Hardtop Cooper S placed fourth in a comparison test that also included the Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX, and the Volkswagen Golf GTI. We noted that the manual gearbox isn’t precise, making it easy to miss shifts. The material quality and poor interior layout were also evident in the cheap-feeling drive mode selector, small tachometer, and a fuel gauge that looked like an afterthought. In a 2015 Mini Hardtop 4-Door Cooper S First Drive review, we said that the infotainment and seat controls were finicky and not easy to use.
The 2016 Mini Hardtop’s platform will underpin all front-drive based vehicles in the BMW Group, including the new X1 small crossover.
- Extensive customizability
- Agile and easy to maneuver
- Available as a more practical four-door
You Won’t Like:
- Ride quality is still busy
- No longer as small as you might think
- Gets expensive quick