2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door vs. 2020 Nissan 370Z

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 2019/11/20

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 370Z doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Compared to metal, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Nissan 370Z has a metal gas tank.

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 370Z 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 370Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 370Z has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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 370Z’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 370Z’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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 370Z.

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 370Z 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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 5 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door gets better fuel mileage than the 370Z:

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

370Z

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./7-spd. Auto

28 city/36 hwy

n/a

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (228 HP)/8-spd. Auto

26 city/34 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (189 HP)/7-spd. Auto

26 city/35 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z.

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 370Z doesn’t offer an SMG.

A standard “hill holder” feature keeps the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with manual transmission from rolling backwards on a steep slope. The 370Z doesn’t offer a hill holder feature.

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 370Z doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door stops shorter than the 370Z:

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

370Z

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

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 370Z 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 370Z’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The John Cooper Works Hardtop handles at .92 G’s, while the 370Z pulls only .91 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 550 to 700 pounds less than the Nissan 370Z.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is 1 foot, 4.4 inches shorter than the 370Z, 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 370Z doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by AutoWeek, the interior of the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S is quieter than the 370Z:

Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

370Z

At idle

43.3 dB

49 dB

Full-Throttle

75.2 dB

82 dB

60 MPH Cruising

63.6 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2019/11/20

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 370Z can only carry 2.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has 28.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 370Z (80 vs. 51.6).

Cargo Capacity

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the 370Z (8.7 vs. 6.9 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 370Z’s liftover is 35.6 inches.

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 370Z 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 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The 370Z 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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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 370Z doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

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 370Z 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 370Z’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 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO.

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 370Z’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 370Z has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s optional 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. The 370Z doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.

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 370Z doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 370Z 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 370Z 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 Nissan 370Z isn’t available as a convertible or four-door.

Economic Advantages

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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 $1800 less than the 370Z over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is less expensive to operate than the 370Z because typical repairs cost much less on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door than the 370Z, including $189 less for a water pump, $75 less for a muffler, $144 less for fuel injection and $210 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door will be $13523 to $19578 less than for the Nissan 370Z.

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 2019/11/20

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door and the Nissan 370Z, 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 370Z isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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