2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door vs. 2019 Volkswagen Beetle

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 2019/11/13

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Beetle doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Beetle doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door and the Beetle have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is safer than the Volkswagen Beetle:

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Beetle

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

238

404

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

39%

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

118 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

277/243 lbs.

395/294 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is safer than the Beetle:

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Beetle

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

167

293

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.8/0 kN

2.19/1.63 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

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 Beetle was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Beetle’s (12 vs. 10 years).

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. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Beetle.

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 Beetle isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 23rd in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 7 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

© 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 2019/11/13

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 more horsepower (189 vs. 174) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 184) than the Beetle’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The John Cooper Works Hardtop’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 54 more horsepower (228 vs. 174) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (235 vs. 184) than the Beetle’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

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 highway fuel mileage than the Beetle (26 city/34 hwy vs. 26 city/33 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Beetle 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 Beetle doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Beetle doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

An eight-speed automatic is optional on the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Beetle.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Beetle doesn’t offer an SMG.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S/JCW Auto’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 Beetle doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2019/11/13

For better stopping power the John Cooper Works Hardtop’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Beetle:

John Cooper Works Hardtop

Beetle

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

10 inches

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

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Beetle

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2019/11/13

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Beetle’s optional 45 series tires.

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 Beetle doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Beetle’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The John Cooper Works Hardtop handles at .92 G’s, while the Beetle Coupe pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Volkswagen Beetle.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is 1 foot, 5.7 inches shorter than the Beetle, 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 Beetle doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S is quieter than the Beetle Coupe (69 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has .9 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more front legroom than the Beetle Coupe.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Beetle Coupe with its rear seat folded (34 vs. 29.9 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door easier. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s trunk lift-over height is 25.4 inches, while the Beetle’s liftover is 27.9 inches.

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Beetle uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

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 Beetle doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the front windows are left open on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Beetle can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Beetle’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Beetle S’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Beetle only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Beetle doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Beetle doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a standard extendable sun visor. The Beetle doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Beetle’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Beetle offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Beetle doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Beetle’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Cooper offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Beetle doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Beetle doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 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 2019/11/13

The MINI Cooper comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Volkswagen Beetle isn’t available as a four-door.

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 2019/11/13

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is less expensive to operate than the Beetle because typical repairs cost much less on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door than the Beetle, including $3 less for a water pump, $373 less for a muffler, $119 less for fuel injection and $59 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2019/11/13

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 Beetle was rated third in its category.

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

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