The third generation of Mini under BMW stewardship may have expanded a bit dimensionally (again), but it remains true to the ethos of this iconic brand that traces its roots to 1959. The Mini Cooper 3 Door hatchback in all its guises is funky, spunky, efficient and shows an unwavering appetite for twisty blacktop. You can never mistake a Mini for anything else, and you’ll never find the interior boring (OTT maybe).
Back seat room is still tight, but build quality and dynamic refinement are now commensurate with the brand positioning and pricing. Relaxed highway demeanor is part of the equation, and while the cabin is a riot of circles, all rattling cheap plastic bits have been banished.
The base Cooper 3 Door with a starting MSRP of $21,400 rolls on 16-inch alloys and is powered by a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder generating 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft from 1250 rpm. This is a lovely engine – smooth, torquey, very efficient and blessed with nice growly exhaust note. We’d say for most buyers, this is all the engine you need.
Standard equipment includes well contoured faux leather seats, six-speed manual ($1400 for six-speed auto), heated mirrors, cruise, A/C, and trip computer. Heated seats are bundled with sunroof and front and rear fog lights in the $1300 Essentails Package.
All Minis offer variable driving modes – Mid, Sport and Green – that alter throttle response, steering feel and engine sound, along with auto-transmission and variable damper response if so equipped.
The Cooper S at $25,740 gets a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, sports suspension and 17-inch alloys. A six-speed auto with paddles shifters is $1650.
The Mini has a package, option and accessory list a mile long, allowing it to be infinitely customizable and fitted with premium goodies like fine leather, navigation, driver’s aids, head up display, Harman Kardon audio, park distance control and more. We recommend the optional Dynamic Damper control for all models – it takes the sting out of the ride.
The $33,240 John Cooper Works model is the fastest Mini ever produced. The 2.0L turbo-four receives numerous mechanical upgrades that boost output to 228 hp and 236 lb.-ft. Standard with this car are Brembo brakes, functional real spoiler. LED headlights, LED taillights, a choice of three 17-inch alloys and fabric JCW seats with integrated headrests.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed