Though it was long-anticipated, with dozens of spy photos ahead of time, the 2015 MINI Cooper 4 door might seem like a case of, “more Mini, more problems.” Yet, considering the latest-gen Cooper is on its own beefier than in the past, it’s a minor leap to slap on a set of rear doors and add a third rear seat. Like the larger Mini Countryman, the 2015 MINI Cooper 4 door will offer buyers a more practical way to make a chic style statement and have some fun behind the wheel.
As we noticed when we spied it testing previously, the 2015 Mini Cooper 4 door looks largely identical to the standard 2014 Mini Cooper, but it is now just 2.3 inches shorter than a Ford Fiesta hatchback, at 157.4 inches long. Aside from the added pair doors, the only visual adjustment that stands out is a more sloped rear hatch around back. The dimension changes amount to 6.3 inches more in length, a 2.9-inch longer wheelbase, and an increase of 0.4 inches in height. Headroom goes up about 0.5 inches, while interior with at shoulder height improves 1.8 inches. Trunk space also increases 0.5 inches for a total of 9.2 cubic feet.
Simply put, the 2015 Mini Cooper 4 door demands less sacrifice than ever from customers in the market for a trendy small car. It’s a savvy business decision on Mini’s part, because it opens the door to those who might have otherwise been scared off by the standard Cooper’s two-door setup and four-seat configuration.
Most important however, is that the 2015 Mini Cooper 4 door is just as hip and appealing-looking as the two-door version, and it will ostensibly be equally enjoyable to drive. Under the hood, Mini is offering the same three- and four-cylinder turbo engines that make 134 and 189 hp in the Cooper and Cooper S, respectively, as well as six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The four-door’s 0-to-60-mph sprint falls off only marginally compared to the standard Cooper: 7.6/7.7 seconds (manual/automatic) for the base Cooper, differences of 0.2 and 0.4 seconds; and 6.5/6.4 seconds (manual/automatic) for the Cooper S, or only 0.1 seconds slower.
With this new body style, Mini enters itself into a playing field already hotly contested by other small four-door hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, Nissan Versa Note, and Honda Fit. Although the 2015 Mini Cooper 4 door is entering the game a tad late, it has the cachet and well-marketed personality of a premium, stylish, fun-to-drive small car. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it outsell the two-door Cooper within a few years.
The four-door 2015 Mini Cooper will cost $1000 more than the 2015 two-door hardtop when it goes on sale in January 2015. Currently, base price for the current two-door 2014 MINI Cooper is $20,745 including destination. That will put the 2015 Mini Cooper 4 door smack in between the base prices of the existing two-door Cooper and the much larger Countryman, which begins at $22,895. Down the road we’ll also see a four-door Mini Clubman to compete with compact hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Volkswagen Golf.