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2021 Mini Hardtop JCW Review- Price, Performance, Top Speed, Features, Interiors, And Rivals

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Pranav Gupta

Content Writer August 01, 2020 at 11:03 AM
Mini continues to make small cars cool, now at a lower price though. Starting with a $1000 prize discount, 2021 Mini JCW hardtop gets a new track-focused GP variant. The John Cooper Works Minis are a delight to drive, and they compete with cars such as the Hyundai Veloster and VW Golf GTI. Although these competitors cost less, they don’t come close to match the premium retro appeal of the 2021 Mini Cooper JCW.

BMW group owned Mini's John Cooper Works (JCW) range of vehicles, offers a unique personality that enthralls the purists and beginners alike. Starting at a lower price this year, the Mini Cooper JCW has unique styling, precision handling, a peppy 2.0T engine, and a premium cabin. The JCW badge in Mini lineup proclaims a hotrod character - including the Hardtop 2-Door which is reviewed here. The JCW hardtop gains a powerful engine and sport-suspension over the standard Cooper models.

Mini has more plans if you want a track-oriented hatchback. New for 2021, JCW GP brings more power, aerodynamic styling cues, and an exclusive exhaust system. The Mini JCW hardtop 2-door has a stiff ride quality in comparison to rivals such as Hyundai Veloster N, Volkswagen Golf GTI, and Honda Civic Si.

What is the Price of the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

For 2021, Mini has reduced the MSRP of eight Cooper models including the JCW Hardtop 2-Door. The base Classic trim of the JCW Hardtop starts at a base price of $32,900, excluding an $850 destination and handling charge. Next is the mid-range Signature which has a starting price of $33,900, while the top-spec Iconic trim costs $38,900. The exclusive JCW GP which is limited to just 3000 examples costs $12,500 more than the standard JCW hardtop 

The 2021 Mini JCW hardtop comes with standard features including LED headlights, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors, and a rear spoiler. Interior features inside the cabin include standard keyless entry and ignition, microsuede upholstery, and Bluetooth connectivity. For safety, the JCW also has standard driver-assistance features including a rear back-up camera and automated emergency braking.

What Engine is under the hood of the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

The 2021 Mini JCW gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, making 228 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. All the power is channeled to its front-wheels via an 8-speed automatic. The hardtop gets an optional slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission this year. In the new GP variant, the same engine is boosted to produce a massive 302 hp, though it does not get the manual stickshift option. 

The hardtop Cooper JCW's engine is responsive to throttle inputs and is an energetic powerplant. When driven, the low-weight of JCW combined with 228 hp from 2.0T results in an instant pickup and spirited drive. Both the transmission options keep up the energy levels high, maintaining an equally smooth and quick downshifts or upshifts.

Models

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door JCW

2020 Hyundai Veloster

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Honda Civic Si

MSRP

$32,900 

$27,400 

$28,595 

$25,000 

Engine

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

1.5L inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

8-Speed Shiftable Automatic

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

Power

228hp@5,200rpm

250hp@6,000rpm

228hp@4,700rpm

205hp@5,700rpm

Torque

236lb-ft@1,250rpm

260lb-ft@1,500rpm

258lb-ft@1,500rpm

192lb-ft@2,100rpm

2021 JCW is up against cheaper hotrods, to be precise, they offer more horsepower per dollar. Hyundai's Veloster bests the comparison with class-leading 250 hp from its 2.0T while Golf GTI gets 228 hp from a similar-sized engine. Honda Civic Si has the least amount of power among the lot, so is its starting price.

How Fast is the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

The 2021 Mini Cooper JCW with the 228 hp 2.0T engine with automatic, sprints from 0 to 60 mph in under six seconds. The light and fairly small JCW is swift but the Veloster N did the same run in 5.5 seconds while the Golf GTI manual managed the 0-60 mph run in 5.9 seconds. The top speed of all these hotrods is limited at 155 MPH. For 2021, Mini's introduction of the all-new JCW GP which goes to 60 mph from standstill in flat five seconds, it is a track-ripper.

Models

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door JCW

2020 Hyundai Veloster

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Honda Civic Si

0-60 MPH

5.9 sec

5.5 sec

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

N/A

14.2 sec

14.3 sec

15.2 sec

Top Speed

155 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

137 MPH

Engine

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

1.5L inline-4

At around 2800 pounds, Mini Cooper JCW is one of the lightest hatchbacks on the market. Its 2.0T engine has a wide torque band while the peak torque is available as low as 1,250 rpm. For those interested in spirited driving performance with excellent handling, Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop is the way to go.

What about the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door Specs?

It all starts with the 2.0 turbo-four setup paired with either 8-speed auto or 6-speed manual transmission for the 2021 Mini JCW hardtop. Compared to the standard hardtop Mini Cooper, the JCW’s specs include Brembo brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, and an electronic locking front differential. All these work together to deliver precise handling that brings a grin on the face of any enthusiasts. Electronic stability control watches the steering and braking to adjust the response for utmost control. Being a front-wheel-drive, 2021 JCW hardtop is as easy to drive as it gets, and the standard Summer tires allow for maximum grip. 

What MPG does the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

The JCW hardtop with the 8-speed automatic returns 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway and proves to the most efficient combo. With the Manual transmission drops the gas mileage of the hardtop to 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. New for 2021, the JCW GP gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Along with an 11.6-gallon gas tank, the Mini Cooper JCW gets a mixed range of around 336 miles.

