The Four Seasons 2014 Mini Cooper came to us in New York City, and naturally we wanted to take some pictures before some cabbie smacked into us. Given Mini’s self-image as the automotive brand of young hipsters, we thought we’d take it to the very vortex of hipsterdom. So naturally we headed to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
As expected, the 2014 Mini Cooper is absolutely in its element within an urban environment like the Williamsburg neighborhood’s hipster-friendly coffee shops and craft beer emporiums. The all-new Mini might be slightly larger than before, but it’s still a handy size for snaking through traffic jams and nipping into the diminutive spaces for curb-side street parking spots, and the tight turning circle is a boon.
Ours is the base-model Cooper (remember, Mini is the car and Cooper is the trim level), which is now powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder that endows the standard-issue Mini with 23 horsepower and 48 pound-feet of torque more than before. Paired here with a six-speed manual transmission, we found this to be a very livable powertrain with good off-the-line grunt and friendly clutch take-up. It proved very capable in the cut and thrust traffic of Brooklyn’s surface streets as well as frenzied pace of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). The new powertrain makes the most affordable Mini a newly credible choice, which is a good thing, since it’s not cheap to live in this part of town.
We were also happy to find the ride of the 2014 Mini Cooper to be less punishing than past Minis with which we’ve spent time, most recently our long-term Mini Countryman. Part of this is due to more sophisticated suspension tuning, but it’s also true that we’ve wised up and so selected the standard suspension instead of the sport set up, and these 17-inch 45-series tires surely deliver a more resilient ride than 18-inch rubber.
Of course, there’s a world beyond Brooklyn to explore, and even a confirmed urbanite like the Mini needs to get out of the city once in a while. We’ll be spending time in the suburbs, the countryside, and beyond in the coming weeks and months. We also promise to delve into the 2014 Mini Cooper’s three driving modes—Green, Normal, and Sport. Then there’s the new car’s extensive suite of connectivity options; we’ll have to download some apps and study up a bit before we can report back on all that. So there’s plenty more to report on in the coming weeks and months.