Mini cooper s 2014 interior

Mini cooper s 2014 interior DEFAULT

From the June issue

A Mini should be a joyful thing. The cheeky styling, quick reflexes, and punchy power­train are supposed to be a playful escape from the anonymous sedans and me-too crossovers that plug up exit ramps and make driving a chore. It should be whimsy on wheels.

But looking back over our 21 months with a Mini Cooper S, we’re left hunting for happy thoughts. While it was clearly made to entertain, our Mini wasn’t made particularly well. The majority of our miles were accompanied by a soundtrack of groans, rattles, squeaks, and gronks that soured our attitude toward the car.

Well, at least the first 10, miles passed innocuously. In the early days of our test, we admired the powertrain, lamented the flinty ride quality, and studied how the Mini has evolved. Fourteen years on, the re-imagined Mini has grown, both dimensionally and characteristically. Longer than its predecessor by inches, the third-generation Mini doesn’t feel so miniature anymore. It’s also a much more mature and refined car. The cabin is quieter than those of Minis past (when it doesn’t sound like a cocktail shaker), and the interior is much easier to use, thanks in part to the excellent infotainment suite, which is essentially BMW’s iDrive reskinned with brighter colors.

We determined, though, that a better Mini is still an ergonomically challenged Mini. The headlight control is hidden by the steering wheel and angled toward the floor, making it nearly impossible to discern the switch’s different positions. Staffers railed against the tall and bulky center armrest, which makes it awkward to shift gears, use the navigation system’s control knob, or even prop up an elbow.


Drivers also noted how quickly and how far the Cooper S can drift from its $24, base price. The Fully Loaded package added navigation, automatic climate control, a Harman/Kardon stereo, and a panoramic sunroof to our car for $ We opted for the $ leather seats, $ cold-weather package, a $ head-up display, $ for satellite radio, and $ for LED headlights with cornering lights. Lured by the dizzying array of choices on Mini’s online configuring tool, we also ended up with a trio of ridiculous options for $ apiece: a rear spoiler that should be standard, a black headliner that should be a no-cost option, and a storage package that includes a volt outlet in the cargo area and a small elastic net in the passenger footwell that is patently useless.

The final price, $33,, became even tougher to swallow as the miles accrued. The word “rattletrap” first appeared in the logbook with 15, miles on the odometer and quickly multiplied on its pages. We learned to leave the cargo cover on the floor of the cargo hold, in the back seat, or at home—essentially anywhere but its intended position where it clacked and clattered. Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the rear seatbelts. When not in use, their buckles beat noisily against the hard-plastic trim unless you worm your way back there to tuck them under clips.

In quieter but no-less-irritating follies, the upper-glovebox lid jammed in a not-quite-closed position, looking like a trim piece installed by fat-fingered Oompa-Loompas. After an internal gear mechanism in the driver’s seat stripped, the backrest refused to lock back into place whenever someone climbed into the rear seat. The fix for that—replacing the seatback frame—only set off another cascade of problems. The trim surrounding the rear-seat-access lever came off in one staffer’s hand (we popped it back into place ourselves), and the lumbar knob fell off on two separate occasions. When the badge eventually fell off the rear hatch, it was hard not to read it as our Cooper S waving a white flag of surrender.

But these were only the minor headaches we experienced.


Our suspension woes began at 16, miles with a knock from the front end and a squeak at the rear. The dealer torqued the suspension hardware, cleaned the dampers, tightened a loose fuel-hose bracket, and sent us on our way. The noises made a comeback the following day. We returned within the month, and the service department replaced the left- and right-front ­control arms. That fix seemed to do the trick—for about miles. At the next visit, the dealer replaced the right control arm and both rear dampers a second time.

Our Cooper S made 11 visits to the dealer for maintenance or repairs during the duration of its stay, yet even that lofty ­number does not capture just how much time it spent in the dealer’s care. Parts were rarely in stock at our dealership, let alone in the U.S., so they were often ordered and shipped in all the way from Germany, seemingly by rowboat. In one day stretch, our Cooper S spent 45 days in our dealer’s possession.

We enjoyed a break when the odometer rolled from 18, to 28, miles without a single trip to the dealer.

