’15 Mini Cooper hardtop to add 2 doors
The little Mini Cooper showed a bit of growth this year, having been stretched 4 inches in overall length on an inch-longer wheelbase, and it is 1.7 inches wider.
Some performance pop, too, has been added to the 2014 Mini Cooper S hardtop – not enough to call it a Super Duper Cooper, though sufficient for a more fun drive. Under hood is a new 189-horsepower, 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed Getrag automatic transmission.
For the coming model year the really big news, effective following the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, will be the arrival of the 2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, a hatchback that goes on sale in January.
It will be the first four-door for the Cooper hardtop. Pricing will begin just below $22,000, about $1,000 higher than the standard two-door Cooper.
The four doors will make the new Mini more accessible for four-passenger use than is the original. The wheelbase will be expanded by 2.9 inches and the overall length by 6.3 inches.
Engine choices will be a 134-hp, 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder or the 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder. Both are turbocharged. Standard transmission will be a 6-speed manual, with a 6-speed Steptronic automatic optional.
The Cooper four-door will be a competitor of the Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.
A choice of three driving modes – Sport, Green and Normal – enhanced the driver control of the ’14 Cooper S hardtop I drove. Shift points were more pronounced and suspension stiffened in the Sport setting, while the eco-minded Green set tamed the performance and upped the fuel mileage. Overall fuel mileage average was 31.3 miles per gallon, right in the middle of its EPA estimate of 26/35.
Pricey options such as the sport transmission, navigation, panoramic moonroof, leather seats (heated) and harman/kardon premium sound pushed the Cooper’s price from MSRP of $23,600 to a sticker of $37,395.
Among other options were racing green metallic exterior finish, power folding mirrors, automatic climate control, 18-inch cone-spoke silver wheels, LED headlights, head-up display, satellite radio and anthracite headliner.
The Mini Cooper, built in England, was reintroduced into the U.S. in 2002 by its parent company, Germany luxury-car maker BMW, after an absence of 35 years. A convertible was soon added, and, later, two larger models, the Clubman and Countryman.
Here are the specifications for the ’14 Mini Cooper S Hardtop:
- Wheelbase 98.2 inches
- Length 151.9 inches
- Width 68 inches
- Height 55.7 inches
- Curb Weight 2,760 pounds
- Track 58.5 inches front, rear
- Ground Clearance 4.9 inches
- Turn Circle 35.4 feet
- Drivetrain Front-wheel-drive
- Engine 2.0-liter twinpower turbo 4-cylinder
- Horsepower/Torque 189/207
- Transmission 6-speed automatic
- Steering electric power
- Fuel mileage estimate 27/38
- Fuel mileage average 31.6
- Fuel Tank 11.6 gallons, premium
- Wheels 18-inch
- Cargo Volume 8.7 cubic feet
- Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles basic, 4/50,000 powertrain
Competitors Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen Golf R, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, VW Beetle, Mazda 3
Assembly Plant Oxford, England
Parts Content Germany 35%, England 25%, U.S./Canadian 5%
Base Price of Lowest Model $20,745; Base Price of Review Model $23,600; Destination Charge $795; Sticker Price $37,395.