2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop
With every iteration, the MINI Cooper Hardtop becomes less of a retro throwback, and more of a car for the modern day. And that’s never been truer than now, as it enters its third generation for 2014.
Hitting a growth spurt, the Cooper Hardtop expands in almost every dimension: 4 and half inches in length, nearly 2 inches in width, and gains to height and wheelbase as well.
Parent BMW lends its performance prowess and its TwinPower turbochargers. The base Cooper get an-all new 1.5 liter turbocharged 3 cylinder engine rated at 134 horsepower, though there’s nothing base about it. Pickup is strong, delivering surprising power and a great mechanical note. Fuel economy is an estimated 34 MPG Combined.
The also turbocharged Cooper S adds a 4th cylinder, expanding to 2.0 liters, and rates 189 horsepower. It also adds more muscular bodywork for added flair.
Both manual and paddle shift automatics are 6-speeds.
There are upgrades everywhere, from the new Dynamic Damper Controlled suspension to a revised interior featuring some new switch gear and central control knob, and even an optional head up display to augment a new gauge cluster.
We got our first drive time near San Juan, Puerto Rico.
From first drive it’s obvious that the new Mini Cooper is an all new effort. It handles better, it rides much quieter, all in all it feels like the premium small car it pretends to be. But the single most impressive aspect of this car is the Cooper’s standard three-cylinder turbocharged engine. Among three-cylinders it is simply a jewel.
On sale soon, the 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop goes for around $21,000, with S models around $24,000.
Engine: 1.5 liter turbocharged 3 cylinder
Price: Starting at $21,000