MINI Coupe Road Test (2012)

MINI Coupe (Interior View) (2012)

MINI Coupe Review

MINI Coupe ReviewMINI Coupe Review  | Part Two

We tested the MINI Copper SD Coupe with an on the road price of £20,510, on top of the standard spec our test car was fitted with £4,490 worth of extras, bringing the total price to £25,000.

Comfort and Refinement

We tested the MINI Copper SD Coupe with an on the road price of £20,510, on top of the standard spec our test car was fitted with £4,490 worth of extras, bringing the total price to £25,000.

It is always a difficult decision when buying a car as to which options you should select – it is also frightening how quickly the extras add up. When buying a car most people set a budget which usually doesn’t allow for any options – with the SD Coupe it is some of these extras that make the car special. In our case the options fitted to our test car were over 20% of the list price.

The standard equipment highlights on the Cooper SD Coupe include – Air conditioning, Alarm, Active Rear Spoiler, DAB Radio MINI CD, MP3/WAV-compatible CD, Follow-me-home head lamps, MINIMALISM Technology including automatic Start/Stop, Park Distance Control, Sports button and Sports Stripes.

At £1,865 the Chili Pack does on the face of it look expensive as you really are only gaining Bi-Xenon headlights (although we would want them), Automatic Air Conditioning (should be standard) and 17” Conical Spoke wheels – but we think it is an essential option especially when you come to resell.

The Media Pack (£1,015) depends on how much you use the car, if you are just popping down to the shops then it might be an expense you can live without – but the navigation system is very good, not too sure you need MINI Connected. Although those of you that live by Facebook and have an iPhone might like the functionality. The MINI Connected App gives Apple iPhone owners access to innovative functions designed to enhance driving fun, entertainment and social networking. They can receive Facebook and Twitter posts, display them on the on-board monitor and even have them read out by the optional MINI Connected voice output function. Among the other functions unique in this segment are web radio, Google’s Local Search and Send to Car services, plus reception of user-definable RSS news feeds.

One last thought on the Media Package – the screen in the central speedo does look very good, so we might just indulge, better than a TomTom unit stuck on the window.

The rest of the options fitted to our test car are mainly centred on styling, which is so personal we won’t comment, although a lot people did like the black alloy wheels!

We like MINI’s tlc servicing packages which are available on all of the MINI Coupe range. MINI tlc offers owners 5 years or 50,000 miles of peace of mind motoring for £249. For owners who are looking for longer coverage the MINI tlc XL package is also available and covers 8 years or 80,000 miles for £275 which seems good value.

Safety and Security

The MINI Coupe has not been tested to date by Euro NCAP – the 2007 MINI Hatch received 5-stars so we would expect the Coupe to achieve a similar result.

As standard the SD Coupe is fitted with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The Coupe has four airbags as standard: driver and passenger front and side airbags.

There is Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which prevents unstable driving situations by intervening in the engine management and, if necessary, by applying braking force to individual wheels at the front or rear. DSC also includes Hill Assist and Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T) which prevents the front wheels from spinning on poor surfaces or if you have a heavy right-foot.


Our test car was equipped with the MINI Media pack (£1015) which comprises full Bluetooth preparation including Voice Control; MINI Connected; MINI Navigation system. We liked how the maps were rendered – very clear and you can use full post codes.

We were impressed that the MINI Coupe comes with a DAB tuner as standard, along with a single slot CD player and FM tuner. There is a 12v socket, 3.5mm aux connection and USB socket under the radio.

We had a problem with our iPod and connectivity to the Coupe – it did not seem to want to work all of the time – we could see the artwork on the TFT screen but there was no sound. Not too sure why this was happening, possibly it was down to the iPod cable we were using as we tried different iPods – which all worked with the BMW X3 we tested the following week. It would also seem that you can play back video on the multi-media screen via your iPod.

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What We Liked
  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions
  • Interior Trim
  • It is different
  • The tlc servicing packs make sense but remember they only cover servicing – they do not extend the warranty
What We Disliked
  • Limited thru-rear window vision
What We Would Like To See
  • Not a lot, only that some of the options should be standard – i.e. Warning triangle and first aid kit £45.00 bit cheeky on £20k car.

We did hear some comments that the Coupe is ugly – but we also had plenty of comments that it was rather interesting. It is a car that you need to drive and explore how excellent it is to drive before making a decision, it might surprise you.

We really enjoyed our experience - and it left us wanting more.

4 April 2012 Melanie Carter
MINI Coupe ReviewMINI Coupe Review  | Part Two
MINI Coupe Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMINI Cooper SD Coupe
Body Type2-door Coupe
ColourChili Red / Leather Lounge – Carbon Black
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph7.9 Seconds
Top Speed 134 mph
Transmission6-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeDiesel
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban55.4 mpg
Extra Urban72.4 mpg
Combined65.7 mpg
Insurance Group31
Euro NCAP Rating5-stars
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 04/04/12)£20,510

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. © 2018