Models

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door JCW

2020 Hyundai Veloster

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Honda Civic Si

MPG (City)

26

22

24

26

MPG (Highway)

34

29

32

32

MPG (Combined)

29

25

27

28

Fuel Capacity

11.6 gallons

13.2 gallons

13.2 gallons

12.4 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

302/394/336 miles

370/449/330 miles

317/422/356 miles

322/446/347 miles

The JCW is the most fuel-efficient hotrod among the Hyundai Veloster, VW Golf GTI and Civic Si. The 2.0T JCW is an efficient powertrain, while Veloster trade-off MPG with more power. The least powerful Civic Si is below the JCW by one mile per gallon and is rated at a combined 28 MPG. 

Are there any changes to 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door’s Interior?

With a premium and quirky interiors, the 2021 Mini JCW's cabin retains the good ergonomic appeal and high-quality materials. BMW inheritance is clearly visible as the panel gaps and rattles are nowhere to be found. The LED illuminated circular housing that holds the rectangular infotainment is iconic on the dashboard. Though JCW hardtop 2-door is not a luxury car, so premium leather is part of the options list. Compared to regular Mini Cooper, the JCW gets a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and comfy sports seats. Ambient lighting is also a standard feature across the range, along with the single-zone manual climate control. Dual-zone automatic climate control available.

Compared to other subcompact rivals, the Mini Cooper JCW ranks higher in terms of utility. However, the back seat feels tight for most adults and the Hardtop 2-Door seats at max four comfortably. Visibility is good too, with the driver able to easily access the controls.

Models

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door JCW

2020 Hyundai Veloster

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Honda Civic Si

Seating Capacity

4

4

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.3/50.6/41.4

38.1/56/42.6

38.4/55.9/41.2

36.5/56.9/42.3

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

36.9/47.8/30.8

35.9/54.3/34.1

38.1/53.9/35.6

34.5/52.6/35.9

Cargo Capacity

8.7 cu.ft.

20 cu.ft.

23 cu.ft.

11.9 cu.ft.

In the hardtop 2-door configuration, the JCW offers 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space when seats are upright. With a rival such as the VW Golf GTI, you get 23 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Even the Veloster gets you 20 cu-ft. of cargo volume. Interior small storage options include a pair of cupholders, narrow door pockets, and a tiny glovebox. 

What are the infotainment features of the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

All Mini JCW hardtop cars feature a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen display, connected to a six-speaker sound system. Standard infotainment features include Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port for charging, and the option of SiriusXM satellite radio. Mini offers a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen, along with satellite radio as standard. The upgrade also adds navigation, a wireless charger, Apple CarPlay, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system with 12 speakers. The 2021 Mini JCW hardtop does not get Android Auto capability.

How does the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door's Exterior look?

Retaining its retro look and the latest 2019 redesign, the 2021 Mini Cooper JCW adorns brighter LED headlights, and Union Jack LED taillights. The Mini's styling remains to be instantly recognizable. The car’s low and wide stance helps with the handling. Additionally, two exterior colors, Emerald Grey Metallic, and Melting Silver Metallic are being discontinued for every 2021 Mini model.

Models

2021 MINI Hardtop 2-door JCW

2020 Hyundai Veloster

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

2020 Honda Civic Si

Curb Weight

2845 lbs

3036 lbs

3062 lbs

2906 lbs

Length

152.5"

166.9"

168"

182.8"

Width

68.0"

71.3"

70.8"

70.8"

Height

55.7"

55.1"

57.8"

55.5"

Ground Clearance

5.6"

5.3"

5.1"

N/A

Wheelbase

98.2"

104.3"

103.6"

106.3"

Dimensionally, JCWs are only available in 2-Door Hardtop body style, it is almost 6-inches shorter than the Hardtop 4 Door Coopers. The Mini JCW Hardtop is 152.5 inches long with a wheelbase of just 98.2 inches, while a narrow width of 68 inches allows for easy parking 

The key exterior features on the 2021 Mini JCW Hardtop includes:

  • Chrome Door handles
  • 17” Cosmos Spoke Black Alloy wheels
  • All-Season tires
  • Front fog lights
  • Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
  • Daytime Running Auto-Levelling Headlamps with Delay-off
  • Black Fender Flares
  • Clearcoat paint

What are the safety features on the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the 2020 Mini Cooper hardtop with four out of five stars overall. In the crash test conducted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Mini Hardtop managed the highest "Good" safety ratings. The 2021 Mini Cooper JCW is equipped with a standard driver-assistance package called the Active Driving Assistant, which offers a host of active safety and assistance features.

The key safety features in the 2021 JCW include:

  • Brake Drying and 4 Wheel ABS
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Stability Control
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • Traction Control
  • Side Impact beams
  • Drive and Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Active Driving Assistant-It includes Forward Collision Warning and Automatic emergency braking. (only in the top trim)
  • Vehicle Anti-theft System

Is the 2021 Mini John Cooper Work Hardtop 2-Door worth buying?

The Mini John Cooper Work hatchback is a hotrod that offers exclusive styling and premium interiors. This Mini hardtop is a delight for purists, thanks to its instant throttle response, precision handling, and powerful engine. This small and light Mini compromise on the practicality with a below-average cargo hold, but that's what the name suggests. After Mini has announced the reduction in prices of eight of its model, including Mini JCW hardtop, the value of the car is further increased. Going for 2021 Mini JCW hardtop is a sweet deal, however, you can save some dollars by opting for the similarly equipped Used Car models. Find a good Used Mini Cooper deal here.

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