2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro’s optional 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. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Camaro’s optional 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 Camaro has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 Camaro 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 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 24 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.

Engine

The Camaro has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

284 lbs.-ft.

Camaro LT1/SS 6.2 V8

455 HP

455 lbs.-ft.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 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 Chevrolet Camaro turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Cooper Convertible S (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

Cooper

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.1 sec

9.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15 sec

16 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

96 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Camaro V6 is faster than the MINI Cooper Convertible (base engine) (automatics tested):

Camaro

Cooper

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.5 sec

24.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

85 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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

The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Camaro, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Convertible.

The Camaro (except 4-cylinder/V6)’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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

Cooper

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

11 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The Camaro SS’ 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 Camaro stops much shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

Camaro

Cooper

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (245/50R18 vs. 175/65R15). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. 205/40R18).

The Camaro’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 Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The Camaro’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 12.5 inches longer than on the Cooper Convertible (110.7 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The Camaro’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the Camaro more stable handling and braking.

The Camaro SS Convertible handles at .96 G’s, while the Cooper Convertible pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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

The Camaro Convertible has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Convertible (85 vs. 76).

Cargo Capacity

The Camaro Convertible has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (7.3 vs. 5.7 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Camaro 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

The Camaro Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Camaro’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Cooper Convertible John Cooper Works does not have a temperature gauge.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cooper Convertible has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

Keyless Access standard on the Camaro 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 Camaro has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Camaro (except LS/LT1) 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’s 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.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty 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 Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Cooper Convertible has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The Cooper Convertible has never been chosen.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2013. The Cooper Convertible has never been an “All Star.”

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

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