2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door vs. 2019 Audi RS 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/11/11

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has standard Assist eCall, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The RS 3 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 Cooper Hardtop 2 Door and the RS 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RS 3 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RS 3.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door first among compact sporty cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The RS 3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the John Cooper Works Hardtop Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (228 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the RS 3 Auto (26 city/34 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RS 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is optional on the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the RS 3.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RS 3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the RS 3’s (35.4 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis

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The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 950 pounds less than the Audi RS 3.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is 2 feet, 1.2 inches shorter than the RS 3, making the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RS 3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has 3.8 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the RS 3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s rear seats recline. The RS 3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RS 3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The RS 3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RS 3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a standard rear wiper. The RS 3 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RS 3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The RS 3’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RS 3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The MINI Cooper comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Audi RS 3 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/11/11

Insurance will cost less for the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door will cost $5445 to $7925 less than the RS 3 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door will be $21416 to $38150 less than for the Audi RS 3.

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 2019/11/11

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door first among compact sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RS 3 isn’t in the top three.

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

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