Used 2014 MINI Cooper Hatchback
Used 2014 MINI Cooper Hatchback for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
It may not be a very practical car, but with its personable, spritely demeanor, the 2014 Mini Cooper is a great pick for a small hatchback or convertible.
It was bound to happen. Smaller cars have been getting bigger for years and now this trend has hit Mini. Specifically, we're talking about the fully redesigned, and bigger, 2014 Mini Cooper hatchback (also known as the Cooper hardtop). But before you start firing off angry tweets to @Mini, know that this new Cooper is only about a cell phone longer than before and is still anywhere from 8-11 inches shorter than most other subcompact cars. Rest assured, the Mini Cooper still warrants its name.
Of course, the added size for this third-generation Cooper hatchback does translate to more space for people and things. The hatchback's backseat is still small, but it provides more room than before, especially shoulder room and hiproom. Maximum cargo space is up more than 50 percent, rating a generous (at least by Mini Cooper standards) 38 cubic feet. Other notable changes to the hatchback include a pair of new, turbocharged engines that are both more powerful and more fuel-efficient than before. Even the base Cooper hardtop with an automatic transmission is fairly quick; Mini claims it will scoot to 60 mph in just 7.3 seconds. On the technology side, the hatchback now offers a rearview camera, a head-up display and an automated parallel-parking system.
What hasn't changed is the spunky and agile nature of this little runabout that makes it such a blast to drive, even when you're just running errands. And it's still one of the smallest cars you can buy, so the Mini remains a snap to park. All told, the minor growth spurt and other changes have boosted practicality, performance and fuel efficiency without affecting the hatchback's lovable personality.
Whether you're looking at the new hatchback or the carryover convertible, the effervescent little Mini Cooper is not without flaw. Although the hatchback (especially with the available adjustable suspension) goes over the bumps and ruts a bit more smoothly than before, the ride may still be too busy for some shoppers. And even with the increased space back there, the rear seat is undeniably small. The unchanged convertible version obviously retains its former pros and cons, so it's still fun to drive and has a clever, multifunction convertible top. But compared to the new hardtop it has a stiffer ride, harder-to-use controls and a smaller backseat. It also has poor rearward visibility, even with the top down.
Drivers looking for a similarly adorable European charmer with a more forgiving ride (though less sporty handling) will want to check out the 2014 Fiat 500. The relatively spacious 2014 Hyundai Veloster is also worth considering. As far as convertibles go, you'll get a bigger backseat with the 2014 Volkswagen Beetle and ample style with the Fiat 500 convertible. Overall, though, the Mini Cooper is one of the most entertaining small cars you can buy. Its ability to deliver high fuel economy and a measure of practicality, along with an engaging driving personality, makes it a popular choice for a wide range of buyers.
Trim levels & features
The 2014 Mini Cooper is available in two-door hatchback (hardtop) and convertible body styles. The hatchback was redesigned for this year, while the convertible continues on unchanged. The hatchback is available in base Cooper and Cooper S trims, and the convertible comes in Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) versions.
The Cooper hatchback comes standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, adjustable driving modes, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a trip computer, a height-adjustable driver seat, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, multicolor ambient lighting, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and a USB/iPod adapter. The S hatchback adds a more powerful engine, 16-inch wheels, foglights and sport seats.
The Cooper convertible is equipped similarly to the Cooper hatchback and adds a full power convertible top that includes a partial-open "sunroof" feature. The Cooper S convertible likewise adds performance-themed perks similar to those of the Cooper S hatchback. The John Cooper Works convertible includes an even more powerful turbo engine, upgraded Brembo brakes, an aerodynamic body kit and cloth upholstery. A firmer suspension can be fitted to the John Cooper Works.
Option highlights exclusive to the new Cooper hatchback include adjustable suspension dampers, a rearview camera, a head-up display and an automated parking system. Other available features (some of which are grouped into packages) vary according to body style and trim level and include various 17- and 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, LED and xenon headlights, a dual-pane sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors, cloth or leather upholstery, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, automatic climate control, heated front seats, keyless ignition/entry, satellite radio and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Even more personalization is available through a large selection of custom exterior and interior details such as hood stripes, contrasting hardtop roof colors and special interior trim pieces.
Performance & mpg
The Mini Cooper hatchback comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission (with hill-start assist and a rev-matching feature for smooth downshifts) is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional.
