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#17

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $19,950 - $35,300
Invoice: $18,355 - $32,475
MPG: N/A
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MINI Cooper Interior

Test drivers are pleased with the new 2014 Mini Cooper hardtop’s interior, saying that quality materials and plenty of soft surfaces make the cabin feel posh. The front seats feel spacious and supportive and outward visibility is good, they say, though the rear seats are cramped, which is a common complaint of cars in the class. Reviewers praise the hardtop’s redesigned center stack, saying that climate and window controls are now better-located and easier to use.

  • "While the exterior may have undergone a modest makeover, the cabin has been transformed into a luxurious penthouse." -- Motor Trend
  • "It no longer feels as if the interior's bold, circular styling is trying to keep you from noticing the cheap plastic bits. The cabin materials are much more BMW-like; the brand's rubberized, soft-touch black plastic-familiar to anyone who has spent time in a 3-series-has replaced the hard surfaces on the dash, the door panels, and the center armrest." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Material quality has improved throughout, further cementing the Hardtop's premium positioning." -- Left Lane News
  • "The upgraded materials of the new interior, including more soft-touch panels on the dash and doors, take the tactical feel up a notch while dimming down the blinding design glare of the previous car." -- Car and Driver

Seating

The 2014 Mini Cooper seats four and comes with faux-leather seats and a telescoping steering wheel. Available upgrades include sport seats with more substantial side bolstering, leather-trimmed seats with adjustable lumbar support and heated front seats. Reviewers point out that the new Mini Cooper hardtop has a roomier cabin than its predecessors, noting that the front feels spacious and the available sport seats are supportive without being uncomfortable. Test drivers add that outward visibility is excellent. However, they say the back seat feels cramped, which is typical of cars in this class.

  • "The new Mini Cooper hatchback also has more passenger and cargo space. You'll find an extra 1.5 inches of headroom up front, while the rear seat picks up nearly an inch of legroom and a full 3 inches of shoulder room. Still, it's small back there." -- Edmunds
  • "The front of the cabin remains airy and accommodating, and the sightlines - long a MINI strong point - are superb." -- Left Lane News
  • "The optional sports seats hold you in place without being too aggressive, and the back seat remains extremely tight. Technically, two people can fit back there, but I think they would have to be two small people." -- Motor Trend

Interior Features

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, customizable ambient lighting 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, Mini’s Connected infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display and navigation with real time traffic updates. An available park assistant package uses rear sensors to find a parking spot and then automatically steer the car into it.

Test drivers are pleased with the dashboard controls in the redesigned Mini Cooper hardtop, saying the knobs that are used to control the climate system are more user-friendly than the buttons found in previous model years. They also applaud the repositioning of the window switches to the doors from their previous position on the center console in the previous generation. Test drivers note that the picture is very sharp on the Mini Cooper’s optional display screen.

See the full 2014 Mini Cooper features and specs »

  • "The new Cooper hardtop also has redesigned controls, including easier-to-use climate controls and power window and door lock controls on the door panels (in the convertible, these switches remain at the bottom of the center stack behind the shifter)." -- Edmunds
  • "Other ergonomic enhancements include a reworked center stack with knobs that replace many of last year's fiddly climate control buttons, as well as window switches that have finally been moved from the lower stack to the door panels, just as the car gods intended." -- Left Lane News
  • "At the same time, Mini has made several welcome moves toward normalcy in the interior layout. The window, door lock, and power mirror switches can now all be found on the door panel; you select the temperature and fan speed with three round knobs; and the speedometer joins the tach in front of the driver." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The huge clocklike gauge remains in the center stack, but now serves multiple purposes and includes an optional 8.8-inch display screen for the navigation that provides an extremely clear image." -- Motor Trend

Cargo

With the rear seats in use, the Mini Cooper hardtop has 8.7 cubic feet of cargo space. That number increases to 38 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is OK for a subcompact hatchback, but not as much as what some rivals offer. The Cooper Convertible has 6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 23.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Reviewers say the split-folding rear seats and large hatch opening make the hardtop's cargo space useful.

  • "The versatility of the Mini's cabin is one of the things that make it such a special vehicle. The big hatch opens up to provide easy loading and unloading. The folding 60/40 second row gives the driver much more storage space." -- Motor Trend
  • "Maximum cargo space is up more than 50 percent, rating a generous (at least by Mini Cooper standards) 38 cubic feet." -- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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