2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door 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.

The BMW 2 Series weighs 495 to 1319 pounds more than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

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 Hardtop 2 Door was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

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

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 2 Series has a standard 170-amp alternator (210-amp - 2 Series 6 cyl.). The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Hardtop 2 Door’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 2 Series’ reliability 13 points higher than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door:

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 Hardtop 2 Door 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

John Cooper Works Hardtop 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regardless of its engine, the 2 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) MINI only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door Auto.

The 2 Series has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (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 Hardtop 2 Door.

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 Hardtop 2 Door.

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 Hardtop 2 Door is not available with all wheel drive.

The BMW 2 Series 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 Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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

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 Hardtop 2 Door are solid, not vented.

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

2 Series

Cooper

80 to 0 MPH

208 feet

229 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111.1 feet

142.4 feet

AutoWeek

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 2 Series has larger standard tires than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (205/50R17 vs. 175/65R15). The 2 Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (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 Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 65 series tires. The 2 Series’ optional 245/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’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 Hardtop 2 Door.

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 Hardtop 2 Door.

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s (61.1% to 38.9%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

The 2 Series Coupe handles at .97 G’s, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 2 Series Coupe goes through AutoWeek’s slalom 1.7 MPH faster than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S (46.1 vs. 44.4 MPH).

The 2 Series Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (24.9 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 26.9 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 2 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is rated a Subcompact.

The 2 Series Coupe has 10 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (90 vs. 80).

The 2 Series Coupe has .1 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 5.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with its rear seat up (13.8 vs. 8.7 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 Hardtop 2 Door’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 2 Series. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 2 Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. 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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The 2 Series’ available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door.

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 2 Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 2 Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The 2 Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 2 Series will retain 47.46% to 51.69% of its original price after five years, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door only retains 43.59% to 46.77%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 2 Series is less expensive to operate than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door because typical repairs cost much less on the 2 Series than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, including $305 less for a fuel pump, $47 less for front struts and $611 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 2 Series and the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and they ranked the BMW 230i Coupe higher than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door 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 Hardtop 2 Door has never been an “All Star.”

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

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