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The Cooper SE 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 Bolt 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 SE’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 Bolt doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Cooper SE and the Bolt have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front parking sensors.
The Cooper SE comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Bolt’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Cooper SE’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Bolt’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper SE for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Bolt.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 15 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Cooper SE 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 Chevrolet Bolt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Cooper SE has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper SE flat and controlled during cornering. The Bolt’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Cooper SE 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 Bolt’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Cooper SE 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 Bolt doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The MINI Cooper SE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Chevrolet Bolt.
The Cooper SE is 1 foot shorter than the Bolt, making the Cooper SE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper SE’s rear seats recline. The Bolt’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Cooper SE uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Bolt 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 SE 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 Bolt doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Cooper SE’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Bolt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper SE the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Bolt can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Cooper SE’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 Bolt’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper SE to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Bolt doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper SE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Bolt doesn’t offer cornering lights.
When the Cooper SE 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 Bolt’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Cooper SE’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 Bolt offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Cooper SE’s standard 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 Bolt doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cooper SE 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 Bolt doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Cooper SE’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Bolt doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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