Best And Worst Years For The Mini Cooper

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Mini Cooper is the first subcompact luxury crossover SUV introduced by BMW.

This vehicle was released under the MINI Line, a successful model since it is known to be the second most reliable and popular vehicle.

This vehicle has been in the market for quite some time now, and ever since, it has been loved by many people.

Every year it gets upgraded and designed to provide the best performance, comfortable driving, and easy-to-use features for drivers and passengers.

Finding out which model is reliable is really important, so you do not end up with a lemon vehicle.

Now, what are the best and worst years for Mini Cooper?

Here are the model years you should follow:

Best Years for Mini Cooper:

  1. 2016
  2. 2017
  3. 2018
  4. 2019
  5. 2020

Worst Years for Mini Cooper:

  1. 2009
  2. 2011
  3. 2012
  4. 2013

All you need to know is why these are the best and worst models, so make sure to read until the end.

Also, do not miss out on the buyer’s guide since it answers some of the important questions about the Mini Cooper.

List Of The Best Years For The Mini Cooper: What Years To Buy

Here I will explain why you should invest your hard-earned money in these model years.

Before anything, you should know that these Mini Cooper models are reliable efficient have impressive features, including safety and high ratings.

So now, without delay, let’s get into the best model years for Mini Cooper!

#1 Best Year: 2016 Mini Cooper

If you are looking for a vehicle that can provide sharp handling and responsive steering, then the 2016 Mini Cooper is practically made for you.

This vehicle handles well and has durable brakes that will work efficiently so you can have the smoothest ride every time.

Other than that, looking at the performance aspects of this vehicle, you surely will not be disappointed because of the four-cylinder engine that can produce 189 horsepower and efficient torque, which will enable you to ride efficiently in the town as well as on B-road.

The great thing about this vehicle that you must know is that it can go 0-62 mph in just 6.8 seconds, which indicates how fast this vehicle is.

Moreover, this vehicle has various features that will make the ride comfortable, these standard features are front side airbags, side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability as well as traction control system.

There are also other optional safety features such as a forward-collision warning that comes with the automatic braking system, self-parking system, and also backup camera that is super convenient.

#2 Best Year: 2017 Mini Cooper

The 2017 Mini Cooper is the best mini-vehicle to drive in for various car enthusiasts.

The great thing about this mini crossover SUV is that it has go-kart handling easy for many people to drive with.

You will also be getting the best and most powerful turbocharged engine options that you do not want to miss out on.

It is also worth mentioning that this vehicle has been rated incredibly in many aspects.

Still, most importantly, its overall reliability rating is above average and has outstanding crash test results, which matter a lot.

This just means that it is one of the safest vehicles one can drive-in.

Besides that, the interior is made to provide comfort to the drivers as well as passengers, it has extra cargo space with the back seats folded down, which is quite surprising for many people considering it is a mini-vehicle.

It also has a terrific gas mileage that allows you to drive for longer trips or day-to-day journeys.

There is so much to love about this vehicle, and I would highly recommend buying it so you can get the best driving experience from it.

#3 Best Year: 2018 Mini Cooper

You do not want to miss out on the 2018 Mini Cooper since it is one of the most reliable and fun vehicles to drive in with so many standard features that are easy to use and do not break down easily.

This vehicle is also long-lasting so expect it to run smoothly for more than 13 years.

However, it is crucial to provide regular maintenance and use it with care every time since vehicles can get problems easily.

But not this vehicle, though. It has many amazing yet durable features that make it one of the best.

The main reason you should purchase this vehicle is because of its go-kart-like handling, which is enjoyable and super easy to use.

Many people also love all three available body styles; two-door hardtop, two-door convertible, and four-door hardtop. So no matter which one you choose, they all will work incredibly.

Besides that, the turbo engine options function powerfully but mainly the base turbo engine, which is wonderful in this model.

It also has great tech features and safety features that have received a great response from many drivers, so it is certainly a must-have vehicle.

#4 Best Year: 2019 Mini Cooper

Another great year for the Mini Cooper, the 2019 Mini Cooper, is given the best ratings.

According to the site, this vehicle has reliability ratings of 4.5 out of 5.0. That’s not all.

This 2019 model is also ranked in second place in 2019 Subcompact Cars by the U.S. News and World Report, which is a big achievement for a vehicle.

This vehicle is a third-generation model that has been upgraded, so numerous drivers love it.

The great thing about this vehicle is that it now has more established controls and high-tech features that are easy to utilize and do not break down easily.

Other than that, this vehicle also has excellent crash test scores and various safety technologies installed in it that you cannot resist.

