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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door and the Civic Type R 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Type R’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Civic Type R’s (12 vs. 5 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. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic Type R.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door first among compact sporty cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Civic Type R 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 2 places higher in reliability than Honda.
On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door gets better fuel mileage than the Civic Type R:
Cooper Hardtop 2 Door
1.5 turbo 3-cyl.
28 city/36 hwy
S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.
26 city/35 hwy
JCW 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.
26 city/34 hwy
Civic Type R
2.0 turbo 4-cyl.
22 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 Civic Type R 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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.
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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer an SMG.
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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s turning circle is 4.1 feet tighter than the Civic Type R’s (35.4 feet vs. 39.5 feet).
The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Honda Civic Type R.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is 2 feet, 4.3 inches shorter than the Civic Type R, making the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is 5.9 inches narrower than the Civic Type R, making the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.
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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s rear seats recline. The Civic Type R’s rear seats don’t recline.
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 Civic Type R’s liftover is 27 inches.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic Type R 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.
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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 Civic Type R’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
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 Civic Type R 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 Civic Type R’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic Type R offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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 Civic Type R 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 Civic Type R doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The MINI Cooper comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Honda Civic Type R isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.
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 $670 to $3150 less than the Civic Type R over a five-year period.
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 Civic Type R isn’t in the top three.
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