2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Corolla Hatchback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Corolla Hatchback (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 155) than the Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (189 vs. 168) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 155) than the Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Toyota Corolla Hatchback (6). This means the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Corolla Hatchback every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

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 Corolla Hatchback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Corolla Hatchback’s (36.2 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 1 foot shorter than the Corolla Hatchback, 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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has 1.5 inches more front headroom and 2.4 inches more rear legroom than the Corolla Hatchback.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Corolla Hatchback with its rear seat folded (40.7 vs. 23.3 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

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 Corolla Hatchback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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

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

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