Review: MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015)

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Most engines couple good performance with decent economy. Enjoyable to drive. Attention grabbing looks.

Styling not to everyone's taste. Ride is on the firm side. Excessive tyre noise on rough roads. No rear seats.

MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015): At A Glance

The MINI range continues to grow with every passing year. There’s the Clubman, Countryman and the now the Coupe. With two seats and a low roofline it certainly looks more purposeful, but the appearance will undoubtedly split opinion.

Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s no denying it’s the most driver focused model in the MINI line-up. It’s the sprightliest performer too. The range-topping 211 PS John Cooper Works model can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds and even the 143PS Cooper SD diesel is swift. The range also features an entry level Cooper model with 122PS plus a Cooper S with 184PS.

Regardless of engine choice the MINI Coupe is reasonably efficient. The diesel is, of course, the most economical, with an official economy figure of 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km, but even the John Cooper Works model manages a respectable 42.8mpg – not bad when you consider the performance it offers.

It’s a playful car, offering enjoyable handling on twisting country roads. It is confidence inspiring and surefooted most of the time but mid corner lumps and bumps can make the rear of the car feel unsettled. On top of that the ride is firm and can be a little uncomfortable over rougher roads.

The low roofline means no rear seats, but as the Coupe sits on the same platform as the regular hatch the space left over gives it a useful boot of 280 litres, accessed through a proper hatchback rather than a small boot-lid. Unfortunately the low roofline can make the cabin feel slightly dark and closed in while rear visibility is poor, but the dash layout is stylish and there's a good level of equipment.  

Standard equipment covers the most important features and there’s the usual breadth of customisation options. There’s a colour scheme or option pack to suit everyone, but the downside to such a broad range of optional extras is that they all add up and can make the final price significantly higher than the initial list price.

Long Term Test MINI Coupe Cooper SD 

Road Test and Video 2011 MINI Coupe SD

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What does a MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015) cost?

MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3728–3758 mm
Width 1892 mm
Height 1378–1385 mm
Wheelbase 2467 mm

Full specifications

The low roofline might make for a striking exterior design but it means the interior feels a little cramped. There are no rear seats – not even tiny ones like you get in other sporty coupes – so you’ll only ever be able to carry one passenger. On the plus side it means the boot is a decent size, rivalling small hatchbacks.

Over-shoulder and rearward visibility are poor and when parked at high-up traffic lights it’s necessary to crane your neck to see them change because of the raked windscreen. Luckily the driving position is very good, with height adjustable seats and plenty of reach in the steering.

Even taller drivers will find it comfortable with a ‘scalloped’ roof to improve headroom in the cabin. The dashboard is nicely laid out with a big, retro-style speedometer sitting proudly at the top of the centre stack and retro metallic ‘toggle’ switches for the windows. There are some bad points though, like the confusing climate control switches and some cheap plastic trim in places.

There are also a few rattles when driving over potholes and there’s a bit more tyre roar than you’d like over rougher road surfaces, but while there are shortcomings they’re easy to forgive them when you look at the stylish details and get comfortable in the attractive seats. Additionally, if you ever need to carry rear passengers it’s unlikely you’d be looking at a sports coupe in the first place. 

Standard Equipment: 

Coupe Cooper models come with electric mirrors, electric windows, height adjustable drivers seat, reach/ rake adjustable steering wheel, parking sensors, DAB radio/ CD player with AUX-in, brake wear indicator and alloy wheels.

Coupe Cooper S models are as Cooper plus Cooper S exterior styling, sports seats and follow-me-home lights.

Coupe Cooper SD models are as Cooper S plus air-conditioning.

Coupe John Cooper Works models are as Cooper SD plus JCW alloy wheels, JCW exterior styling, piano black interior trim and sports leather steering wheel.

Child seats that fit a MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015) like to drive?

On a winding country road it’s impossible to deny that the Coupe is a fun car, regardless of engine choice. The steering is well weighted and precise while the firm suspension means very little body roll. It’s a joy to thread through corners and will undoubtedly leave a smile on your face.

All models have a Sport button, which weights up the steering and sharpens the throttle response, adding to the experience further. On petrol models it gives a more purposeful exhaust note to boot. The downside to the handling focussed set-up is a firm ride that verges on uncomfortable over rougher roads, while mid-corner potholes or bends can upset the rear of the car.

The nimble handling is best complimented by the 184PS Cooper S and 211PS John Cooper Works engines, which provide good performance and an enjoyable exhaust note. The 122PS engine in the entry level Cooper, while adequate for less enthusiastic drivers, isn’t quite powerful enough to really complement the handling.

Finally, there is a Cooper SD diesel model which blends good performance with fuel economy – but has a less enjoyable sound and slightly dulled handling. On the plus side the diesel is a perfectly decent companion on a long haul motorway trip, cruising quietly with plenty of torque in reserve for overtaking slow-movers.

But for the best blend of performance, economy and usability we’d have to recommend the 184PS Coupe Cooper S. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds yet deliver commendable fuel economy of 48.7mpg and emissions of 136g/km. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
Cooper 52 mpg 9.0 s 127 g/km
Cooper Automatic 44 mpg 10.3 s 150 g/km
Cooper S 49 mpg 6.9 s 136 g/km
Cooper S Automatic 44 mpg 7.1 s 149 g/km
Cooper SD 66 mpg 7.9 s 114 g/km
Cooper SD Automatic 53 mpg 8.2 s 139 g/km
John Cooper Works 43 mpg 6.4 s 153–165 g/km
John Cooper Works Automatic 40 mpg 6.6 s 149–165 g/km

Real MPG average for a MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

30–63 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Why does the turbo of my diesel get so hot?

I own a MINI Coupe 2.0 diesel and now and again I get a smoke smell like burning oil coming from around the turbo. I took it back to the garage and they said it was a leaking rocker cover gasket. I took the car away and three weeks later the same thing occurred but with the engine fan on for 15 mins after the engine was switched off and bubbling water in the expansion tank. What is wrong?
I think that what has happened here is the engine has been switched off directly too many times when the turbo was still almost red hot. This has then carbonised the oil in the turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes, restricting the flow of oil to the turbo bearing making the overheating even worse and because the turbo is also watercooled it has boiled the coolant passing through it. leading to overheating of the engine.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The MINI Coupe (2011 – 2015)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Sporty and Coupe.

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