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Review: 2012 MINI JCW Cooper Coupe

Cars, Reviews  /   /  By Danny Chang

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics
The MINI Cooper Coupe is designed for two people and some luggage. While it has a deeper trunk than a standard Cooper, you lose the upper space of the regular hatchback. There is a little bit of storage space behind the two seats, but that space is not very well utilized by the designers. They could have put a bit more thought and created more useful storage arrangements.

The seats are very supportive and fairly easy to adjust like on other Coopers. The gigantic center dash-mounted dial for the speedometer is hard to miss but not very useful for the driver. I tended to focus on the digital speed readout in the LCD part of the steering column-mounted tachometer dial to know how fast I was going.

MINI Cooper center console stack

I like the unique MINI flip switch designs, they’re a nice touch. But MINI is not consistent throughout, with some controls being push button and some being flip switches. And the design details can get a little overwhelming at times and make the entire interior appear too busy.

The user interface of the MINI Connected in-car entertainment/Navigation system is not all that intuitive, and the joystick controller of the tester was not super sensitive, often requiring pushing repeatedly before the system would register an action.

I downloaded the free MINI Connected iPhone app, which promises connection to Facebook, Twitter, web radio, RSS feeds, Google Local Search results, etc., but found it extremely hard to use. The connection via the USB iPhone/iPod cable was not tight and required constant jiggering, and the functionalities are not always working. It is very gimmicky and looks better on paper than how it works in real life.

rear spoiler raises at 50 mph and above

Conclusion
With an MSRP of $31,200, the tester MINI JCW Cooper Coupe’s long list of options quickly took it to a total suggested retail price of $38,450. With that kind of money, one can choose from a plethora of sports coupes on the market with equal or better performance. Most of these other cars are even rear-wheel drive and have more creature comfort options than the MINI JCW Cooper Coupe. None of them, however, are as fun to drive as the go kart-like MINI or as quirky as the MINI.

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19 Comments
 
  1. J.A.Booker July 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Its just one obnoxious, horrifing bad looking car!!!!!!!!!!!!..But it has all the good stuff; twin tubros,,6 speed , 208 horse power etc.

    • SpecTroll July 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm Reply

      Yoh you, yah you! It has 1 (one) turbo that is twinscrolled…

      • Derek Mau July 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm Reply

        Don’t know how I missed this during editing. Thanks for pointing out the error. It now says powered by a twin scroll turborcharger…

  2. richard roy franklin July 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm Reply

    hi,there is no supercharger,try turbo!

    • Derek Mau July 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm Reply

      You are absolutely right. The article has been corrected.

  3. Ric Csarak July 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm Reply

    Totally Awesome–Love It–Thinking of trading my 2003 MINI JCW COOPER S!!

  4. Vladimir July 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm Reply

    I like it, nice car.

  5. JetJetson July 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm Reply

    That’s just the little Red Dragon I’m looking for. mHmm, Now where to get the Gold to purchase one.

  6. Merc from Cyprus July 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Roof highlights. But how ridiculous it looks.
    But it would be interesting to ride.

  7. scott July 6, 2012 at 1:06 am Reply

    If you are a larger person, ie. I’m 6’3″ 275lbs. It fits like a glove… a small one.
    With that said, this is one fun little ride, tho I would not take it for a 1k mile trip 😛

  8. Gary sargent July 6, 2012 at 2:29 am Reply

    I think the mini J C W Is different and some what cool looking , I agree about the rear roof line,being a design mistake, but that could be changed In future models, over all I would really like one in the next line up when some young designer makes positive changes,what about prices , my brother has a Mini, and I have driven It I think these are awesome little cars and I am looking at this and the Fiat 500 Abarth, or Gucci,the american market Is slack In this type of car …..

    • Derek Mau July 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm Reply

      @Gary –

      A base MINI Cooper Coupe starts at $21,300. The top of the line JCW is $31,200 and gets even pricier when you starting checking off the optional equipment boxes.

  9. Frank Spero July 6, 2012 at 6:43 am Reply

    i think it sucks good idea but assinie looks get rid of that roofline in the back after looking at it from the front the back is a big let down

  10. kent evans July 6, 2012 at 9:02 am Reply

    quanto costa, per favore?

    • Derek Mau July 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm Reply

      Base price for the JCW model is $31,200. As tested with a full compliment of option, $38,450.

  11. Quillen R Ely July 7, 2012 at 5:57 am Reply

    Why in the world have you changed the style of a mini cooper. It use to be cute and now you have put the most riduculous front end on it. I want a mini cooper but not if it looks like the new one.

  12. Jon Canales July 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm Reply

    I just had a baby and I relly want a 4 seater of on of these but can’t afford one I love the clubman call me seeing as in this car has my initials in it I would really appreciate one 13866312000

  13. Thanasis July 11, 2012 at 8:26 am Reply

    Super car my men very nice!
    If you sell it! I pay 10000€

  14. eBay Motors July 11, 2012 at 10:19 am Reply

    Thanks for your comments everyone! We noticed that many of you have a standard icon here and wanted to let you know that your avatar here can be simply updated using http://gravatar.com where you can plug in an icon of your face, your favorite car/truck, etc.

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