Find a car review

Make
Model

Mini Coupe Cooper SD review

We've driven the most frugal version of the stylish new Mini Coupe - but how close does the Cooper SD get to its petrol siblings

Evo rating
  • Real-world costs with wacky looks
  • Not quite a diesel Cooper S

What is it?

The two-door, two-seater Mini Coupe in Cooper SD form. It’s the sporty diesel model, priced from £20,510.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Technical highlights?

The engine is the 2-litre single-turbo unit shared with the BMW 118d, and it offers up 141bhp and 225lb ft. This is combined with CO2 emissions of 114g/km (£30 annual car tax, 13% BIK rate) and a claimed 65.7mpg, combined with a 7.9sec 0-62mph sprint and 134mph top speed.   Those frugal former figures are thanks in part to Minimalism, Mini’s version of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics, which stars a part-time alternator and automatic stop/start. The Coupe is substantially different to the three-door, using the same strengthened chassis as the Mini Convertible. While it adds a little weight (the Coupe is 25kg heavier than the hatch), the company’s engineers claim that this is at the lowest point of the car.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

What’s it like to drive?

Our previous first drive in the Cooper SD hatchback was disappointing; its less than sparkling performance and slightly agricultural soundtrack jarred somewhat with the Cooper S badging. This Coupe version feels better. As well as the subtle chassis tweaks making it marginally sharper to drive than the already keen hatch, the SD engine is subjectively punchier here. 

Perhaps the test cars had been more thoroughly run-in than those of our previous SD experience, but the headline 225lb ft torque figure feels more effective and the Cooper SD Coupe is usefully brisk, with enough overtaking punch in most gears. It still ought to have more power to properly live up to its Cooper S tag, though.

It’s a more comfortable car to drive quickly than the range-topping John Cooper Works Coupe, its more yielding suspension making it less crashy over imperfect surfaces and a smoother steer during fast cornering. It may lack the JCW’s ultimate excitement, but for those seeking the real-world benefits of a diesel Mini, it provides a satisfying real-world driving experience.

How does it compare?

The Volkswagen Scirocco Bluemotion (£22,435, 138bhp, 236lb ft) is nearly as fun to drive and boasts four seats and a big boot, while the svelte Peugeot RCZ HDI (£23,045, 163bhp, 240lb ft) is punchier but significantly more expensive. A Mini Cooper SD hatchback costs £18,750.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Anything else I need to know?

A Roadster version of the Coupe arrives in 2012. The Cooper SD will be the only diesel option available in either, the lesser 1.6 litre diesel used in the hatchback not being adjudged exciting enough for service in the two-seaters.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1995cc, turbodiesel
Max power141bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque225lb ft @ 1750-2700rpm
0-607.9sec
Top speed134mph
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/electric-cars/201750/volkswagen-id3-r-considered-the-next-generation-golf-r
electric cars

Volkswagen ID.3 R considered – the next-generation Golf R

Bosses confirm a hot electric VW is under consideration, and we could see it within the next five years
12 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019