Mini describes the 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe as a compact sports car with stellar fuel economy. It's a twist in style from other Coopers, sitting an inch lower to the ground with an aerodynamic roof and a rear spoiler that automatically deploys at speeds of more than 50 mpg and retracts once you drop below 37 mpg.
Boasting a turbocharged, 1.6-liter, 16-valve alloy engine, this two-seater pushes out 181 horsepower but still gets an economical 27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined with the manual six-speed transmission. The automatic version comes with paddle shifters but loses some ground, getting 26 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
Mini says you'll rocket to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with the manual, 6.7 seconds with the automatic. It tops out at 142 mph. If you want a boost in acceleration and steering, push the standard "Sport" button. But keep in mind you'll be burning higher-priced premium-grade gas with this sporty car.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, a crash sensor, stability control, side-impact door beams and four air bags with head-thorax protection. Mini also has plenty of optional features and packages to bump up the price of the ride.