But, with just miles left in its stay, the creaks from the front end and the ­clatter from the rear returned. We began to suspect that the suspension components were just as weary of the Mini’s punishing ride as were our drivers. There’s more initial compliance in this Mini than in prior models, but anything more severe than a perfectly aligned expansion joint still has the potential to crash into the cabin. The $ adaptive dampers do nothing to soften the plodding of the $ inch wheels, which are wrapped in stiff, run-flat tires. The unforgiving suspension may enable the Mini’s snappy steering responses and flat handling, but it also makes this pounder stomp down the road like a heavyweight.


As our pity turned to disdain, we felt a pang of sympathy for the technicians. They must have been as confounded by the Mini as we were. Once again they set about replacing the front control arms—they had since been redesigned, we were told—and the rear dampers. By now, though, the bolts that held it all together had been removed and torqued eight times. The Mini earned another extended stay when a captive nut that mounts the control arm to the body stripped. The dealer briefly mulled disassembling the interior to weld on a new nut, but the home office ultimately advised them to drill out the bad threads and insert a Heli-Coil (a pre-threaded tube). We can only report that the whole job held up for at least miles.

If there’s one unquestionably positive trait to the Cooper S, it’s the enthusiastic turbocharged liter four-cylinder, which is a member of BMW’s new modular-engine family. Its peak horsepower and pound-feet of torque are delivered in any gear without any discernible lag. The tall stick of the six-speed manual slides through longish throws with lovely weight and feel, and the progressive clutch pedal operates with a natural ease. The Cooper S’s torquey pep around town translated to a second run to 60 mph during the Mini’s initial test. That figure dropped to seconds with 40, miles on the odometer. We were also impressed that we beat the EPA combined-fuel-economy ­rating by 2 with an average of 30 mpg.

The least troublesome aspect of our Cooper S wasn’t problem-free, though. Shortly after its first oil change at just more than 10, miles, the Mini began marking its territory, leaving small, greasy spots wherever we parked it. To fix the leak, the oil-filter housing was replaced under a recall that the dealer failed to perform during our visit six days earlier. And one driver experienced a momentary surge followed by a loss of power while merging onto a highway. The car entered a limp mode that disappeared only after sitting for an hour. We never found the cause.

Most disappointing of all, this kind of aggravating Mini experience isn’t a new one for us. It’s an echo of the quality we ­witnessed during long-term tests of a John Cooper Works Convertible and a Cooper S Countryman. This story should be a discussion of the Mini’s rough ride, its animated engine, the inflated price, and its spry handling. But we can’t write that story because, for 21 months, we were antagonized by maddening noises and the accompanying headaches. Despite that, there’s still some lemonade to be made: Our Mini Cooper S never left anyone stranded.


Rants and Raves

Jennifer Harrington: The armrest is incredibly awkward. It’s too high to comfortably rest your arm, and if you flip it up, your elbow hits it while shifting.

Tony Quiroga: The clutch and shifter feel are near perfect. It’s easy to drive smoothly and a joy to upshift. Even in traffic I’m not bored.

Mike Sutton: Sounds and feels as if it’s rattling itself apart, just like all the Minis we’ve had for any amount of time.

Juli Burke: The engine provides plenty of torque for merging and passing in any gear.

Jeff Sabatini: Everything seems unnecessarily cheap in the interior but designed to trick you into thinking it’s premium. This is what cars would be like if we let tweens run the world.

Tony Swan: No expansion joint, lump, or dime-size bump is too small for the Mini to ignore.

Alex Stoklosa: While jonesing for a better look at the broken lumbar knob that was being stored in the rear cupholder, the rear-seat-access lever broke off in my hand. Is this a joke?

Don Sherman: If this car were a Christmas present, I would instantly regift it.

Aaron Robinson: Carried the in-laws around in the back, and they swore up and down that they were comfortable. I think they were just being polite.

David Beard: The tires ruin this car. They do not play nicely with the unforgiving suspension.