Mini estimates the base hatchback will sprint from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds with the manual and 7.3 seconds with the automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 33 mpg combined (29 mpg city/40 mpg highway) with the manual and 32 mpg combined (28 mpg city/39 mpg highway) with the automatic.
The Cooper S hatchback packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the latter featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Mini estimates its 0-60 performance at 6.5 seconds (manual) and 6.4 seconds (automatic). EPA-estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg combined (24 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the manual and 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the automatic.
All hatchbacks come with an automatic stop-start feature that shuts off the engine when you're stopped to save fuel.
The Cooper convertible comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual with hill-start assist is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. Mini estimates a manual-equipped hatchback will go from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds (9.5 seconds with the automatic). EPA-estimated fuel economy for the base convertible is 31 mpg combined (28 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the manual transmission and 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the automatic.
The Cooper S convertible has a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a choice between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Mini estimates 0-60-mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds for the manual and 6.7 seconds for the automatic. The S convertible rates 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) for both the manual and the automatic.
The John Cooper Works convertible has a higher-performance version of the turbo 1.6-liter rated at 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are again available. Fuel economy estimates are 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) for both the manual and the automatic.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Mini Cooper include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control and front-seat side airbags. The hatchback also comes with side curtain airbags and knee-protecting airbags as standard equipment, while the convertible features pop-up rollover bars and larger front side airbags that extend higher up for added protection.
All versions of the 2014 Mini Cooper share an engaging personality thanks to their eager responses to driver inputs. The trade-off is a firm ride and occasionally raucous cabin environment, especially when you're driving on broken pavement. Ride quality is even stiffer on the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. For comfort's sake, our recommendation is that mainstream buyers skip the sport suspension options and the larger wheels. The new hatchback has a more solid, forgiving feel on the highway, however, and its cockpit stays a little quieter than past Mini Coopers.
Most drivers will likely be plenty happy with the base Cooper, especially the energetic new hatchback. But the thrills increase with the S, while the JCW Mini convertible simply pegs the fun-o-meter. With the six-speed manual transmission, you get a remarkably precise shifter and an easy clutch. Shifts from the convertible's automatic transmission aren't especially smooth, but it's very responsive to driver inputs when put in Manual mode. That said, the new automatic transmission in the Cooper hatchback is a major upgrade, as it's both more responsive and smoother-shifting.
All Mini cabins brim with a sense of playfulness and fun. The convertible retains the traditional, oversized center-mounted speedometer. Although the new hatchback features a similar design cue, this circular element now houses the radio controls and an optional display screen either 6 inches or 8.8 inches in size. The hatch's actual speedometer has been relocated to a free-standing cluster atop the steering column and is fitted next to the tachometer. The new Cooper hardtop also has redesigned controls, including easier-to-use climate controls and power window and door lock controls on the door panels (in the convertible, these switches remain at the bottom of the center stack behind the shifter).
Both versions of the Mini have up-to-date electronics. The company's optional Mini Connected infotainment interface offers smartphone integration that allows easy access to Facebook, Twitter and a slew of Internet radio stations, including Pandora. Additionally, Mini Connected includes Google search and send-to-car functionality. The hatchback features an improved multifunction multimedia controller (similar to BMW's iDrive) in the center console and also offers an available head-up display as well as a fan-cooled cell phone docking station.
The new Mini Cooper hatchback also has more passenger and cargo space. You'll find an extra 1.5 inches of headroom up front, while the rear seat picks up nearly an inch of legroom and a full 3 inches of shoulder room. Still, it's small back there. Cargo capacity measures 8.7 cubic feet with the 60/40-split hardtop's rear seat up and a generous 38 cubes with it folded down.
A neat feature on the Mini Cooper convertible is the soft top's sunroof function, which allows you to retract the forward portion of the top on days when you don't feel like lowering the top completely. The convertible's tailgate-style trunk opening features an upper package tray that can be raised to allow larger items to fit in the tiny 6-cubic-foot trunk. Unlike in most convertibles, the Mini's rear seats can be folded flat to accommodate larger items, but the rollover hoops and soft-top mechanism prevent the loading of bulkier objects. Rear visibility for the convertible is poor with the top down (as it stacks rather high) and even worse with the top up.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
The murmurs began shortly after the 2014 Mini Cooper was revealed at last November's Los Angeles auto show. Of all the details that were announced, one particular aspect of the third-generation hatchback seems to have struck a nerve.
