2020 Volkswagen GTI vs. 2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen GTI are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Autonomous Emergency Braking in the GTI as “Superior.” The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The GTI Autobahn’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The GTI’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the GTI’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the GTI and the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Volkswagen GTI is safer than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

GTI

Cooper

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

33%

36%

Neck Compression

53 lbs.

60 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

108/102 lbs.

261/454 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the GTI the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

There are over 5 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GTI’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Volkswagen GTI’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

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The GTI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 94 more horsepower (228 vs. 134) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The GTI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 39 more horsepower (228 vs. 189) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 206) than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The GTI’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 23 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 235) than the John Cooper Works Hardtop’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen GTI is faster than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (manual transmissions tested):

GTI

Cooper

Cooper S

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

7.4 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.9 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99.9 MPH

88.8 MPH

95.7 MPH

In a Motor Trend race course test, the Volkswagen GTI SE was clocked 2.39 seconds faster than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S (88.54 sec. vs. 90.93 sec.).

Fuel Economy and Range

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The GTI has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (13.2 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volkswagen GTI higher (7 out of 10) than the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (3 to 7). This means the GTI produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

For better stopping power the GTI’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

GTI

Cooper

Cooper S

John Cooper Works

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

10.2 inches

The GTI’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door are solid, not vented.

The GTI stops much shorter than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door:

GTI

Cooper

80 to 0 MPH

211 feet

229 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

159 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

100 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

For better traction, the GTI has larger tires than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (225/40R18 vs. 175/65R15). The GTI’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (225/40R18 vs. 205/40R18).

The GTI’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GTI has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GTI’s wheelbase is 5.4 inches longer than on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (103.6 inches vs. 98.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GTI is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

The GTI SE handles at .95 G’s, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the GTI a Compact car, while the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door is rated a Subcompact.

The GTI has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door can only carry 4.

The GTI has 13.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door (93.5 vs. 80).

The GTI has 5.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 4.8 inches more rear legroom and 6.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door.

Cargo Capacity

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The GTI has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 8.7 cubic feet). The GTI has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door with its rear seat folded (52.7 vs. 34 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The GTI’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s standard power windows.

Keyless Access standard on the GTI SE/Autobahn allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GTI SE/Autobahn’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The GTI has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the GTI has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door doesn’t offer rear vents.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/06/06

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Volkswagen GTI and the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Road and Track performed a comparison test in its October 2014 issue and the Volkswagen GTI SE won out over the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 Door S.

The GTI was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 14 years. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the GTI as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has never been chosen.

The GTI was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 5 of the last 13 years. The Cooper Hardtop 2 Door has never been an “All Star.”

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

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