WHAT WE LIKE: The modern Mini is one of the most lively, playful front-wheel-drive cars you can buy. Credit for the fun and snappy personality goes to the alert steering and the nimble chassis, and yet the powertrain is really this Mini’s strong suit. Where the stiff suspension returns a harsh ride quality, the turbocharged liter inline-four delivers both performance and refinement. Borrowed from the BMW i, the Cooper S engine offers a smooth, broad powerband, so the car charges hard from idle and revs willingly to the top of the tachometer. And even with our heavy feet, we’ve averaged 30 mpg over more than 30, miles. The direct-injected engine is helped by a stop-start system that’s nearly seamless, something that can’t be said for the more expensive BMW 3-series, where every restart rattles the car and its passengers.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: This third-generation Mini made great improvements on the ergonomics of its predecessor. Traditional window switches on the door panels replaced cheesy toggle switches in the center stack, and the climate-control system is now handled with more conventional knobs. But there’s still room for improvement. Our staff universally despises the bizarre interplay among the parking brake, the center armrest, and the iDrive-like knob that controls the stereo and the navigation system. The infotainment controller sits low and far back in the center console, requiring a tight, uncomfortable bend in the wrist to use it. That awkwardness is compounded by the fact that setting the parking brake causes the armrest to ratchet into a raised position. The elevated armrest makes it nearly impossible to reach the control knob, so every time you get in the car, you have to release the parking brake and separately lower the armrest. And for some, the conflagration even gets in the way of shifting—whether it’s positioned up or down.


Besides the ergonomics, there are the hard plastics and busy design that aren’t becoming of a $33, car. “Everything seems unnecessarily cheap on the inside,” wrote features editor Jeff Sabatini, setting up the perfect segue to . . .

WHAT WENT WRONG: It wouldn’t be another miles in a Mini if nothing broke. This time it was the lumbar-adjustment knob that came off in the driver’s hand. We reported it during the routine service at 28, miles, and the dealer determined that a replacement part needed to be ordered.

When we returned 24 days later to have the lumbar knob installed, we also had a new problem for the service department to tackle. The secondary glove box, a small bin high on the dashboard, no longer opens or closes. Instead, the faux-carbon-fiber panel that doubles as its door stands proud of the surrounding trim by about a half-inch. The dealer didn’t have the necessary replacement hinge assembly and door on hand, so we’re once again waiting for a replacement. Sometimes it seems as if it would be easier to secure parts for an original Mini.


WHERE WE WENT: Road warrior Dave Beard shuttled the Mini Cooper S back from Montana to Michigan in August. “I won’t beat up on the suspension like it beat me. It’s taken enough flak in this logbook,” he wrote. He then went on to rant about the stiff run-flat tires, a leading factor in the Mini’s harsh ride. Beard’s attitude wasn’t helped by the nasty expansion joint in Illinois that damaged two tires in the middle of his trip. Replacements cost us $ At least the powertrain lived up to his expectations. Over nearly miles, Beard averaged 79 mph and 35 mpg.

Months in Fleet: 17 months Current Mileage: 33, miles
Average Fuel Economy: 30 mpg Fuel Tank Size: gal Fuel Range: miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0 Damage and Destruction: $

WHAT WE LIKE: During our 25, miles with the Mini Cooper S Hardtop, we’ve come to respect its Germanic drivetrain, the slickest and smoothest ever installed in a Mini. Levels of vibration are way down—witness a steering wheel that quivers not at all at idle. In fact, all of us have at least once thought the engine had died when it was still happily idling. This hp engine is willing, too, offering a big wallop of torque from as low as rpm, and its turbo machinations rarely announce themselves. With little trouble, the Mini will step off in second gear, and the fuel-savers among us are regularly short-shifting from first to third to sixth. The Getrag shifter offers a satisfying mechanical feel with crisp engagement, and the light clutch is so predictable that this car would be a candidate for beginners to learn the joys of manual shifting. All the way to its rpm redline, the engine is never buzzy, and we’ve often found ourselves cruising at freeway speeds without noticing that the car was still in fourth gear.

The Mini’s steering is nicely weighted, perhaps a touch dull at low speeds, then maybe a little quick off-center at cruising velocities. It’s informative, though, making it easy to place an inside front wheel on any little target of asphalt on any apex. Even though the steering here is admirable, any car with so truncated a wheelbase is likely to wander at speed, and the Mini does. Body motions can’t be accused of wandering, however, because there aren’t any.

