2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the ILX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the ILX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ILX.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 17th in reliability. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 4 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door gets better fuel mileage than the ILX

 

 

 

MPG

Cooper Hardtop 4 Door

 

Manual

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

28 city/37 hwy

 

Auto

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

27 city/35 hwy

ILX

 

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/34 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ILX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The ILX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door higher (7 out of 10) than the Acura ILX (3). This means the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ILX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S Auto’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The ILX doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The ILX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Base has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The ILX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.5% to 40.5%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the ILX’s (36.2 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Acura ILX.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 2 feet shorter than the ILX, making the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ILX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has 1.9 inches more front headroom and 1.6 inches more rear headroom than the ILX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rear seats recline. The ILX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the ILX (13.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the ILX’s useful trunk space.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The ILX uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The ILX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The ILX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard rear wiper. The ILX doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The ILX doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ILX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ILX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The MINI Cooper comes in convertible, two-door hatchback and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Acura ILX isn’t available as a two-door or convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will cost $305 less than the ILX over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is less expensive to operate than the ILX because typical repairs cost much less on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door than the ILX, including $52 less for a starter and $280 less for fuel injection.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will be $5510 to $6712 less than for the Acura ILX.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door first among compact sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ILX isn’t in the top three in its category.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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