2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible’s 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 4 Series Convertible offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Cooper Convertible only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The 4 Series Convertible’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the 4 Series Convertible’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 and rearview cameras.

The BMW 4 Series Convertible weighs 972 to 1473 pounds more than the MINI Cooper Convertible. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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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 4 Series Convertible’s warranty.

Reliability

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The battery on the 4 Series Convertible is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 4 Series Convertible’s 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 4 Series Convertible first among compact 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

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The 4 Series Convertible has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:

Horsepower

Torque

430i Convertible 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

330 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The 4 Series Convertible has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (15.8 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The BMW 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible, 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 4 Series Convertible, 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 4 Series Convertible’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Convertible:

430i

440i

Cooper

Cooper S

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.4 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The 4 Series Convertible’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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4 Series Convertible has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (225/45R18 vs. 175/65R15). The 4 Series Convertible’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).

The 4 Series Convertible’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The 4 Series Convertible’s optional 255/35R19 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 4 Series Convertible has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The 4 Series Convertible’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 4 Series Convertible 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

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Convertible’s wheelbase is 12.4 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (110.6 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Convertible is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The 4 Series Convertible’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49% to 51%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the 4 Series Convertible more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The 4 Series Convertible’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 4 Series Convertible a Subcompact car, while the Cooper Convertible is rated a Minicompact.

The 4 Series Convertible has 14 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Convertible (90 vs. 76).

The 4 Series Convertible has .6 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom, 4.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear legroom and 10.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (7.8 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The 4 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (13.1 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 4 Series Convertible easier. The 4 Series Convertible’s trunk lift-over height is 26.2 inches, while the Cooper Convertible’s liftover is 30.4 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Convertible’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 4 Series Convertible 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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When two different drivers share the 4 Series Convertible, 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.

Comfort Access standard on the 4 Series Convertible 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.

The Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 4 Series Convertible’s 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.

The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer rear vents.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/21

The 4 Series Convertible was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The Cooper Convertible has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 4 Series Convertible was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Cooper Convertible has never been an “All Star.”

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

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