2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional City Safety, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Civic Si doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Civic Si 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Si’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Si’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. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic Si.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 6 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 192) than the Civic Si’s 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Civic Si 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 Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic 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 Civic Si doesn’t offer launch control.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Civic Si’s (36.2 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 2 feet, 1.4 inches shorter than the Civic Si Sedan, 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 Civic Si doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has 2.4 inches more front headroom and .7 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Si Sedan.

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

Cargo Capacity

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 Civic Si’s useful trunk space.

Servicing Ease

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic Si 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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si 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 Civic Si doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

When the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Civic Si’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Civic Si offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Civic Si’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Civic Si doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The MINI Cooper comes in convertible, two-door hatchback and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Honda Civic Si isn’t available as a 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 $425 to $1985 less than the Civic Si 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 Civic Si because typical repairs cost less on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door than the Civic Si, including $67 less for a starter.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Honda Civic Si, 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 Civic Si isn’t in the top three.

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

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