2014 Mini Cooper: Interior Fun Without Foolishness
September 15, 2014
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a movie character type who exhibits "psychotically bubbly" kookiness for no apparent reason. The Mini vehicles that we've had in our long-term fleet were Manic Pixies of the automotive variety.
The problem for me was never Mini Cooper exterior styling (Countryman bloat and the hat-backward top of the Mini Cooper Coupe are another problem altogether). For me, the Mini's fail was mostly an interior issue. It was the giant Mickey Mouse-themed speedometer, the fussy, useless utility rail system, the misplaced controls and an overall sense of a car trying too hard to be cute and quirky.
Would things be any different in our 2014 Mini Cooper?
They would be, and what a relief. The speedometer now sits where it belongs, and includes information on average speed and mpg, along with a useful miles-to-empty indicator, just like you'd find in cars from Mini's parent, BMW.
How nice to see that the plate-sized space in the center of the dash is now inhabited by all the various information sources you'd expect: navigation, entertainment and car settings, as well as the onboard owner's manual. It's also pleasant to have storage spaces that are functional and controls where you'd expect them to be.
Instead of being a Manic Pixie, it's a Pragmatic Sprite. And I like it.
Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 1,865 miles