MINI Coupe Review (2012)

MINI Coupe (Side View) (2012)

MINI Coupe Review

MINI Coupe ReviewMINI Coupe Road Test

MINIs are legendary for their handling so we were interested to see if the Coupe would match our expectations.

Ride and Handling

MINIs are legendary for their handling so we were interested to see if the Coupe would match our expectations.

The Coupe sits lower than the Hatch and this is noticeable in the handling stakes, there seems less body roll and it is more engaging than the Hatch. The electric power steering is excellent and we seemed to be able to attack even the most demanding corners with some vigour, especially through our favourite Devon ‘B’ roads. There is a sport button which ups the engine response to react quicker to throttle inputs and makes the steering more direct and it does makes difference to the smile factor.

The Coupe has an integrated spoiler at the rear of the roof which deploys automatically when the car reaches 50mph and drops down again at 40mph – it can be operated manually via a button in the overhead control panel. MINI tell us that it helps to reduce lift at the rear axle to improve aerodynamic balance and road grip we are not too sure that you would notice at road legal speeds if it did not have it.

Our test Coupe had run flat 205/45 profile tyres fitted on 17” black Conical Spoke alloy wheels, a lot of the media have commented that they do not like the ride quality but we found it perfectly enjoyable, preferring to be in touch with the road, although we will concede that the ride is on the hard side and a little fidgety on poor road surfaces.

Ease of Use

Being a two coupe the doors open wide, nearly to 90 degrees, so getting in and out is easy – even with the lower roof line.

It was easy to get into the ideal driving position but we have a hatred of lever controlled seat reclines, always finding it hard to find the ideal position. This is not ideal if you swap seats with people on a regular basis. We found the no-cost optional sports seat supportive and comfortable.

There is surprisingly good shoulder and leg-room – the head-room is accommodating for all but the tallest, although MINI have had to make compromises with the roofline.

All round forward/side vision is good but some people might moan about the rear vision, especially when the boot spoiler rises, although the door mirrors do give a good indication of what is behind you.

We found that when parking the over the shoulder vision was particularly good – the SD Coupe does have (PDC) rear parking sensors, with a visual and audio indicator of the distance from objects behind.

There is a starting button but you have to insert the key into a dashboard slot, wouldn’t it be easier to make it totally keyless.

The switchgear is mini-malist which means in our opinion that it is a little hard to find and use the toggle switches – yes we know it is in keeping with the MINI sprit and you do get used to their location. The iDrive interface for the navigation and multi-media system has a clear menu structure and it is intuitive to use. With the media package fitted the central circular speedo it is a little hard to read the speed but fortunately the speed is digitally replicated on the rev counter info pod in front of the driver.

The MINI SD Coupe has a foot print of (l)3734mm x (w)1683mm exc. door mirrors – with a height of (h)1384mm which compares to the MINI SD Hatch which is (l)3729mm x (w)1683mm x (h)1407mm.

The boot is more spacious than you would expect - accommodating 280 litres of luggage, which is bigger than the Clubman with the seats up, although it is smaller than the competition. Plus there is a Ski hatch – so you can fit in those long things from the DIY store and there is a 12v socket in the boot. There is a relatively large glove compartment and there is even a useful secret glove compartment that we did not discover at first. There is also space behind the front seats, so that you can fit soft bags behind them.

MINI Coupe ReviewMINI Coupe Road Test

The information contained within this MINI Coupe review may have changed since publication on the 4 April 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local MINI dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019