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Eric's Autos: 2020 Mini Cooper

Eric Peters on

When you can't get a manual transmission in a small, sporty car, you know it's close to The End for manual transmissions.

Which you can no longer get in the smallest sporty car you can still get.

But why can't you get the manual in the Mini? Chiefly, because Mini -- like all car companies -- is under a lot of pressure to maximize the miles per gallon, which automatics are better at maximizing than manuals.

But you can still get the Mini, at least.

What It Is

The Mini Cooper is the iconic British small car made by German car company BMW. It has lots of British heritage -- and German engineering.


You can get it as a two-door hardtop or a four-door hardtop, with your pick of three- or four-cylinder engines, the latter in two states of tune (hot and hotter). You can also order up an almost limitless combination of colors and trim pieces to customize your Cooper and make it uniquely yours.

Prices start at $23,400 for the base trim hardtop coupe with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and seven-speed automatic transmission. The sportier S trim gets a larger, stronger 2.0-liter engine -- also paired with the seven-speed automatic. The sportiest John Cooper Works trim gets the same 2.0-liter engine -- but with more turbo boost and substantially more horsepower -- along with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The four-door comes in base ($24,400) and S ($28,400) trims, with the same engines and transmissions -- but a bit more backseat leg and cargo room.

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