2020 Lexus RC vs. 2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RC have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The RC’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System in the RC as “Superior.” The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The RC 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 RC’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The RC’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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the RC’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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The RC’s 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 RC 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Lexus RC weighs 852 to 1266 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.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. MINI is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The RC has more powerful engines than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

Horsepower

Torque

RC 300 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

John Cooper Works Hardtop 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

228 HP

235 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RC has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (17.4 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Lexus RC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

All-wheel drive, available in the RC, 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

RC

RC F Sport

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

John Cooper Works Hardtop

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

14 inches

11 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The RC’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 Hardtop 2 Door are solid, not vented.

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

RC

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

70 to 0 MPH

178 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RC has larger standard tires than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (235/40R19 vs. 175/65R15). The RC’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).

The RC’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 Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 65 series tires. The RC’s optional 265/35R19 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 RC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door. The RC’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RC’s wheelbase is 9.3 inches longer than on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (107.5 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the RC is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

The RC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54% to 46%) than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s (61.1% to 38.9%). This gives the RC more stable handling and braking.

The RC 350 handles at .88 G’s, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s (34.2 feet vs. 35.4 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Passenger Space

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The RC has 3.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (83.8 vs. 80).

The RC has 4 inches more front legroom, 4.1 inches more front shoulder room and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Cargo Capacity

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The RC has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with its rear seat up (10.4 vs. 8.7 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RC 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 RC. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the RC 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 28% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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The RC 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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the RC, the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a memory system.

The RC’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC’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 Hardtop 2 Door John Cooper Works does not have a temperature gauge.

The RC’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s power windows.

Smart Access standard on the RC 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 Hardtop 2 Door’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RC keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the RC’s 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 RC 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 RC has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer rear vents.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RC owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the RC with a number “3” insurance rate while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RC is less expensive to operate than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door because it costs $118 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the RC than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, including $67 less for a muffler, $51 less for front brake pads, $73 less for a fuel pump and $61 less for front struts.

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

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