• 2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S

Mini has released many new models in the past two years, but its bread and butter has always been the Cooper and it still remains a high priority. Updates to the Mini Cooper have been coming steadily every year since day one. The R50 Cooper that started the revival for the company in the United States was utilitarian compared to these new models and had left much to be desired.

For 2011, the car receives some minor updates that will help keep it viable until a replacement model is introduced. Refinement is the one word that we would use to describe the new model and that does not mean it is as refined as its BMW cousins, just refined enough for a Mini. The refresh may only be minor, but it is helpful to this car in every way.

Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Mini Cooper.

  • 2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S
  • Year:
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  • Displacement:
    1.6-liter L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    126 mph
  • Layout:
  • Price:
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2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Exterior
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Classic Mini lines still prevail in the 2011 Cooper and the designers have not taken too many liberties with the retro feel. A list of standard features come on the exterior including 15” five spoke wheels, chrome grill, and daytime running lights for the Cooper – 16” rib spoke wheels, black mesh grill, and body color sport bumpers for the Cooper S.

Many different options exist and Mini customization can be quite fun. I own a 2005 Mini Cooper R50 and have added many small exterior pieces straight for the Mini website. John Cooper Works parts and body kits are available as well as mirror housings with the British flag, chrome gas cap covers, rally racing lights, and decals for the roof.

For 2011, Mini has added some nice performance pieces to the exterior including functional brake ducts in the lower grill. Not only do these look cool, but by being functional lend a practical aspect to the application. The front end look has been further defined by new lighting. Xenon headlights with a unique design and washer system now sit proudly over the wheel arches. New lights also make an appearance at the rear and they have more of a BMW feel than ever.


2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Interior
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When we look at the interior of the updated Mini, and especially the 2011, I want to go and sell my 2005 immediately. The simplistic retro feel of the Mini One is cool for about five minutes with feelings quickly turning into frustration. The updated speedometer remains in the center of the stack and includes the integrated radio. Navigation is an option and it sits directly in the middle of the whole chrome ring housing. If you opt for the Navigation, than the speedometer is moved to a double cluster setup above the steering wheel. This may sound odd, but it is actually one of the most popular aftermarket pieces that Mini sells.

Updated and more cushioned seats are found in the 2011 and sport seats are an option. The leather is of a higher grade, perhaps it’s just real leather this time, and seat piping is available. In order to receive the upgraded seating upholstery you must get the Lounge Leather Upholstery with Corresponding Color Line option for $2,000, but we think it is money well spent. A few more budget friendly options include Piano Black trim in the dash for only $250 or English Oak for the same price.


2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Drivetrain
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The engine compartment receives some upgrades for 2011 including a bump in power. For the Cooper, the engine remains a 1.6-liter 4 cylinder unit producing 121hp at 6,000rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4,250rpm. Attached to a Getrag manual transmission this can get the Mini to 60mph in 8.4 seconds and a top speed over 126mph. While this is not jaw dropping performance, the little Mini is quick and feels nimble on its feet due to its small size and light weight. Zipping down the freeway in and out of lanes is one of the things this Mini does best and it’s fun in the curves too.

Increases to the Cooper S are more significant lending an extra 9hp over the 2010 model. When talking about cars with 400, 500, or more horsepower than an additional 9 is basically a gimmick, but in a Mini it becomes crucial. The reworked motor is essentially the same as the base Cooper’s with a turbocharger attached. It now produces 181hp at 5,500 rpm and 177 lb-ft of torque at 1,600-5,000rpm. With the increases to engine performance, freeing up the rev limiter and transmission tuning for the Cooper S – the new John cooper Works model will have its work cut out to remain in the lead as the driver’s Cooper of choice.


2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Exterior
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For 2011, the Mini Cooper range begins at $20,100 and the Cooper S at $23,700. Both models are available as the hatchback or as a convertible with will easily run over $30,000 with a few options thrown into the mix. It’s not cheap, but the Mini is one of the best performing and most economical cars on the road getting 37mpg on the highway and 29mpg in the city.


