MINI Cooper  vs BMW 3 Series 

MINI Cooper Base

  • $21k
  • 1.6L
  • 29 city 37 hwy
We expect the Paceman to cash in on some of that unexpected following but wonder if this larger coupe should have come first since it is closer to MINI's lineage?
by AutoBlog Canada (Nov, 2012)

BMW 328i

  • $37k
  • 2.0L
  • 23 city 35 hwy
That 3.0-liter/265-hp/425-lb-ft I-6 hotrod oil-burner was priced near the top of the range and delivered amazing performance (5.8 seconds to 60 mph), while returning quite respectable fuel economy (EPA ratings of 23 mpg city/36 highway, and an observed average of 29.4 mpg over 30,733 miles).
by MotorTrend

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of Base vs 328i


Will it break the bank?

Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

EPA Smog Score

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

combined CO2/mile and EPA greenhouse gas score

No winner declared

Too close to call

Benchmarks Real world tests of Cooper vs 3 Series

EPA Greenhouse Gas Score The EPA ranks cars based on their climate change impact; 10 is best.

EPA Smog Score The EPA ranks cars based on their air quality impact; 10 is best.

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Cooper Base
BMW 328i

Annual Fuel Cost The cost of fuel to drive 15,000 miles each year.

Cooper Base
BMW 328i

Differences What are the advantages of each

Car-autoblog-first view of MINI Cooper

Reasons to consider the
MINI Cooper Base

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Higher ranked by the EPA for greenhouse emissions 8 vs 7 Measures tailpipe emissions only. 6 and higher is good; 9 and 10 are great.
Reduced total carbon footprint 41 tons vs 49 tons More than 15% less pollution, assuming 150,000 miles over the life of the car
Saves on fuel $1,694 vs $2,002 More than 15% cheaper based on 15,000 miles/year
Cheaper annual cost $5,984 vs $9,462 More than 35% less expensive per year
Lower MSRP $21k vs $37k Around 45% cheaper sticker price
Smaller annual carbon footprint 273 g vs 323 g More than 15% better combined CO2/mile
Higher EPA city mileage 29 MPG vs 23 MPG More than 25% better fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic
Front view of BMW 3 Series

Reasons to consider the
BMW 328i

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Stops the engine instead of idling Yes vs No Decreases fuel use and emissions in stop-and-go traffic
Significantly better highway driving range 553 miles vs 392 miles More than 40% further range on the interstate
Better city driving range 363 miles vs 307 miles Around 20% further in the city

Annual Costs Which is the smarter choice for your wallet over 5 years?

$21,450 11.5¢/mile MINI Cooper
BMW 3 Series $37,300 13.6¢/mile
Infrequent drivers     Up to 10,000 miles/year
Average drivers     Up to 20,000 miles/year
Heavy drivers     Up to 40,000 miles/year
The MINI Cooper is cheaper (per year) in all scenarios, because of its lower price and cheaper fuel costs per mile.
Our math for 15,000 miles / year, over 5 years
MINI Cooper BMW 3 Series
Price $4,290 ($21,450) $7,460 ($37,300)
Fuel $1,728 (2,335 gallons) $2,041 (2,758 gallons)
City 29 MPG 23 MPG
Highway 37 MPG 35 MPG
Customize our assumptions
% of city miles
$ per gallon of gas
$ per gallon of diesel
$ per gallon of ethanol
$ per gallon of natural gas

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Cooper  vs
3 Series 
Body style
Model year 2014 2014
City range 307 miles 363 miles
Highway range 392 miles 553 miles
MSRP $21k $37k
Annual cost $5,984 $9,462

Manufacturing Emissions

Water per car made 2.1 m³ 2.1 m³
CO2 per car made 0.68 metric ton 0.68 metric ton
Energy per car made 2,440 kWh/vehicle 2,440 kWh/vehicle
Waste per car made 6.11 kg 6.11 kg

power & handling

Max torque 118 ft-lb @ 4,250 RPM 255 ft-lb @ 1,250 RPM
Max HP 121 HP @ 6,000 RPM 240 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 21.78 lb/hp 14.21 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 35.1 feet 37.1 feet

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic Generic
Speakers 6 9
Has a speed sensitive volume Yes Yes
Has a subwoofer No No
Auxiliary input Yes Yes
AM/FM radio Standard Standard
CD player Standard Standard
CD changer N/A N/A
Satellite radio Optional, $250 Optional
Entertainment system N/A N/A


Cruise control Standard Standard
Front A/C N/A N/A
Front passenger A/C N/A N/A
Keyless entry Optional, $500 Optional, $0
Keyless ignition N/A N/A
Sun roof N/A Optional, $1,050
Navigation system Optional, $1,500 Optional, $2,150
Roof rails N/A N/A
Power locks Standard Standard
Power mirrors Standard Standard
Power outlets Standard Standard
Power steering Standard Standard
Power windows Standard Standard


Cooper  vs
3 Series 
EPA smog score 6 6
EPA GHG score 8 7
Combined CO2/mile 273 g 323 g
Stops the engine instead of idling No Yes
Disables engine cylinders under low loads No No
Lifetime CO2 emissions 41 tons 49 tons

engine & drivetrain

Engine size 1.6L 2.0L
Air compressor None None
Cylinders I4 I4
Paddle shifters N/A N/A
Gearing type Traditional Traditional
Transmission 6-speed Manual 2WD 8-speed Automatic 2WD

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes 10.98 in Ventilated Disc 12.28 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 10.2 in Disc 11.81 in Ventilated Disc
Front wheel width 175 225
Front wheel diameter 15 inch 17 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 65 50

safety features

Active head restraints No Yes
Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard Standard
Child door locks N/A Standard
Electronic stability control Standard Standard
Traction control Standard Standard
Rear camera N/A N/A
Rear sensor N/A N/A
Park assist system N/A N/A
Communication system None None

physical dimensions

Width 66.3 in 71.3 in
Front track width 57.4 in 60.3 in
Height 54.3 in 56.3 in
Ground clearance 5.5 in 5.5 in
Length 146.8 in 182.5 in
Wheelbase 97.1 in 110.6 in
Curb weight 2,635 lb 3,410 lb
GVWR 3,175 4,420
Has a rear spoiler Yes No
Seats 2 5
Front seat room 47 ft³ 54 ft³
MINI Cooper Base
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BMW 328i
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