12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2014 Mini Cooper - Four Seasons Introduction

June 23, 2014
2014 Mini Cooper Profile Motion
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Another Mini Cooper? Yes, indeed. Automobile Magazine is welcoming our third Mini Cooper hardtop into Four Seasons duty, and this is the most changed version since BMW re-introduced the brand to America back in 2002. The newest Mini is considerably larger, features an all-new interior, and has new engines under the hood.
Whereas we’ve previously had Cooper S Minis—those being the only version an enthusiast would entertain—this time we went for a base 2014 Mini Cooper. The standard 2014 Mini Cooper now uses a BMW-sourced, turbocharged three-cylinder engine that brings big gains in output over the previous four-cylinder, with 134 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a new six-speed manual transmission, this engine promises much better fuel economy (42 mpg highway according to the Feds) and improved performance, making the standard Cooper the model that particularly intrigued us.
2014 Mini Cooper Profile Static
Our 2014 Mini Cooper came equipped with the premium package (panoramic moonroof, automatic climate control, Harman/kardon audio system), the park assistant package (park distance control and automatic parking assist), and the cold weather package (heated seats and, strangely, power folding mirrors). The Mini wired pack brought an 8-inch center screen, navigation with real-time traffic, and a center armrest with built-in cell-phone connector and USB. Seventeen-inch wheels (replacing the standard fifteens) and a backup camera—at $1250 and $500, respectively—and were joined by a host of lesser items. In all, the extra booty pushed the very reasonable $20,745 base price all the way to $29,795.
We’ll see which options we deem must-haves and which ones strike us as easy to skip. We’ll also determine whether the new three-cylinder turbo makes the standard 2014 Mini Cooper a newly relevant choice, or whether we’ll wish we had gone for the Cooper S. No doubt we’ll also ruminate on the new Mini’s somewhat-less-mini size and whether or how that affects its driving demeanor.
Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to take a third Mini Cooper on board for a long-term test. We promise to report back on all of the above, and more, over the next twelve months.
2014 Mini Cooper Interior 2
Body style 2-door hatchback
Accommodation 4-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.) $20,755
As tested $29,795
Engine 12-valve SOHC I-3 turbo
Displacement 1.5 liters (91 cu in)
Power 134 hp @ 4500–6000 rpm
Torque 162 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 30/42/34 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.4 turns
Turning circle N/A
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 17-inch aluminum
Tires Pirelli Centurato P7
Tire size 205/45R-17 88V
Headroom F/R 40.3/36.9 in
Legroom F/R 41.4/30.8 in
Shoulder room F/R 50.6/47.8 in
Wheelbase 98.2 in
Track F/R 59.1/59.1 in
L x W x H 59.1/59.1 in
Passenger capacity N/A
Cargo capacity (seats up/down) 8.7/38.0 cu ft
Weight 2605 lb
Weight dist. F/R 62%/38%
Fuel capacity 11.6 gal
Est. fuel range 442 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT 15-inch aluminum wheels Multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel 4-speaker audio system Air-conditioning Power windows Interactive LED ring SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription Bluetooth Cruise control Tilt-and-telescopic steering column Auxiliary audio jack USB port Mini driving modes Leatherette upholstery
Premium package- $1775 Panoramic moonroof Automatic climate control Harmon/Kardon premium audio Mini wired pack- $1750 Navigation w/real time traffic 8-in center screen Center armrest Enhanced Bluetooth 17” Cosmos Spoke silver wheels- $1250 Park assistant package- $1000 Park distance control Parking assistant Cold weather package- $600 Heated front seats Power folding mirrors Rear view camera- $500 Satellite radio- $300 Fog lights- $250 Blazing red metallic paint- $250 Chrome line exterior- $250 Sport seats- $250 Storage package- $250 Headliner in anthracite- $250 Interior surface Firework- $200 Bonnet stripes in white- $100 Color line glowing red- $100

Long-Term 2014 MINI Cooper Reviews to Date:

Introduction
2014 Mini Cooper - Four Seasons Introduction
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Cost to Own
Depreciation
39.1%
Depreciation
$13955
Insurance
$6580
Fuel Cost
$8777
Financing
$3027
Maintenance
$1898
Repair Costs
$991
State Fees
$424
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own