Various websites have suggested that when you want to buy this 2019 model, make sure to go for the Base model since it is lighter, cheaper, and way more fun to drive.

But if your budget is high and you want a luxurious trim level, go for the S trim level.

#5 Best Year: 2020 Mini Cooper

According to J.D. Power, the 2020 Mini Cooper has to be on the list of the best years mainly because of its perfect overall reliability ratings, which are 5 out of 5.

Now, what makes this vehicle so desirable? Well, the 2020 model has many great features to offer, from great handling, powerful engine options, luxurious interior, and so much more.

According to, this vehicle has an overall reliability rating of 8.5 out of 10, a safety rating of 8.9 out of 10, and a performance rating of 7.3 out of 10.

This is certainly so much better than most mini vehicles in the market.

Now, if you are someone who expects a vehicle to have responsive steering, durable brakes, smooth acceleration, and countless customization options, then the Mini Hardtop or Mini Convertible, which are two separate models, is the best choice for you that you can easily choose from.

I would highly recommend buying this vehicle whether you prefer a new or a used version.

Both are said to work effectively, so there is nothing for you to worry about. Just be sure to take good care of it by maintaining a regular check.

List Of The Worst Years For The Mini Cooper: What Years To Avoid

The main reason why these model years of Mini Cooper are said to be the worst is because of how problematic they were.

These models can be hard to handle and command a lot of repairs.

So if you do not wish to face certain problems, it is highly advised to avoid them for your betterment.

With that being said, here are the Mini Cooper model years you should never buy!

#1 Worst Year: 2009 Mini Cooper

Starting with the first model in this list, the 2009 Mini Cooper is the worst one can own. This is mainly because of how hard it is to drive around in this vehicle.

The 2009 model has been recalled three times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because of how seriously most of their problems were.

The most common problem found in this vehicle is a major engine problem that would not rest.

Many people said they had to change the entire engine system because of how serious it was to deal with this vehicle.

The main reason why the engine problems were so serious is that the exhaust valve, which is of one cylinder, might break quickly.

This would cause it to lose compression and eventually lose all its power and make rattling sounds while driving.

Other than that, this vehicle also had issues with the turbo and supercharger, timing chain and timing belt wearing out, oil leaks, engine computer malfunctioning, and so much more.

#2 Worst Year: 2011 Mini Cooper

The 2011 Mini Cooper is the worst model because of how dangerous it can be to drive. Like the 2009 model, this model also has serious engine problems that can be quite hard to deal with.

The engine is prone to fail quickly, and there are high chances for it to catch on fire, making it a dangerous situation for you as well as for other drivers steering on the road.

Other than engine problems, this vehicle also has a malfunctioning automatic transmission installed.

The concerning part is that it can make it quite difficult for people to shift gears, and an oil filter housing gasket leaks, according to many people.

According to the statements found in the Consumer Reports, this vehicle can cost a lot for repairs because the engine computer has many problems.

It is likely to leak oil from the thermostat. It also causes leaks in transmission and computer modules. It can cost around $5000 for repairs.

Other than that, you will see issues in the fuel system because there will be leakage, stalling, hesitations, and the fuel does not pump well.

#3 Worst Year: 2012 Mini Cooper

Now coming to the 2012 Mini Cooper, this vehicle is also one of the worst models mainly because of transmission problems and electrical system issues.

These problems cannot be taken lightly because they ruin many components installed in the vehicle.

Other than that, it can also cost a lot of money to fix them since some components are hard to find, but when it comes to the transmission itself, it is one of the important and expensive parts of the vehicle that requires extra care.

Once the transmission has a problem, it can make it quite difficult for drivers to shift gears or accelerate and difficult to handle.

Other than that, when it comes to the electrical system, the main issues people had to go through were with the exterior alternator parts like the lights since the wires wear out quickly.

Besides that, people also noticed rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure, electronic ignition problems are all parts of the electrical system failing or wearing out extremely fast.

Depending on how serious the issue is, it can also cost more than $2000 to repair.

#4 Worst Year: 2013 Mini Cooper

The last model listed here, the 2013 Mini Cooper, is said to have serious issues in the early stages of driving, starting from 11,000 miles and so on.

The most common issue found was stuttering and a clutch failure which mainly happens when the vehicle reaches around 15,000 miles on the odometer.

This vehicle has poor ratings as well and many complaints. Many people also reported that the interior of this vehicle is not comfortable at all, especially the back seats.

Other than that, the ride is also unsettling for many people because it does not ride smoothly, and it runs out of power when it goes on the highway or at faster speeds.

