2012 MINI Cooper S

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$7,204–$16,540 Inventory Prices

Key Specs of the 2012 MINI Cooper S

Cooper S base trim shown

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    31 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    181-hp, 1.6-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

Our Take

The good

  • Turbo acceleration (S)
  • Convertible's cargo versatility
  • Handling
  • Strong brakes
  • Gas mileage
  • Many options priced individually

The bad

  • Overly firm ride (S)
  • Gauge legibility
  • Control ergonomics
  • Quality of some materials
  • Transparent sunshade (hardtop)
2012 MINI Cooper S exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2012 MINI Cooper S

  • Newly available Mini Yours personalization options
  • Three body styles, including new coupe
  • Convertible's Openometer tracks top-down time
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • S and John Cooper Works performance models

2012 MINI Cooper S Road Test

Kristin Varela

The 2012 Mini Cooper S coupe is a fun grown-up toy for people with sizable piggy banks and a notable lack of claustrophobia.

The coupe is smooth and easy to drive — once you get past the initial anxiety of placing yourself inside what feels like an aquanaut dive helmet at a cheap Cancun resort.

Before the debut of this model and the Mini Cooper Roadster, both of which are new for 2012, all Minis have had backseats, some of which are even usable. The little coupe and Roadster do, in fact, have only two seats, so they're best saved for singletons or families looking for a fun car for when the little ones are in school or home with a sitter.

The coupe and Roadster are offshoots of the regular Mini Cooper hardtop and convertible (as opposed to the longer Clubman and larger Countryman). There are three coupe trim levels: the base trim, with a starting price of $22,000; the Cooper S (which I drove), at $25,300; and the John Cooper Works, at $31,900 (all prices include destination charges). Each higher trim adds more engine power. Compare the three trim levels side by side.

While the Mini Cooper coupe is unique in its design, its closest competitors include the Scion FR-S and Mazda MX-5 Miata.

It seems to me that the Cooper S coupe's exterior design is this little guy's main draw. Its look thoroughly personifies the vehicle: It's sporty, fast, fun and unlike anything else out there, and it looks every bit so.

The first time I saw one in person, other than ... Read more

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What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value For The Money

Latest Reviews


The most fun car I have ever owned

by Viciousmustard from Hoover, AL on February 10, 2018

I love our 2013 MINI Cooper S. This is one of those cars that puts a smile on your face every time you get in it. I have had some fast cars in the past but nothing made me smile more or was more fun... Read full review



by mrstex from wrentham MA on December 14, 2017

This car is a blast to drive. Great on gas. Plenty roomy for driver passenger and cargo. Feels stable and heavy enough despite its size to take on any road trip. Read full review

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