"I heard they're making the Mini bigger," they said. "Why would people looking to buy a Mini want that?"
Some bemoaned the irony of it all, and most openly fretted over the possible loss of the Mini Cooper's spritely demeanor and so-called go-kart handling.
They can all relax. We've just returned from a test-drive of the 2014 Mini Cooper and Cooper S and can safely conclude that the third generation of this iconic reboot is the best yet. Nothing essential has been lost, much has been gained and more than a few annoyances have been swept aside.
Not That Big, Really
For all this size-based consternation, the 2014 Mini remains diminutive compared to its peers. The entire segment still towers over the Mini, which has only grown the thickness of an unsharpened No. 2 pencil to stand 55.7 inches tall.
And while it may be one original iPhone (4.5 inches) longer than before, this new Mini remains stubbier than the Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris hatchbacks. The large end of the B-segment hatch spectrum (the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit) dwarfs it by 8-11 inches.
Mini designers divvied up the added length between the nose, wheelbase (98.2 inches instead of 97.1 inches) and cabin to maintain the familiar Mini proportions. Then they added 1.7 inches of body width to retain the Mini's classic stubbiness ratio in plan view.
Visual tricks have been employed to hide the slight swelling. The headlights are somewhat buggier and there's a larger grille that echoes the trapezoidal shape from the vintage Mini.
Bottom line: You'd be hard-pressed to peg the 2014 Mini Cooper as larger unless you had last year's model parked alongside, and even then you'd probably need to take measurements.
Impressive Base Engine
Two all-new motors — one for the Cooper, one for the Cooper S — should assuage the doubters. Both are turbocharged and use direct fuel injection for maximum efficiency.
The base Cooper gets the 1.5-liter three-cylinder version, which makes 134 horsepower instead of the 121 hp available last year. But torque is the real story; the base mill now generates 162 pound-feet of the stuff instead of 114 lb-ft, and peak grunt is available at just 1,250 revs instead of 4,250 rpm.
These numbers only hint at the transformation. Mini says the base automatic can scoot to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which bests the old car by more than 2 seconds. With the manual transmission it will do the deed in 7.4 seconds.
More than that, the new Cooper squirts from corner to corner with an eagerness never before seen in the base car, and its newfound deep reservoir of torque cuts way back on the need to downshift when it's time to go. Throughout, the unique three-cylinder exhaust note is subdued, never tiresome.
At a more relaxed pace the 2014 Cooper should deliver 34 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The six-speed automatic is said to achieve 42 mpg on the highway, one better than the six-speed manual. The year-over-year automatic improvement is particularly dramatic; last year it managed just 29 mpg combined and 34 mpg highway.
What of the Cooper S?
The new Cooper S engine is functionally similar to the base engine except for a second balance shaft and a fourth cylinder that ups the displacement to 2.0 liters. Its rated output of 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque represents gains of 8 hp and 30 lb-ft over last year.
Here again, the automatic is the fractionally quicker transmission choice. Its predicted 0-60-mph acceleration time of 6.4 seconds pips the manual by a tenth. These numbers also suggest the 2014 Cooper S won't be dramatically quicker than the previous model.
But the 2014 S automatic is sure to be far less thirsty at the pump, earning 32 mpg combined and 40 mpg on the highway, increases of 19 and 25 percent, respectively. The Cooper S manual is good for 28 mpg combined and 37 mpg highway.
The Cooper and Cooper S are both governed by three driving modes (Green, Mid, Sport) that tweak the throttle response and automatic transmission shift points (if equipped) to help you achieve your goals. In addition, the manual has a slick-shifting rev-match feature for smoother downshifts. And all versions come with a new stop-start system that kills the engine at intersections to save gas until the engine refires as you lift your foot off the brake.
You can switch it off with one of the classic Mini toggle switches, but we'd rather save the fuel. Besides, if we really need an early restart we can instead give the steering wheel a tug since it starts the engine to support the electric-assist (EPS) steering.
How About the Ride and Handling?
All versions of the 2014 Mini Cooper ride on the same sort of suspension as last year, but every component has been reengineered for enhanced rigidity and reduced weight. The extra body width is of particular benefit here because it allowed the track widths to swell 1.7 inches up front and 1.4 inches out back for a more stable platform.