Purists may eschew the automatic rev-matching system, but around town, especially when you’re busy with traffic, it’s quite a useful feature, smoothing the ride for passengers. And everyone has so far adored the faux carbon-fiber trim on the dash, until we told them that it cost an extra $

This is the best Mini ever—less of a toy and more of a car. With g of grip and a second sprint to 60 mph, it’s also the first Mini that can fulfill previously arguable claims that it’s a sports car.


WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Our Mini’s suspension is harsh. There’s little wheel travel, and if a frost heave or pothole pushes through that initial neutral zone of compliance, the resulting impact will drive your noggin into the $ anthracite headliner. A mouth guard might help. Part of the problem is the $ optional inch Dunlop Sport Maxx run-flats, which are noisy and too aggressive for this application. Wrote one editor, “With proper seismic equipment, I think it would be possible to produce a topographic map of the I surface between Ann Arbor and Chicago.” When the Mini was shod with its Bridgestone Blizzak winter shoes, complaints about the ride tapered.

Other beefs: There’s still too much wind noise and tread roar, sometimes combining to mask the silky drivetrain. Although the Mini’s observed fuel economy of 30 mpg is swell, the tank is small, at only gallons. We’d sure appreciate an analog fuel gauge in place of the cheap-looking arcade of orange lights. Elsewhere in the cabin, the center armrest is poorly placed, sometimes interfering with shifting, and the $ head-up display is unreadable if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses.

It’s telling that our Mini has been slow to accumulate miles, especially in the summer months when staff vacations are omnipresent. It offers limited storage, its ride is rigid, its cockpit is cramped, its switchgear is weird, and its bunker slit of a windshield impinges the view of the passing landscape. As such, the car is usually relegated to errand-hopper status. A lightweight errand-hopper, at pounds, but with a heavyweight sticker—$33, as tested.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Our Mini’s suspension began talking to us. A lot. Starting at 16, miles, an annoying “snap/click/gronk” manifested as we navigated the speed bumps in front of C/D’s palatial headquarters. The dealer tightened a loose fuel-line bracket and cleaned a strut that was full of crud. But the noise continued. At 17, miles, the dealer replaced all of the suspension bolts and torqued the replacements to spec. The left anti-roll-bar link also was replaced, and so were both lower control arms. That seemed to do the trick until 18, miles, when the racket resumed. This time, the right lower control arm was replaced, as were both rear shocks. Finally, silence. All of that work cost us nothing.

At 15, miles, we also had an issue with the driver’s seatback, which refused to stay in position. Its internal gears were judged to be stripped, so the seatback frame was replaced under warranty.


All this in addition to the oil leak at 10, miles, which we documented in our last update.

So. No damage to our wallets, but that’s still a lot of to-and-fro turmoil in the span of 25, miles. And then, as if to add an exclamation mark, the OE wheels’ center caps started falling off, although this might have been the fault of ravaged Montana tertiary roads, so we’re inclined to let it pass. No such pass for the hatchback’s rear parcel shelf, however, which rattled so fiercely that it’s now enjoying its new home on a garage shelf. Finally, the Mini badge on the liftgate fell into the dirt. We glued the thing back on ourselves. Take that.

WHERE WE WENT: Our “Halloween Special”—check out our Mini’s “Volcanic Orange” and black livery—has twice visited northern Michigan; it cruised to the Chicago auto show; it made a cross-country trip via Las Vegas to California; it returned to Ann Arbor, then crossed most of the country again to dwell in Montana for four months; it ventured via ferry to Orcas Island, in Washington state; and it most recently idled up to the ticket counter of Tacoma’s LeMay Museum for a fund-raising soirée. — John Phillips

Months in Fleet: 14 months
Current Mileage: 25, miles Average Fuel Economy: 30 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: gal Fuel Range: miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

WHAT WE LIKE AND WHY: We haven’t seen our long-term Mini Cooper S in a while, as it spent the summer on assignment in Los Angeles. But getting back behind the wheel reminds us of how much more refined the latest Mini is than previous generations. The feel is more akin to a small BMW than an eager runabout, with improved ergonomics and instrumentation. The light, precise action of the clutch and shifter are nearly perfect for spirited driving, and while the go-kart feel has been somewhat watered down, the Mini can still deliver smiles when hitting an apex. And there’s plenty of grunt from the S’s turbocharged liter, and with all lb-ft of torque peaking at a superlow rpm, it’s easier to deal with thick traffic. We’re still averaging 30 mpg overall with regular flogging, which equates to miles of range.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE AND WHY: Despite greater initial compliance from the suspension versus previous models, the latest Mini still crashes over most bumps and has already developed several creaks and rattles in its structure. Although not as prominent as in previous Minis, such as our flimsy long-term JCW convertible, the clatter still lends a feeling of cheapness. Eighteen-inch wheels and series rubber surely don’t help the ride, either. And while the latest Mini’s enlarged dimensions permit a slightly more capacious cargo area and rear seat, squeezing two adults in the back of the three-door hardtop is a terrible idea.


WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHY: Despite the lackluster structural integrity, our Mini has been reasonably easy to live with. The car visited the dealer twice while in California around 11, miles, but neither stop cost us a dime. The first was a scheduled oil and filter change and inspection, which was covered under Mini’s included free maintenance for three years or 36, miles. An oil leak prompted the second visit shortly thereafter, with the problem being a faulty oil-filter housing, which was tended to under warranty as a known issue. Being Michigan in December, our largest expense since the car returned to HQ has been a set of / Bridgestone Blizzak LM run-flat winter tires ($ from Tire Rack), which we mounted on a set of replacement inch wheels provided by Mini (we were unable to obtain run-flat winter rubber in the OE size for the car’s stock 18s). Then, because we’re vain, we spent $ for four new center caps that weren’t included with the winter wheels. Although the squishy winter tires make it difficult to analyze any changes in dynamic performance from the taller sidewalls, they do at least provide a bit more cushion to the ride over frozen, pockmarked pavement.

WHERE WE WENT AND WHY: As we mentioned, the Mini just returned from California and has served primarily as a local commuter while back home in Michigan. It did, however, travel frequently while out west, including treks from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and the high desert around Barstow, California. While the onset of winter and the car’s diminutive size will surely limit its road-trip potential in the coming months, its pluckiness should entertain on the many shorter voyages around the holidays. —Mike Sutton

Months in Fleet: 6 months
Current Mileage: 15, miles Average Fuel Economy: 30 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: gal Fuel Range: miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

There are all kinds of ways to pay compliments to friends who have obviously lost weight, but there’s not much to say to those who have gotten bigger. Usually it’s best to just say nothing, but we don’t wish to be rude. So to our newest long-term tester, a Mini Cooper S, we say: Hola! Welcome! You’re looking awfully, er, lush these days!

The newly maximized Mini is big for a reason. For its overhaul, it moved onto BMW’s new UKL global front-drive platform, which soon will underpin a whole family of Mini and BMW vehicles, all of them larger than the Cooper hardtop. So the new Cooper, internally dubbed F56, had to stretch a bit as a compromise for its shared architecture. Park the new next to the outgoing R56 model (or especially next to BMW’s original – R50), and the differences are dramatic. The new Cooper has become anything but mini.

Blasted by the Gigant-o-Ray

The length grows in this generation by inches while the width expands by inches. That may not sound like much, but in an industry that sweats every millimeter, that’s a double-barrel blast from the Gigant-o-Ray. Your driveway may suddenly seem a lot smaller, but all of this, uh, blossoming is not without its benefits, especially to overall interior spaciousness (although there are still some ergonomic challenges in the cabin).


Not only is the platform new, the engine is, too. The hp liter turbo four-cylinder is the middle child of BMW’s new expandable engine family, which uses a standardized cc cylinder and simply stacks it, from the base Mini’s transverse liter three up to the longitudinal liter inline-six. With all this newness in the ’14 Mini Cooper, we were obliged to keep one for a while to see how this overhauled Mini stands up to longer scrutiny.

This Volcanic Orange example arrives for its 40,mile run as a fully loaded Cooper S with a proper six-speed manual. And by fully loaded, we literally mean it, because Mini offers a Fully Loaded option pack that wads up a bunch of other option groups, including the Premium, Sport, and Wired packages, into one big $ hit. It includes navigation, a sunroof, inch wheels, LED headlights, and mongo connectivity options among its long list of amenities. We also got a few nice-to-haves such as the fancier Cross Punch Carbon Black leather for $, the Cold Weather pack for $, Dynamic Damper Control and a head-up display, each for $, and a one-year subscription to satellite radio for $ The rear spoiler, storage package with an adjustable rear cargo floor, and an anthracite-hued headliner each cost $

Crunching the Stats

Total: $33, That’s a big price for what is, and despite all the recent swelling, still a small car. The initial test-track numbers, starting with the pound curb weight and the second zero-to run, do not show progress over a pound Cooper S we tested in , which hit 60 in seconds. But it is still the early days of this new engine. As things loosen up, the times should come down, although perhaps not by enough to make the model any quicker than its predecessor. However, the new Mini’s g skidpad-grip figure shows real capability, and we look forward to exploiting it over the miles to come.


