2019 Nissan 370Z vs. 2018 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The 370Z has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 370Z and the Cooper Convertible 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.

Warranty

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Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the 370Z 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Convertible. 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 Convertible ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Nissan dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The 370Z has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:

 

Horsepower

Torque

370Z 3.7 DOHC V6

332 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

370Z NISMO Coupe 3.7 DOHC V6

350 HP

276 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Convertible 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Convertible S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

John Cooper Works Convertible 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan 370Z (base engine) is faster than the Cooper Convertible S (manual transmissions tested):

 

370Z

Cooper

Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.8 sec

16 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

96 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan 370Z (base engine) is faster than the MINI Cooper Convertible (base engine) (automatics tested):

 

370Z

Cooper

Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The 370Z has 7.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (19 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic is available on the Nissan 370Z, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Convertible.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 370Z’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Convertible:

 

370Z

370Z Sport/NISMO

Cooper

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

14 inches

11 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The 370Z’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 Convertible are solid, not vented.

The 370Z stops shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

 

370Z

Cooper

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 370Z has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:225/50R18 & R:245/45R18 vs. 175/65R15). The 370Z Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).

The 370Z’s standard 225/50R18 front and 245/45R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series front and 45 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 275/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 370Z has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 370Z’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (100.4 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 370Z is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The 370Z’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.3% to 45.7%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the 370Z more stable handling and braking.

The 370Z Touring Roadster handles at .95 G’s, while the Cooper Convertible pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Cooper Convertible’s (32.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Cooper Convertible’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis

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The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The 370Z has 1.5 inches more front legroom and 3.4 inches more front shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 370Z is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The 370Z’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Convertible’s standard power windows.

The Intelligent Key standard on the 370Z 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 Convertible’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the 370Z has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the 370Z Touring Roadster/Sport Touring Roadster keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/14

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan 370Z, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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