2018 Subaru BRZ vs. 2018 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2018 Subaru BRZ

Available Now!

2018 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Available Now!

Safety

The BRZ has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the BRZ and the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Subaru BRZ is safer than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

 

BRZ

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

36%

Neck Stress

263 lbs.

318 lbs.

Neck Compression

28 lbs.

60 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Subaru’s powertrain warranty covers the BRZ 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 5 times as many Subaru dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the BRZ’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Subaru vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Subaru 3 places higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

The BRZ has more powerful engines than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

 

Horsepower

BRZ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

200 HP

BRZ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

205 HP

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

As tested in Motor Trend the Subaru BRZ 2.0 is faster than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (manual transmissions tested):

 

BRZ

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door turbo 3 cyl.

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

7.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.9 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

88.8 MPH

95.7 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the BRZ lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability (That’s why Porsche uses boxer engines.). The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

The BRZ has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (13.2 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the BRZ’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

 

BRZ

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.4 inches

10.2 inches

The BRZ’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door are solid, not vented.

The BRZ stops much shorter than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

 

BRZ

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

 

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the BRZ has larger tires than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (215/45R17 vs. 175/65R15). The BRZ’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (215/45R17 vs. 205/40R18).

The BRZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the BRZ has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the BRZ’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (101.2 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the BRZ is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

The BRZ Limited handles at .94 G’s, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The BRZ executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the BRZ Limited is quieter than the John Cooper Works Hardtop:

 

BRZ

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

At idle

42 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

85 dB

87 dB

70 MPH Cruising

73 dB

75 dB

Passenger Space

The BRZ has .5 inches more front legroom, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room and 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the BRZ offers cargo security. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the BRZ is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The BRZ’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s power windows.

Keyless Entry and Start standard on the BRZ Limited allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Subaru BRZ, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The BRZ was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2013. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The BRZ was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 5 years. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has never been an “All Star.”

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