2011 MINI Cooper Photo
/ 10
On Performance
On Performance
The 2011 MINI Cooper is downright fun to drive in any guise, but the John Cooper Works model provides the biggest kick in the pants.
9.0 out of 10
Browse MINI Cooper inventory in your area.


PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

No matter which flavor of 2011 Mini Cooper you might be interested in, you can expect thrilling handling and quick responses to driver inputs.

The Cooper S has a zero-to-60 time of 6.6 seconds and achieves an estimated 29 mpg average fuel economy with the manual transmission.

While the base engine already had Valvetronic variable intake timing and lift, that technology is new to this year's turbo
Automobile Magazine

Electronic power steering has allowed the crafty German engineers to add anti torque- and anti bump-steer to the Cooper's repertoire, and the modifications were obvious when compared to last year's model.

The turbocharged Cooper S and Clubman S gain Vanos variable valve-timing for the intake valves, and a bonus 4 hp brings the total to 181.
Car and Driver

Despite the busy interior and myriad options, the MINI's fun-to-drive personality shines through. Base Coopers get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 121 horsepower, a small rise over last year thanks to reduced internal friction. Cooper S models add a turbo to the standard 1.6-liter mill, gaining nine horsepower in 2011 for 181 hp total thanks to re-tuned variable valve timing controls. The John Cooper Works model stays put at 208 horsepower, using a higher-boost version of the Cooper S engine.

Fuel economy for the base Cooper is solid for a sporty hatch at up to 29/37 mpg, with the Convertible trailing by 2 mpg city and 1 mpg highway. Upgrade to the Cooper S and the turbocharged 181 horsepower engine still manages 27/36 mpg with the manual and 26/34 mpg with the automatic. Given the small fuel economy penalty, enthusiasts will choose the Cooper S for its livelier drive and exhaust note. A responsive and slick six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional, and offers paddle shifters on the Cooper S.

Front wheel drive and sitting on MacPherson struts up front and a central-arm rear axle, the MINI Cooper's suspension design is unusual for a small hatch, but the arrangement takes out some of the harshness while preserving sharp handling. Even with low-profile tires on 17-inch wheels and sport suspension, the ride isn't bad.

We find the Cooper's electric power steering to be less realistic and feedback-laden than we'd like, but it's still pretty good. Upgrades to the system for 2011 help reduce torque steer, as well. With the standard 15-inch wheels and tires, ride quality is fair, while the 16- and 17-inch options offer progressively stiffer feel. The Cooper S equips run-flats as standard, which compound the harshness over rough pavement.


The 2011 MINI Cooper is downright fun to drive in any guise, but the John Cooper Works model provides the biggest kick in the pants.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.