You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2013 Mini Cooper S Coupe Long-Term Update 3

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/20/2014 Carlos Lago, Motor Trend Staff

The 2013 Mini Coupe's defining characteristic has to be that roof, or that helmet, or that thing, as I've called it more than once. It encapsulates the car, not only shielding the interior from rain but showing, very clearly and very proudly that form has preceded function. How proud is it? It's a different freaking color, for crying out loud.

2013 Mini Cooper S Coupe Long-Term Update 3

Picture a standard Mini with a chopped top and you can guess the practical downsides. There are many. The roof cuts into forward visibility such that I often have to duck to see stoplights. Rearward visibility is likewise cramped and worsens when the spoiler automatically deploys, forcing you to move your head when checking the rearview mirror. I've been asked multiple times how long it takes to drop the silver helmet by people who've mistaken it for a convertible. I figure an afternoon, given enough beer and a Sawzall. Upon realizing it isn't a convertible, one person I told this to said, "That's dumb. What's the point?"

Research

2013 Mini Cooper Coupe S© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe S It's a good question. The truth is the roof provides no realistic benefit, but that would seem to be the point. So devoted is the Coupe to its styling and attitude, it somehow pulls the whole thing off. It's the total commitment to its character, from that roof to the exhaust backfires and the unnecessary toggle switches on the center console. Plus the facts that its footprint is no smaller than the standard Mini, that it actually weighs slightly more, and that it has fewer seats and worse outward visibility. It's an absurd proposition: less practicality while costing more than a Hardtop S. Cutting out the rear seats and chopping the roof gives the Coupe a hilarious absence of practicality. Like the outgoing CL-Class or the new S-Class coupe to the S-Class sedan (the first and last time we'll use that comparison), the Mini Coupe is for people who looked at the four-seater and said, "Nah. I want to carry fewer people."

The Coupe doesn't flinch. It stays consistent, and it works. People get it, too. Styling may be a fruitlessly debatable subject, but when someone stops next to you in traffic or flags you down in a parking lot just to learn about it or say, excitedly, "Cool," or "Nice car," they provide all the evidence you need. 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe S© Provided by MotorTrend 2013 Mini Cooper Coupe S


Our Car
Service life 9 mo/14,076 mi
Average fuel economy27.8 mpg
CO2 emissions0.70 lb/mi
Energy consumption 121 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problemsNone
Maintenance cost$0 (oil change, rotate tires, inspection)
Normal-wear cost$0

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon