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2012 MINI Cooper Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Quality
BASE INVOICE
$17,550
BASE MSRP
$19,500
On Quality
The 2012 MINI Cooper is best reserved for two adults, with only occasional passengers or small children in the back seat, but it's otherwise a fun and mostly comfortable, if quirky, vehicle.
7.0 out of 10
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The silly heater thumbwheels have been replaced by rocker switches. Seat adjusters are unassisted but that's consistent with the lean and mean Mini theme.
Automobile Magazine

Style-conscious buyers are likely to love the refreshed Mini's key, which must be pressed into a slot in the dash before pushing the 'Start' button, but we wonder why it's not using a simple proximity sensor instead.
Autoblog

Despite the Mini Cooper's small size, the front seats are surprisingly spacious. There is no shortage of headroom or legroom and the cabin feels extraordinarily airy.
Edmunds

The convertible's soft-top opens partially like a sunroof, or it can open fully as a conventional convertible top would. There's also a standard Openometer that tracks how much time you've driven with the top down.
Cars.com

The audio controls have been consolidated under the large center speedometer, and all secondary controls are now finished in matte black rather than silver, as are the steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.
Car and Driver

Despite the MINI's small size, it makes the most of its interior space for front-seat occupants, allowing even tall drivers plenty of leg and headroom. The back seats are marginally useful at best, however.

Materials in the MINI Cooper range are generally good, and can be upgraded to near-luxury levels, but fit and finish occasionally leave a bit to be desired, with squeaks and rattles becoming prominent even during the first year of ownership. Likewise, wind and road noise are above the norm.

Cargo space is fair in the hatch, at 23.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Ergonomics are rather interesting in the Cooper, as well, with some common-use items located in out-of-the way places, including seat adjusters on the inboard sides and infotainment controls placed low on the center tunnel, but once you're familiar with these quirks, it's a relatively comfortable, functional environment.

Conclusion

The 2012 MINI Cooper is best reserved for two adults, with only occasional passengers or small children in the back seat, but it's otherwise a fun and mostly comfortable, if quirky, vehicle.

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