2021 Lexus IS vs 2020 MINI Cooper

2020 MINI Cooper
2020 MINI Cooper
$23,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 Lexus IS
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 MINI Cooper
$23,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 MINI Cooper is 7.3 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus IS scores 7.3 out of 10. Both cars received the same rating, but the final recommendation depends on your priorities. If you value a unique design and nimble driving experience, the MINI Cooper is a great choice. However, if you prefer a luxury sports sedan with advanced safety features and a comfortable, modern interior, the Lexus IS is the better option.

Overview

MSRP

$23,400

MSRP

$39,050

Average price

$21,090

Average price

$35,408

Listings

113

Listings

368
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Multiple body styles
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Cramped back seat
  • Not much cargo space
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Irritating transmission
  • Outdated technology

2020 MINI Cooper Reviews Summary

The MINI Cooper showcases timeless design and encourages even the timidest driver to live out their inner Mario Kart fantasies. With a short wheelbase, low curb weight, and torquey engines, the MINI Cooper delivers more smiles per square foot than most competitors. And with a new electric powertrain option, it can do so with a green footprint, too.

2021 Lexus IS Reviews Summary

The Lexus IS enters its fourth generation of production, embodying lessons learned from the LC and RC. The 2021 IS targets enthusiast drivers and luxury buyers who might be thinking German first, and it seeks to recalibrate expectations of what a compact luxury sports sedan can be.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

1.5L 134 hp I3

Engine

2.0L 241 hp I4

Drive Train

FWD

Drive Train

RWD

Seating Capacity

4

Seating Capacity

5

Horsepower

134 hp @ 4400 rpm

Horsepower

241 hp @ 5800 rpm

MPG City

28

MPG City

21

MPG Highway

36

MPG Highway

31
2020 MINI Cooper
2020 MINI Cooper
$23,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 MINI Cooper
$23,400MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 Lexus IS
$39,050MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 MINI Cooper is 7.3 out of 10, while the 2021 Lexus IS scores 7.3 out of 10. Both cars received the same rating, but the final recommendation depends on your priorities. If you value a unique design and nimble driving experience, the MINI Cooper is a great choice. However, if you prefer a luxury sports sedan with advanced safety features and a comfortable, modern interior, the Lexus IS is the better option.

Overview
MSRP
$23,400
$39,050
Average price
$21,090
$35,408
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.1
4.5
Expert reviews

