2024 Mini Cooper 3-Door Review

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Love It

Leave It

High-style cabin

Lacks convenience tech

Torquey powertrain

Pricey for what you get

Still has a manual...

...which isn't that great

Sometimes simple is best.

While 300-horsepower JCW hot hatches dominate the headlines, and high-riding Countrymans do the same for the sales charts, the 2024 Mini Cooper 3-Door is the true heart of the brand. It’s the shape folks will draw if asked to sketch out a Mini.

Ahead of a new model touching down next year, Mini has given the current car one final round of convience tweaks. We spent a week with the entry-level three-door to see if it still makes sense in the marketplace. What we found was a characterful small car that won’t be to everyone’s tastes—and that’s precisely the point.

What’s new?

Uh, the next-generation Mini. The brand has already shown off the upcoming model which, like the existing three-door, will come in both internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicle (EV) flavors. The former will be built off a modified version of this existing model’s chassis, so we can expect similar powertrains and dimensions.

In automotive terms, this F56-generation model is an elder statesman, hitting a decade of service for 2024. It’s a popular one too; Mini has built over a million of these 3-Doors since they debuted in 2014. The whole lineup of 3- and 5-door models saw a facelift last year, adding some funky new colors, roof treatments, and wheel designs. The basic lineup continues, however: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works.

The Cooper continues to be powered by a little, 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. After a short pause, the six-speed manual transmission returned to the 3-Door lineup for 2023. It’s more a stay of execution, however: Mini has already confirmed the three-pedal option will disappear with that next-gen model.

Fun in the city

What the little triple underhood lacks in cylinder count, it makes up for with a rich seam of torque: 162 pound-feet, to be exact. That much twist along with a relatively light curb weight of 2,700-ish pounds (1,225 kilograms) translates to a peppy urban warrior. Mix in the Mini’s tiny footprint and it’s all too easy to zip around traffic, find gaps where others can’t, and secure the primo parking spots. Even the sight lines are good, too—handy, since there’s no blind-spot monitoring.

Getting out of the city is tougher. The 134-horsepower Mini’s six-speed ‘box is basically the Peter Jackson Director’s Cut of manuals. It long. I could have lost a third of the available ratios and still broken every single local speed limit. Due to this, the Mini runs out of steam after on-ramps.

At least it’s still a blast on them, though. Handling is still the Cooper’s forte, with a tight turn circle, crisp responses from the right-sized steering wheel, and a composed ride. BMW famously spent big coin on the original reborn Mini’s platform, and that investment continues to pay off decades later. This entry-level model is fun and communicative in a way that just doesn’t exist in other compact cars without moving up to their full-on performance models. The 16-inch wheels and their narrow, high-profile rubber find good grip while absorbing the worst the road can throw at them.

The Mini is also refined: that turbo three-pot’s hum is quiet on the highway, a trade-off of those stretched gear ratios. I’m sure it’ll ruffle a few feathers, but I’ll just say it: I won’t really miss the manual Mini. The clutch is vague and the shifts are rubbery, so while it’s very user-friendly, this isn’t a shining star of the row-your-own approach.

Simple cabin

If there’s one aspect of the Cooper that feels its age, it would be the cabin. It’s a sea of textured black plastic, with only the occasional bit of chrome to break it up.

The black leatherette seats are comfortable, and lack of power adjustability is fine at this price. Less acceptable in my mind is the fully manual climate controls, but they’re easy enough to fiddle with. The Cooper’s abundance of actual physical controls are a boon here. Those in colder climes will appreciate the heated seats and steering wheel.

As has been the case since it launched, the 3-Door is only technically a four-seater. While headroom is pretty generous in the back, folks have barely over 30 inches (762 millimeters) of legroom. Older kids will be fine back there, but forget any rear-facing child seats. The cargo hold is also tight: again, this is a car measuring 152 inches (3,866 mm) from end to end. A modern “compact” car like a Hyundai Elantra has almost three feet on this thing—of course it’s more spacious.

Simple tech, too

The Mini’s tech suite is a hit-and-miss affair. As hinted earlier, there is a dearth of modern driver assistance features. I expect no adaptive cruise control in a manual-equipped car, but no lane-keep either? The small instrument cluster is easy to see since it’s mounted to the column, but is prone to glare.

The central infotainment screen runs a modified version of BMW’s iDrive setup. It’s fine to poke around, and the rotary dial in the center console is a useful redundancy. (BMW folks will find its reversed directions—clockwise for up—maddening.) There’s too much menu-diving for it to be intuitive on the road however, and there’s no Android Auto support, only (wireless) Apple CarPlay. Strangely, I could not get CarPlay to function with a cord, only without.

Dollars and sense

In America, the Mini 3-Door—sorry, 2-Door—starts from $26,795 including destination. The closest spec you’ll get to our Canadian tester is the Signature trim ($5,000) plus a heated steering wheel, for $32,045.

In Canada, this Premier 2.0 trim is now the only one for the Mini Cooper 3-Door. That pushes the price to $36,575 as-tested, including destination.

Verdict: 2024 Mini Cooper 3-Door Review

The 2024 Mini Cooper 3-Door might just be the best of the current Mini crop—unless the range of the all-electric SE isn’t a problem for you.

It certainly feels its age when you compare its feature list to modern mainstream compact cars, specifically in terms of driver assists. And if space is a concern, look elsewhere. But for the discerning buyer who would trade all of that for some personality in design and driving experience, the base Cooper still offers plenty of smiles.

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2024 Mini Cooper 3-Door


1.5L I3 Turbo


134 hp, 162 lb-ft



US Fuel Economy (mpg):


CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km):


Starting Price (USD):

$26,795 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (USD):

See text

Starting Price (CAD):

$35,985 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (CAD):

$36,575 (inc. dest.)

Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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