• Zippy handling
  • The quickest Mini
  • Unique styling
  • Seats only two
  • Stiff ride
  • Small trunk

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Cooper Coupe in 2014

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For 2014, all Minis get the new City Pack option package. Priced at $1250, it includes: a rear audible park aid, auto-dimming mirrors, power-folding side mirrors, heated washer jets and side mirrors, passive keyless entry and ignition, and, as you might expect, an alarm system...
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Vehicle Summary

The Mini Cooper Coupe, as opposed to the standard Mini Cooper (the hardtop), is a variation on the theme that trades away some of the regular Mini's practicality for more head-turning style. With its chopped roofline, the Coupe almost looks like a Mini wearing a backwards-facing ball cap. Under that funky lid, the Coupe has only two seats -- the rear seats have been jettisoned. In back, what looks like a stubby trunk lid is actually a hatchback. Outside of those mods, however, the Coupe hews to the standard Mini's formula very closely.

Overview

The Coupe follows Mini convention with its three trim levels: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. The base Cooper's 121-hp four puts up the best fuel-economy numbers (29/37 mpg city/highway, or 28/36 with the automatic), but it's no ball of fury. The turbocharger in the Cooper S does wonders to wake up the 1.6-liter four-banger, so we'd start looking here. At the top of the price ladder sits the extroverted John Cooper Works; it adds 27 hp for a total of 208 hp, as well as aero body add-ons, an electronic differential lock, and a sport suspension. A word about that last item, which is optional on the Cooper and the Cooper S: the sport suspension takes the Mini's already stiff ride and makes it almost harsh. Consider yourself forewarned, or at least try before you buy.

In all three models, the Coupe is the quickest Mini variant, but just barely -- outrunning its hardtop equivalent by 0.1 second in the 0-to-60 mph sprint. You might think it achieves that by being the smallest, lightest Mini, but it's neither. It rides on the same 97.1-inch wheelbase as the hardtop and is just over an inch longer. Nor is it any lighter. It is lower, but all the difference in height is due to changes from the windows up. That lower roofline and reduced glass area make for a constrained view out.

Even after tossing out the back seat, the Coupe provides only 9.8 cubic feet of luggage space. Although that's more than the standard Mini's 5.7 cubic feet, you can fold down the rear seats in the standard Mini and expand the space to 24 cubic feet. Not so the Coupe. What the Coupe does have, however, is a rear spoiler on its pert little hatch; it deploys automatically at 50 mph. If you're not going that fast you can still extend your tail feather by flicking a toggle switch on the dash -- at which point you're sure to feel like you're going faster.

Key Competitors

  • Fiat 500 Abarth
  • Hyundai Veloster
  • Mini Cooper hardtop
  • Scion tC

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