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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Corolla 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 4 Door doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The Corolla has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System in the Corolla as “Superior.” The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
The Corolla’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 4 Door doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Corolla (except L/Manual)’s optional 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 4 Door doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Corolla (except L/Manual)’s optional 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 4 Door doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Corolla and the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has not been fully tested, yet.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Corolla 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 10 times as many Toyota dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla’s warranty.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Corolla’s reliability 14 points higher than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. MINI is ranked 10th.
The Corolla’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 5 more horsepower (139 vs. 134) than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the Corolla SE/XSE SE CVT 2.0 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door Auto turbo 3 cyl. (31 city/40 hwy vs. 28 city/36 hwy).
The Corolla has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door (13.2 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Toyota Corolla comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door.
The Corolla has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door doesn’t offer a CVT.
For better traction, the Corolla has larger standard tires than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door (195/65R15 vs. 175/65R15). The Corolla SE/XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door (225/40R18 vs. 205/45R17).
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla’s wheelbase is 5.2 inches longer than on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door (106.3 inches vs. 101.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Corolla is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door.
For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s (35.6 feet vs. 36.2 feet).
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Corolla a Compact car, while the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is rated a Subcompact.
The Corolla has 4.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door (88.6 vs. 84).
The Corolla has .6 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door.
The Corolla (except L/LE/Manual) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Corolla’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The Corolla’s front and rear power windows all 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 Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Corolla XLE/XSE’s optional 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 Corolla LE/XLE/SE/XSE 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 4 Door doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Cooper Hardtop 4 Door doesn’t offer rear vents.
Insurance will cost less for the Corolla owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Corolla with a number “3” insurance rate while the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is rated higher at a number “5” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corolla is less expensive to operate than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door because it costs $373 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Corolla than the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door, including $192 less for a water pump, $96 less for a muffler, $60 less for front brake pads, $130 less for a starter, $125 less for a fuel pump, $170 less for front struts and $713 less for a power steering pump.
Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Corolla as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.