So far we’ve noticed that the maxi Mini is less of a toy than its predecessors and more of a grown-up car. The steering is still hyper-reactive compared with most cars’, but the ride has mellowed out, at least over the milder bumps, and the Cooper’s road presence feels more substantial. We’re still learning the new ergonomics, but things such as conventionally placed window switches and the new giant super knob for the infotainment unit are helping. All the connectivity options and ease of use are already garnering praise from those who like to stream music from their phones.

The Mini is now on the West Coast doing regular shuttles between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and it makes the dull miles between these metropolises melt fairly rapidly with a composed highway ride and a strong engine. So far, we’re averaging 30 mpg from the long-stroke liter, which is welcome considering the small, gallon fuel tank.

There will be more maxi Mini observations to come as we keep you updated on the car’s progress during its stay. —Aaron Robinson

Months in Fleet: 2 months
Current Mileage: miles Average Fuel Economy: 30 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: gallons Fuel Range: miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0


VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 3-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED: $33, (base price: $24,)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: cu in, cc
Power: hp @ rpm
Torque: lb-ft @ rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: in
Length: in
Width: in Height: in
Curb weight: lb

Zero to 60 mph: sec
Zero to mph: sec
Zero to mph: sec
Rolling start, mph: sec
Top gear, mph: sec
Top gear, mph: sec
Standing ¼-mile: sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (drag limited): mph
Braking, mph: ft
Roadholding, ft-dia skidpad: g

Zero to 60 mph: sec
Zero to mph: sec
Zero to mph: sec
Rolling start, mph: sec
Top gear, mph: sec
Top gear, mph: sec
Standing ¼-mile: sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (drag limited): mph
Braking, mph: ft
Roadholding, ft-dia skidpad: g

EPA city/highway driving: 24/34 mpg
C/D observed: 30 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

4 years/50, miles bumper to bumper;
4 years/50, miles powertrain;
12 years/unlimited miles corrosion protection;
4 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance;
3 years/36, miles free routine maintenance


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Mini hatchback Mk 3 review (on)

Mini Cooper S front

What is the Mini hatchback Mk 3?

This is the third generation of the modern Mini, and a lot has changed. It’s bigger, safer (according to Mini),  more frugal, thanks to a new range of three and four-cylinder engines, and, most significantly of all, adults can at last sit comfortably in the rear seats. The British-built Mini is, technically speaking, a supermini that drivers might consider instead of a Fiat , Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo. But truth be told, it attracts people from all walks of life, its appeal being the distinct design, classless image and a fun driving experience. The fact that it can be accessorised with the abandon of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen on a home makeover TV show has helped hook even more buyers.

Mini currently offers four versions of the new hatchback, which vary according to how fast or frugal you like your Mini driving experience. Kick-starting the range is the One, priced from £13, This is an insurance-friendly model and comes with a bhp turbocharged three-cylinder motor. This jogs along from mph in sec and achieves mpg. The Cooper hatch costs from £15, and features a bhp, turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers mph in sec and mpg.

Search for and buy a used Mini Cooper S on

For maximum fuel economy, look no further than the Cooper D, which can return an impressive mpg. Priced from £16, it is powered by a bhp three-cylinder diesel, and can nip from mph in seconds. Those who want to turn up the performance will need to spend £18, on the Cooper S. It features a new 2-litre, four-cylinder engine developing bhp, enough to zip to 62mph in just sec, yet it manages a respectable mpg claimed.

Based on those figures and our driving impressions of the Cooper and Cooper S, the regular Cooper appears to be the best buy for the majority of private car drivers. (We&#;ll update our review as we test the other models in the range.) However, company car users, or those most concerned with low running costs, should consider the Cooper D, which at 98g/km now ducks below the g/km CO2 threshold, making it cheaper to run as a company car and exempt from road tax.

