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Review: 2014 Mini Cooper

February 10, 2014

Next month we’ll see the latest version of the ever-popular Mini Cooper hit the streets – but is it a major leap forward, or are the differences as mini as the car itself?

The first thing you might notice about this third generation Mini is that it’s slightly bigger than its predecessor, being 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller. However, impressively, it’s also around 10kg lighter than the previous model. While these may not seem like hugely significant changes, what is significant is that BMW have managed to boost the new Mini’s boot space up from 160 litres to a respectable 211 litres. The slight increase in overall size also translates to much needed extra space in the cabin, making this the most comfortable Mini Cooper yet.

The new Mini is also packing a whole host of new technologies, including an iDrive rotary controller, a Heads Up Display, variable damper control and options such as camera-assisted collision avoidance braking and self-parking. This Mini is also something of a communication hub, including integration for app versions of Twitter and Facebook plus an emergency call function.

Another positive effect of the new Mini’s slightly increased size is its improved ride and handling. The addition of a new suspension set-up is also designed to offer superior “acoustic refinement in the cabin” and “eliminate vibrations from the road surface”, thus theoretically providing a much more comfortable ride. Good news for UK drivers is that the new Cooper has, apparently, been extensively tested on British roads, meaning it should perform at the peak of its abilities here.

Under the bonnet there’s nothing wildly revolutionary, but there have been some welcome tweaks. The standard Cooper will come with a 1.5 litre three cylinder petrol engine. There will also be an equivalent diesel engine for the Cooper D and a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine for the Cooper S. The standard Cooper will be a little more powerful than its predecessor, developing 134bmp (up from 122bhp) and reducing the 0-62.1mph time from 9.1 seconds to 7.9 seconds. The Cooper D will see a power increase of just 2bhp to 114bhp, cutting only half a second of its previous 0-62.1mph time of 9.25 seconds.

In terms of style, there’s nothing radically new here either. There are some snazzy new LED daytime running lights, forming a semi-circle around the traditional rounded headlights (with the option to upgrade these to fully LED if you like that sort of thing). Otherwise, this basically still looks like the Mini Cooper that we all know and love. But, when you’ve got such a distinctive and individual style as the Mini Cooper, this is probably better than changing things just for the sake of it.

Overall, there’s nothing startlingly new about the third generation Mini Cooper, but there are just enough refinements and improvements to make this a worthy continuation of the range. The increased size provides a welcome boost to the Mini’s comfort and practicality – and the new technological toys and increased power combine to make this the most enjoyable Mini yet.

 

Release: March 2014

Price: £15,300

Engine: 1.5 litre three cylinder petrol

Top speed: 131mph

Acceleration: 0-62mph 7.9sec.

Fuel economy: 62.8mpg

CO2 emissions: 107g/km.

VED band: B (£0 for first year and £20 thereafter)

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.