2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 2 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 2 Series’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The 2 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 2 Series and the Cooper Convertible have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cooper Convertible has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many BMW dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 2 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

The battery on the 2 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 2 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Cooper Convertible’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Cooper Convertible isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 1 place higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

The 2 Series has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:

Horsepower

Torque

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

369 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 M240i is faster than the MINI Cooper Convertible (base engine) (automatics tested):

2 Series

Cooper

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

24.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

85 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

124 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The 2 Series has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (13.7 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The BMW 2 Series comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 2 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Convertible.

All wheel drive, available in the 2 Series, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The MINI Cooper Convertible is not available with all wheel drive.

The 2 Series Automatic’s 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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 2 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Convertible:

230i

M240i

Cooper

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The 2 Series’ 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 2 Series stops shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

2 Series

Cooper

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 2 Series has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (205/50R17 vs. 175/65R15). The 2 Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18 vs. 205/40R18).

The 230i’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The 2 Series’ optional 245/35R18 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 230i has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the Cooper Convertible.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (105.9 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 2 Series Convertible a Subcompact car, while the Cooper Convertible is rated a Minicompact.

The 2 Series Convertible has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Convertible (81.7 vs. 76).

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (9.9 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (11.8 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The Cooper Convertible’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 2 Series 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

When two different drivers share the 2 Series, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the 2 Series offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Cooper Convertible’s top can only be opened by remote, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 2 Series’ optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

On extremely cold winter days, the 2 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 2 Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The 2 Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer rear vents.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Cooper Convertible isn’t in the top three in its category.

The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The Cooper Convertible has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Cooper Convertible has never been an “All Star.”

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

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