2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla

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 2019/11/17

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla 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 4 Door and the Corolla have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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.

Warranty

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Corolla’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Corolla’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Corolla (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door first among compact sporty cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Corolla isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 2 more horsepower (134 vs. 132) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 128) than the Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 126) than the Corolla LE Eco’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 49 more horsepower (189 vs. 140) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 126) than the Corolla LE Eco’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Corolla doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door higher (7 out of 10) than the Toyota Corolla (3 to 5). This means the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Corolla every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Corolla doesn’t offer an SMG.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Corolla doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S 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 Corolla doesn’t offer launch control.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Corolla doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Corolla:

Cooper Hardtop 4 Door

Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S

Corolla

Front Rotors

11 inches

11.6 inches

10.8 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

9” drums

Opt Rear Rotors

n/a

n/a

10.2 inches

The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Corolla. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

Tires and Wheels

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla SE/XSE’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Corolla’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Corolla doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Corolla has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Corolla doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 2 feet, 1.7 inches shorter than the Corolla, making the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has 1.6 inches more front headroom and .4 inches more rear headroom than the Corolla.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rear seats recline. The Corolla’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. The Corolla’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Corolla 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 4 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 Corolla doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Corolla’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door the driver can close them all 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 Corolla can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla’s power window (except driver window), power lock and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla L’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent. The Corolla LE/LE Eco/SE/XLE/XLS’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Corolla doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard rear wiper. The Corolla doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Corolla doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a standard extendable sun visor. The Corolla doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota only offers heated mirrors on the Corolla LE/XLE/SE/XSE.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corolla’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

When the Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 Corolla doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Corolla 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 Toyota Corolla isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

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 2019/11/17

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the Toyota Corolla, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door first among compact sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Corolla isn’t in the top three.

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

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