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MINI Cooper Review

The 2014 MINI Cooper ranks 19 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the MINI Cooper, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 MINI Cooper is ranked:

The all-new 2014 Mini Cooper hardtop has nimble handling that makes it a lot of fun to drive, as well as a classy cabin, test drivers say, but rivals offer more passenger and cargo space.  

Auto writers say the redesigned Mini Cooper hardtop’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine sounds polished and has sufficient pep off the line. The more performance-oriented Cooper S trim, with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, is even livelier, they add. Test drivers report that the standard six-speed manual transmission is a delight to use and that the available six-speed automatic impresses with its well-timed shifts. The base Mini Cooper hardtop gets 29/41 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is excellent for the class. The convertible model is unchanged from last year, and carries over with a four-cylinder engine in the base trim and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims. Reviewers say the Cooper's steering is responsive and that it hugs the road with confidence, especially around curves. The ride is firm but not unbearable and the cabin is quiet, they add.          

The 2014 Mini Cooper hardtop’s cabin feels upscale with high-quality materials and soft surfaces, reviewers say. The front is spacious, with nicely bolstered seats and good outward visibility, they say. The back seat is cramped, they add, which is a common complaint for subcompact cars. The 2014 Mini Cooper hardtop comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary input, HD Radio, a climate-controlled glovebox and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Optional features include a six-disc DVD player, a premium Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, a rearview camera, a head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, park distance control and navigation. Reviewers like the Mini Cooper hardtop’s new control layout, saying that climate and window controls are logically placed and more user-friendly than in previous models.

  • "Sophisticated new equipment, a nicer interior, more rational ergonomics, and a quieter ride are some of the more pleasant effects of a Mini that has grown up. It has done so while maintaining its driving character and-in the base Cooper particularly-increasing its responsiveness. It may not have quite the same wrapped-around-the-driver feel of its smaller predecessors, but the Mini enters adulthood with its personality intact." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Slightly larger, better upholstered, a bit more secure, and a bit less fitful on the road, the Mini is growing up." -- Car and Driver
  • "All told, the minor growth spurt and other changes have boosted practicality, performance and fuel efficiency without affecting the hatchback's lovable personality." -- Edmunds
  • "The Mini no longer is raw or gritty. It doesn't squeak or rattle or smell of plastic parts and bits. This Mini rides smoother, provides more power and more efficiency, comes loaded with high-tech features, and even provides a little more room. Our Mini may be all grown up, but deep down, its soul remains Mini." -- Motor Trend
  • "With its much-improved base engine, less quirky ergonomics and an even more enjoyable driving experience, there's a lot to like about MINI's latest model, and that bodes quite well for the brand's upcoming offerings." -- Left Lane News

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Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers say the Volkswagen GTI has great all-around performance and is a lot of fun to drive on twisty roads. In contrast to the Mini Cooper, reviewers say it has a spacious back seat and a generous amount of cargo space.

Like the Mini Cooper, reviewers say the all-new Fiat 500L has hip, European styling. In contrast to the Mini’s two doors, the base 500L has four doors and test drivers say its rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. Reviewers say the 500L has a smooth, comfortable ride and that its large cargo hold also makes it a practical choice. 

Compare the Cooper, GTI and 500L »

Details: 2014 Mini Cooper

The 2014 Mini Cooper has front-wheel drive and is available in hardtop and convertible models. The hardtop is fully redesigned for the 2014 model year and comes in two trims. The base trim has a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and the S trim has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Both trims come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is available. The convertible model carries over from 2013 unchanged, and in addition to base and S trims, the convertible is offered in the performance-oriented John Cooper Works trim.

See the full 2014 Mini Cooper specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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