2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door vs. 2020 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door and the ILX 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.

Warranty

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

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ILX.

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 ILX 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 23rd in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 4 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Auto turbo 3 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the ILX Auto (28 city/36 hwy vs. 24 city/34 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The ILX 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 ILX 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 Acura ILX (3). This means the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ILX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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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 ILX doesn’t offer launch control.

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 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 ILX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Base has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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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 ILX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.5% to 40.5%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the ILX’s (36.2 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

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The MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 350 pounds less than the Acura ILX.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is 2 feet shorter than the ILX, 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 ILX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has 1.9 inches more front headroom and 1.6 inches more rear headroom than the ILX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rear seats recline. The ILX’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 ILX’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The ILX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

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

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 ILX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ILX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 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 ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 ILX 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 Acura ILX isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door with a number “5” insurance rate while the ILX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door will retain 42.59% to 47.57% of its original price after five years, while the ILX only retains 36.22% to 38.53%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is less expensive to operate than the ILX because typical repairs cost much less on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door than the ILX, including $56 less for a starter and $292 less for fuel injection.

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 2019/12/14

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, 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 ILX isn’t in the top three in its category.

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