The drive

You’d imagine that there would be only one way to drive a Mini Cooper S – on the doorhandles. But no, drivers can switch between three Mini Driving Modes (prepare to cringe). First up there is &#;Green: Low Consumption Driving Fun&#;. This effectively dulls the response of the throttle to help conserve fuel, lightens the steering weighting and – for versions with an automatic gearbox – decouples the transmission when coasting to reduce drag. Then there’s &#;Mid: Typical Mini Driving Fun&#;,which, as its name suggests, strikes a middle ground between having fun and being frugal. Finally there&#;s &#;Sport: Maximum Go Kart Feel&#;. The latter is the most faithful to the car’s personality. The system comes as standard with the Cooper S and is a £ option on other models (we’d give it a miss).

Ironically, though, the new Mini has lost some of its go-kart feel. A longer and wider wheelbase and new design of suspension (with more travel) mean that the car no longer hops along like someone who’s just stubbed their toe. The handling is assured, and the car covers ground quickly whatever the weather conditions, even with the stability systems turned off. The driver can still instinctively feel how much grip the car has through the seat of their pants.

Mini Cooper S rear

Progress over every type of road is calmer, smoother and quieter. It all points to a car that had been suffering growing pains. On the one hand, it’s much more pleasant on the motorway; on the other it’s not as much fun on a winding country road – and since when was a Mini Cooper S all about slogging up and down the M1? The engine of the Cooper S has jumped in capacity, from litres to 2 litres, but remains a four-cylinder unit. It’s gutsy with lots of torque, which means it will pull effortlessly from rpm. As a result,  the Mini overtakes slower traffic quickly and safely. But is it pleasurable? It’s not a distinct or characterful sounding motor. And – unusually for this class of car &#; it doesn’t thrive on high revs. By rpm it feels like it is suffering an asthma attack. The shift of the new six-speed manual gearbox is a weak point. It has a long and notchy shift action and the rev-synchro match (which blips the throttle when you change down a gear) seems like a pointless gimmick. It’s too slow to deploy, and if you aren’t into the idea of indulging in some heel-and-toe gearchanging, why buy a hot hatch in the first place?

Read Driving&#;s review of the Mini Cooper

The interior

Anyone who has sat in an old Mini will recognise this car’s new interior. It remains faithful to the general look and layout of the last two Minis, but there is a noticeable improvement in the standard of quality and level of technology. Compared with similarly priced cars, it feels special. There’s also more space in the cabin. Passengers under 6ft can just about sit comfortably in the rear seat, behind a driver of a similar height, without fouling their knees on the back of the front seat. And the boot has grown, from to litres; handy, even if it’s still on the small side compared with other superminis.

Mini Cooper S interior

The speedo now sits in front of the driver, and the rev counter is almost hidden away to the side. It’s reflective of the wider change to the Mini’s mindset. In the past, the rev counter was the main dial facing the driver, because this was a driver’s car. Today the dominant feature is an LED display that wraps around the circumference of the central infotainment display and changes colour according to how you’re driving, with green for sensible and red that fades to white-hot when you&#;re late for your child’s school play.

Faults? The fuel display looks like something from a Tonka toy and the optional head up display (£) is a waste of time on a small car like this. And drivers coming from an old Mini will have to get used to further concessions to sensibleness: window switches in the door armrest, like all other cars. What is the world coming to?

The one to buy

Mini Cooper


Price: From £15,
Engine: cc, four-cylinder turbocharged
Power: bhp @ rpm
Torque: lb ft @ rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Acceleration: mph in sec
Top speed: mph
Fuel: mpg (combined)
CO2: g/km
Road tax band: E
Dimensions: L mm, W mm, H mm

Mini Cooper S used rivals for similar money

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Mini Cooper review

Introducing a car as well-known as the Mini Cooper S brings back images of twin-tank bricks-on-wheels sliding across the top of Mount Panorama or slithering down the Col de Turini. 

With the all-new model Mini has come a new, beefed up Cooper S, powered by a litre turbocharged four cylinder. Which is one cylinder and a half-litre up on the three-cylinder Cooper, not to mention a $10, price increase.