7.3 out of 10

Read full review

7.3 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Multiple body styles
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Cramped back seat
  • Not much cargo space
Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Irritating transmission
  • Outdated technology
Summary
The MINI Cooper showcases timeless design and encourages even the timidest driver to live out their inner Mario Kart fantasies. With a short wheelbase, low curb weight, and torquey engines, the MINI Cooper delivers more smiles per square foot than most competitors. And with a new electric powertrain option, it can do so with a green footprint, too.
The Lexus IS enters its fourth generation of production, embodying lessons learned from the LC and RC. The 2021 IS targets enthusiast drivers and luxury buyers who might be thinking German first, and it seeks to recalibrate expectations of what a compact luxury sports sedan can be.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
1.5L 134 hp I3
2.0L 241 hp I4
Drive Train
FWD
RWD
Seating Capacity
4
5
Horsepower
134 hp @ 4400 rpm
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG City
28
21
MPG Highway
36
31
Look and feel
2020 MINI Cooper
8/10
2021 Lexus IS
8/10
The 2020 MINI Cooper stood out on the road with its unique design, featuring wide-eyed LED headlights, a grinning front grille, and vibrant color options. The Union Jack taillights added a touch of charm, making it an enthusiast's favorite without appearing wasteful or gaudy. Initially available as a two-door hardtop, the MINI Cooper evolved to include a convertible variant, a four-door body style, and an all-electric SE trim. The SE trim, which we tested, maintained the classic Cooper S design but sat slightly higher to accommodate the battery cells. Inside, the MINI Cooper's circular design elements, premium materials, and a massive circular housing for the touchscreen infotainment system provided a refined and charming interior. The 2021 Lexus IS made a bold statement with its athletic proportions and elegant design. The sedan's fast roofline and kick-up window base gave it a sporty and compact look. The new spindle grille with diamond mesh and narrow headlights added to its assertive appearance. Inside, the dash was tastefully simple, with a retro hi-fi feel to the center stack. The interior matched the exterior's bold and modern aesthetic, although the analog clock felt outdated. Overall, the Lexus IS exuded a sense of luxury and precision in its design.
Performance
2020 MINI Cooper
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 MINI Cooper SE excelled in performance with its 181-horsepower electric motor and 199 pound-feet of torque, powered by a 32.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack. This setup provided a nimble and quick driving experience, similar to the gas-powered Cooper S, which had a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine producing 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The SE's regenerative braking system allowed for one-pedal driving, although some drivers might prefer the less-aggressive setting. Despite the SE's additional 300 pounds due to the battery, its low center of gravity and direct steering maintained the classic MINI driving experience. Gas-powered Coopers offered a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or an eight-speed automatic in the John Cooper Works trim, while the SE used a single-speed gearbox. The 2021 Lexus IS brought impressive performance to the luxury sports sedan category. The IS 300 RWD featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The IS 300 AWD had a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 260 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, while the IS 350 models, both AWD and RWD, had the same V6 engine tuned to 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. RWD models came with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while AWD models had a six-speed automatic. The IS 350 RWD accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and had a top speed of 143 mph. The IS's double-wishbone front and multi-link rear independent suspension, along with electrically powered rack-and-pinion steering, provided a crisp and balanced driving experience. Fuel efficiency varied, with the IS 300 RWD rated at 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.
Form and function
2020 MINI Cooper
6/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 MINI Cooper hatchback was not ideal for carpooling or long road trips due to its limited interior space. The front seats offered good space, but the backseat was tiny and best suited for children. The two-door Cooper had 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while the four-door version offered 13.1 cubic feet. The Convertible had only 5.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Dropping the rear seats in the SE trim provided a maximum of 25.8 cubic feet. Despite the limited space, the MINI Cooper's interior was thoughtfully designed with two-zone automatic air conditioning, chrome toggle switches, and ergonomic steering wheel. The materials used were top-notch, reflecting BMW's investment in the MINI brand. The 2021 Lexus IS focused on driver-centered form and function with a comfortable and supportive seat that was easily adjustable. The F Sport trim's bolstered seat, standard in IS 350 models, included heating and ventilation. The IS featured perforated NuLuxe fabric, a synthetic upholstery that was eco-friendly, lightweight, and easy to clean. Storage space was ample, with an open cubby, twin cupholders, big door pockets, a decent glovebox, and an under-armrest compartment. The second row was comfortable for two passengers but cramped for three, with legroom needing negotiation with front-seat occupants. The trunk offered 10.8 cubic feet of space, with a temporary spare stored beneath the load floor.
Technology
2020 MINI Cooper
7/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 MINI Cooper SE featured an "eDrive" driver-information display connected to the steering wheel, displaying vehicle speed, time, mileage, remaining charge, and drive mode. The SE's 32.6-kilowatt-hour battery provided a range of 110 miles, which was less competitive compared to other electric cars. The 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display included Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and Apple CarPlay. The SE Iconic trim offered an 8.8-inch screen, a wireless charging pad, and a head-up display. The 2021 Lexus IS offered a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Lexus Enform Safety Connect, Service Connect, WiFi, and Remote were included with free trial periods. The Navigation Package included Dynamic Navigation and Destination Assist for the first three years. The Mark Levinson 17-speaker, 1,800-watt premium surround-sound audio system was a recommended option for audiophiles, providing superb sound quality and even including a CD player.
Safety
2020 MINI Cooper
6/10
2021 Lexus IS
7/10
The 2020 MINI Cooper SE lacked advanced safety features, with only front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera system included in the Iconic package. Forward-collision warning was standard, but automatic emergency braking was unavailable. The MINI Cooper received "Good" scores in all crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but it had not been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2021 Lexus IS had not yet been rated for crashworthiness by the IIHS or NHTSA. However, it came with the standard Lexus Safety System+ 2.5, which included a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, road-sign recognition, enhanced lane-tracing assist, full-speed dynamic adaptive cruise control, and intelligent high beams. Additional safety features included vehicle dynamic integrated management, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a backup camera with dynamic gridlines, LED headlamps, taillamps, and running lights, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect with a three-year trial.
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