2014 Mini Cooper: "S" Model No Longer Required
April 6, 2015
In the past if I saw a Mini Cooper running around without the dual-outlet central exhaust that comes on the S model, I'd usually snub it as "just the base car" and move on with my day. Yeah, I know. I'm a jerk.
It wasn't pure snobbery, though. That base car was pretty gutless in a straight line. But those days are over thanks to the 2014 Mini Cooper and its standard 134-horsepower three-cylinder turbo engine.
Normally we'd consider this kind of small engine/automatic transmission combination a sure recipe for lethargy, but with 162 pound-feet of torque on tap, this thing is actually pretty peppy (provided you run it in Sport mode). I like the different sound that three-cylinder motorcycles make, and the Mini's engine also has a unique, if subdued, character.
I'd still want the Cooper S if I could get it, but it's nice to know the base car can now put up a decent fight at the stoplight wars.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 11,913 miles