Improvements to the revised MacPherson strut front suspension include stiffer shock towers, lighter aluminum knuckles and a hollow stabilizer bar. The multilink rear suspension is familiar in concept, but the springs and shocks have been separated so the bulkier springs could be repositioned to avoid intrusion into the rear seat and cargo areas.
Two-mode Bilstein variable dampers are a first-time option for $500. Their firmer setting (as well as a weightier steering effort calibration) comes into play when the driving mode selector is set to Sport. The mode differences feel appropriately distinct, but the overall vibe is similar in either case. The quick 14.2-to-1 steering responds immediately and both cars corner as flat as Iowa.
Sharp road impacts on the optional 205/45R17 run-flat tires tend toward the firm side, but they're neatly absorbed with very little aftertaste. And even though we drove on admittedly unfamiliar roads, we got the sense that less road noise gets inside. Furthermore, we're not surprised that the short-travel suspension retains at least some susceptibility to getting tossed about by roads distorted by numerous dips and slumps.
A full work-up must wait until we spend time on familiar turf, but from where we sit the 2014 Mini Cooper feels every bit a Mini, but with some of the roughest edges sanded off.
More Functional Interior
Inside, Mini designers have managed to sort out a lot of functional drawbacks without tossing aside iconic Mini design themes.
The driving position remains fantastic, and there are 1.5 inches more front headroom. The rear seat gains almost an inch of much-needed legroom, a full 3 inches of shoulder room, some decent armrests and a trio of cupholders. Seats-up cargo space now stands at 8.7 instead of 5.7 cubic feet, and that grows to 38 instead of 24 cubic feet with the 60/40 seatbacks folded.
Toggle switches abound, but the ones in the center now house systems like stability control, the stop-start function and a big red engine start switch (which can now function with the key in your pocket). The window and lock switches have been relocated to the doors where they should have been all along.
Last year's finicky Mini-logo climate control layout is history, replaced by three sensible knobs and a smattering of buttons. And the speedometer and segmented fuel gauge now join the tachometer in an enlarged clip-on-style instrument panel that moves as the steering wheel is adjusted for always-perfect straight-ahead viewing.
This leaves the central screen free for bigger audio and navigation interface screens up to 8.8 inches. The perimeter entertainment is now a superfluous multi-hued LED control feedback light show instead of a superfluous speedometer. Perhaps we'll learn to appreciate it over time.
Upgraded Technology Features
When equipped with navigation (Mini Wired package, $1,750), a single-point controller pairs with sensible on-screen menus to control audio and navigation functions. It's simple to learn and use, but the central armrest that comes with it is an oddly placed obstacle.
But you may want that armrest for what can be mounted inside: a fan-cooled snap-in smartphone dock. You can plug your own cord into the standard USB input if you prefer, but the Mini Connected app-based system provides connectivity to all sorts of online social network and entertainment heavyweights through your connected phone. And it's not just for iPhones; selected Android handsets are supported, too.
The automatic transmission gains a bigger brain when navigation is present because map data concerning upcoming grades and curves is fed into the mix. This Predictive Drivetrain logic avoids the sort of unnecessary gearchanges a manual-transmission driver would never make because he can see what's coming.
Newly available options include a back-up camera and a head-up display similar to the one found in our 2014 Mazda 3 long-term test car. LED headlights and taillights are also on the menu. There's even a parallel-parking assistant that will notify you of a sufficiently sized space and take over the steering once you shift to Reverse and work the throttle.
Not Terribly Expensive
Surprisingly, 2014 Mini Cooper prices are virtually unchanged. With destination included, the base Cooper goes for $20,745, an increase of just $250 over last year. Similarly, the $24,395 asking price of the Cooper S is only $300 more than before.
That's a lot of all-new Mini Cooper for not much more money. Sure, you'll puff up the price with options, but that was true before.
Both versions are mighty appealing on all fronts, but to our mind the base Cooper is the big surprise. Fuel economy is way up, particularly with the automatic, and it has gained enough power and torque that the Cooper S doesn't feel like a compulsory upgrade.
Yes, the 2014 Mini Cooper has gotten a teensy-bit bigger. But you'd never know it from the performance, the fuel economy and the price. The essential elements that give the Mini its mojo are still present and accounted for.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2014 MINI Cooper Hatchback Overview
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 MINI Cooper?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.