It does not handle well on bumpy roads either, which is why people rated it so poorly.

It is also worth mentioning that besides the firm ride minimal space at the back seats, this vehicle also has a poor infotainment system, and dashboard controls that malfunction a lot.

It can cost around $2000 or more to replace the entire dashboard, but it mainly depends on how serious the issue is and the labor cost.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Mini Cooper?

The problems with this vehicle are something that you cannot ignore because they can grow substantially and damage other components.

I will explain in detail how it can affect other parts of the vehicle and how it starts to have a clear understanding.

Here are the most common problems found in the Mini Cooper!

1. Clutch Failure

This problem happens so randomly while driving and can be extremely dangerous.

If you are unfamiliar with this problem, do keep in mind that once you start to have a hard time changing gears, the vehicle shudders a lot, or you notice uncommon resistance on the pedal.

That’s when the clutch failure issue starts gradually. A major reason this problem might occur is overheating or because of the failure of the timing chain.

This is the main reason why experts suggest checking the transmission after every 100,000 miles because there are high chances for the transmission to fail.

It is also worth mentioning that fixing or replacing this part can cost more than $1500.

2. Water Pump Leak

This item is extremely important for the engine.

This is mainly because the water pump cycles the coolant to maintain an adequate temperature inside the engine to not overheat or malfunction.

If the timing chain is damaged, then the water pump is likely to be damaged since the chain assists the cycling of the engine.

You will notice some issues with this component when it starts to rattle too much.

Many experts suggest that you maintain the engine cooling since they are likely to overheat and if well taken care of, you will be getting the best performance out of your vehicle.

Keep in mind that it can cost around $450 to $550 to replace the water pump, which is required once it messes up.

3. Transmission Problems

The automatic transmission would fail to perform well or stop working completely spontaneously.

This can make it difficult for drivers to shift gears, brakes failing or difficult accelerating, etc. This problem is likely to happen with the first generation models of the Mini Cooper.

This is the main reason why BMW was forced to deliver a warranty because of the lawsuit against them since the transmission started to have many concerning problems.

Do keep in mind that the warranty coverage was for 150,000 miles which are said to be around for eight years or so.

Related: Why Won’t My Mini Cooper Start?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Many Miles Should A Mini Cooper Last?

It is said that a Mini Cooper can last from around 200,000 miles up to 250,000 miles easily, which is said to be for 13 to 17 years.

Besides that, it is also stated that if you drive the Mini Cooper for 15,000 miles per year, it will work efficiently for 13 to 17 years before requiring repairs or breaking down.

But do keep in mind that it also depends on how well you drive it, and if you provide regular maintenance, be sure to do that.

Related: How Long Do Mini Coopers Last?

Q2. What Year Did The Mini Cooper Get The BMW Engine?

In the year 2001, the Mini Cooper was introduced with the new generation of engines that BMW and Peugeot manufactured.

These engines are said to be extremely powerful, efficient, and reliable. Do keep in mind that they replaced the 1.6 liters units delivered by Chrysler.

Q3. Are Mini Coopers Expensive To Fix?

Yes, Mini Coopers are expensive to fix. It is stated that the annual average maintenance costs of a Mini Cooper are around $848.

This is said to be fairly higher than the average yearly maintenance cost, around $456. This is for other subcompact vehicles. It is also higher than for all car models, which is around $652.

Q4. Are Mini Coopers Good In Snow?

Yes, Mini Coopers work extremely well in snow, even though they are small vehicles.

This vehicle’s front-wheel drive, as well as the weight of 2000 pounds, makes it handle snow pretty well.

It is also worth mentioning that the Mini Cooper cars have better traction than most subcompact vehicles out there in the market.

So yes, this vehicle is the best choice for driving in the winter.

Q5. Is Mini Cooper Good For Long Drives?

Yes, Mini Cooper is good for going for long drives.

This vehicle is easy to handle, easy to park, and easy to drive around all the time. This vehicle is great for road trips and can be extremely fun to drive.

Though it is recommended that you do not take a lot of luggage as the interior can get cramped, especially the rear seats. Some say that the back seats are not spacious enough.


As you already know everything about the best and worst years for Mini Cooper, it will not be difficult to make the decision anymore.

Although this vehicle has a high maintenance cost and is a mini subcompact vehicle, it is still known to be one of the most reliable and less problematic.

Many people tend to have an enjoyable experience riding it because it is easy to handle and has a comfortable interior with loads of tech features that are easy to use.

Be sure to do some more research on the model you are going to purchase, such as checking the car reviews websites since they provide accurate information all the time.

Other than that, you can also consult car experts to help you make the right decision.