2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Exterior
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Several competitors fall in the same category as the Cooper, but none really match it on all levels. The Audi A3, BMW 1-series, and Mazda 3 all attract a different set of buyers and have similar specs to the Cooper. BMW feels the 1-series is pulling buyers away from its more expensive 3-series more than it’s hurting the Mini product line. Audi has a similar philosophy, but the A3 does have similar fuel economy and price points so it would be an option to consider. Mazda, on the other hand, brings an economical car with good performance to the table and might appeal to those on a budget wanting to have some fun as well. With a base price of $15,800, the Mazda is a good fit for those who are either not fully infatuated with how the Mini looks or those who need a bit more size and space. Overall, the Mini attracts a crowd all its own with owners who truly end up loving their cars. They are distinct, customizable, performance oriented, and practical – which makes them hard to beat for the price.

  • Leave it
    • Increased Price
    • Ergonomics
    • Cargo Room
2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S Exterior
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Source: Mini

Matt McDonald
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What do you think?
Show Comments


  (797) posted on 07.3.2012

I used to dislike this, until the retro-modern hype got into me.

  (402) posted on 06.29.2012

Can we not even compare these two variants?

  (630) posted on 05.31.2012

Mini’s really amaze me a lot whenever I see one of them roving the roads. I must say that I became a fan of Coopers since I started the liking on classic and unique cars. 

  (314) posted on 05.30.2012

It should better eliminate the disadvantage before it multiplies.

  (558) posted on 03.13.2012

I don’t know, I think it has equal advantages and disadvantages? That alone is a turn off for the buyers.

  (595) posted on 01.30.2012

I like the organized interior of the car and the good engine performance. This mini cooper is super, cute and simple.

  (613) posted on 10.19.2011

Mini Cooper & Cooper S can absolutely captivate lots of attention because on its striking platform and cute appearance, and the color option of this small car is really looking so great on it.

  (474) posted on 10.3.2011

When you see one of the mini cars on the road, you will really be amazed with the looks of them. Anyway, this Cooper and Cooper S is so fabulous on its color and design. The engine that it had been quite impressive also.

  (570) posted on 09.28.2011

Very elegant model car, it does look so reviling and very attractive in the eye. Prior to its design, very trendy and cool.

  (797) posted on 09.27.2011

2011 Mini Cooper & Cooper S has 121 horse power @ 6,000 RPM. The style of this car is really great but I don’t like the performance of this car.

  (444) posted on 08.1.2011

I still refer its competitor like the Audi, BMW and Audi vehicle! The car has an impressive styling especially in the interior but I don’t think that its appealing.

  (762) posted on 08.1.2011

Is this a hatchback or roadster?Well, I can’t find any updates in the exterior of the car, its still the boring MINI that I have seen. The interior was great but I refer an additional on its figure performance.

  (553) posted on 05.27.2011

Yeah, they really beefed up the performance of this new Mini. And I really like the fact that they also took care of the aesthetics here, really love the interior work.

  (676) posted on 04.20.2011

Well, this is basically the new mini cooper is quite impressive, The car seems to be new updates of engine with its high quality. It shows the increase performances as well.

  (25) posted on 03.31.2011

It is so small and with such a small leg room, it should be classified as a compact car and although its interiors are luxurious, it can only be felt when you feel comfortable seating in it. I don’t like the design as well.

  (25) posted on 03.31.2011

This one a real fighter. Even categorized as a small car and for such an affordable price, it still competes with the models from the major players. It gives us to have a high quality interiors and model like a convertible in such an attractive pricing.

  (727) posted on 03.16.2011

IMO, i think MINI has the same design with their headlights!
I can’t really call this one ugly but its not that pretty! And it looks cute with that convertible rooftop

  (410) posted on 03.7.2011

A Mini Roadster, now that’s definitely something to look at. Rather unique take on the car, this will definitely satisfy those looking for something new with the Cooper.

  (592) posted on 02.7.2011

Competitors will fall in love again with the same category,but none really match it on all levels.

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