The Mini range starts at $24, for the manual litre turbo One. Our road test car, the Cooper S, starts at $36, for the manual with the six-speed automatic adding a stiff $ to nudge the price over the $40, mark. On-road costs have to be factored in as well.

Mini Cooper S comes with standard dual-zone climate control, interior LED lighting, multi-function leather steering wheel, Bluetooth and USB, keyless start, cruise control, rear parking sensors, remote central locking and auto headlights and wipers and clear indicator lenses.

The big dinner-plate shaped and sized central stack houses a inch high-res screen to run the infotainment system which is controlled by a BMW iDrive-style rotary knob. The S picks up sat-nav as standard as well as Bluetooth music streaming, an option on the Cooper.

Our car had further (and sobering) $11, of options. These included the two-panel Panorama sunroof ($), head-up display ($), reversing camera ($), adaptive LED headlights, LED driving lights and fog lights ($), dynamic dampers ($) DAB tuner ($) and something called leather cross punch ($), replacing the cloth/leather combination.

The balance of that huge options price rise is taken up with cosmetic bits and pieces such as stripes and a slightly-suspect off-white interior trim option.

This gave a staggering total of $48, Or VW Golf GTI Performance Package and RenaultSport Megane money.


The Cooper S gets its own unique wing, a choice of inch wheels (ours had the no-cost option Cosmos black replacing the Tentacle silver), and red highlights to remind you it's the quick one. The ‘S’ badging is subtle but identifiable and avoids being twee.

The front seats are chunkier and grippier than other Minis. The seats also pick up some extra adjustment for greater comfort and body holding. 

The off-white optional interior trim wasn't our favourite option, but did brighten the otherwise very dark cabin, seemingly a part of parent company BMW's DNA. To further lighten the mood, there’s a gigantic two-panel sunroof (the forward panel opens), although it only has a perforated blind to shield you from the sun's rays.


The inch central screen hosts USB and Bluetooth audio streaming, all controlled by a rotary dial on the centre console. The screen is much better than the Cooper's and the curiously cheap DAB radio was a welcome addition.

The satnav is standard BMW fare, so quite good, and with the $ head-up display, the nav directions are projected on to the dinky little blade of glass that rises from the dash when activated. The head-up also shows speed and cruise control information.


The litre four has a twin-scroll turbocharger and produces peak power of kW and Nm of torque, the numbers are slightly down on its price competitors’ but more than adequate. 

As with the Cooper, the engine also features an active air flap and brake energy regeneration. Additionally, the S has driving mode control, with a smooth, frugal eco mode, a middle ground and an hilarious Sport mode with crackly exhaust and noisy turbo wastegate.

BMW claims fuel consumption of L/km ( for the manual) and km/h in seconds. We saw L/km which wasn't bad at all given how hard it was driven.


The Mini comes with six airbags, ABS, brake force distribution and corner brake control and stability and traction control.

There's also active pedestrian protection and a crash sensor. As yet, there is no Euro NCAP or ANCAP star rating, but five stars seem inevitable.


The Cooper S is a hoot and, interestingly, a better all-round proposition than the supposedly calmer Cooper. The key may have been the dynamic dampers, but the S is a more composed car all round.

It's also much, much faster. Barrelling through the bends, even when they're practically underwater, is a huge amount of fun, with plenty of grip that gives way to gentle, predictable understeer.

With sport mode activated, the engine barks, splutters and chatters exuberantly, even in automatic form. The manual shifting of the tall selector is fun but still sometimes ignores your request for a downshift. It also automatically upshifts at the rev limit in manual mode, something we'd rather it didn't do. Go for the manual if you like to pick the gears.

Across broken surfaces and the ride is composed (for front seat passengers, anyway) even in Sport mode. 

Eco is the mode of choice for normal driving. Everything calms down, the throttle response is dampened and it drives like a normal German hatchback. It's an impressive transformation.

The highlight of the car is the way its chassis and steering work together to make the Mini such a lively car. All the Minis in the current range have this - a taut chassis with fast steering and effortless change of direction. The Cooper S just ramps up the responses and the speed.

► 2014 Mini Cooper S - INTERIOR

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Cooper 2014 interior s mini

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2014 MINI Cooper S Full REVIEW, Start Up, Exhaust

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