Guide to Green Cars > The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide > Mini

2012 Green Car Buyer’s Guide, Mini

2012 model year highlight from Mini: the Mini Cooper. 


Compiled by Megan E. Phelps, John Rockhold,
Hannah Kincaid, Emily Glover,
Bradley Berman and Zach McDonald

See “What the Numbers Mean” in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012 for a full description of the metrics we collected for each model.

Mini Cooper

Gasoline, Subcompact Hatchback 

Mini-CooperBase Price: $20,200
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 28/36/31
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,900 (premium)
Air Pollution Score: 5
Greenhouse Gas Score: 7
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 48/Above Average
Safety Ratings: N/A
Space: N/A/seats 4
Drive Score: 5
Similar Used: 2007 to 2011

Good to Know: 

  • The Mini Cooper legacy dates back to a series of small, British city cars that first entered production in the 1950s.
  • When BMW acquired the brand and brought the Mini to the United States in the early 2000s, it was viewed as an upscale, urban curiosity because of its cutesy size and styling. Rising gas prices made the Mini suddenly practical for many drivers.
  • Today the Mini Cooper is still hailed for its performance and fun factor, but its fuel economy no longer soars above more spacious subcompact vehicles.

What the Press Says: 

  • “If you haven’t heard, Minis are really fun to drive. ... Much to our delight, the base Mini is no penalty box.” — Motor Trend 
  • “The 2012 Mini Cooper offers clever engineering, quality of assembly, terrific performance, exceptional fuel economy and unprecedented personalization. ... If you can tolerate a few stylistic eccentricities within its interior, you’ll forge the kind of emotional bond with your Mini that hasn’t been seen in the United States since the heyday of the Beetle.” — Kelley Blue Book 

What Drivers Say: 

  • Not surprisingly, many Mini Cooper drivers had comments about the size of the car. On the one hand, some said it just doesn’t have much passenger space, while others labeled it compact and cool. “It’s very practical,” says Janice Vecchiet of Oswego, Ill. “I don’t feel guilty driving it around alone — I always felt guilty driving more car than I needed.” Others praised the car’s handling, mileage and safety features. Reported real-world highway mileage was right around the EPA rating of 36 mpg.

More 2012 green cars: Find details about many more green cars from other automakers in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012.

Photo from Mini 

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