Same Steering, Sharper Throttle in Sport Mode - 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Mini Cooper: Same Steering, Sharper Throttle in Sport Mode

July 21, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

It's easy to miss the fact that our 2014 Mini Cooper has adjustable driving modes. The switch to dial up your choice is an inconspicuous slider on the front of the transmission hump that doesn't stand out. There's the default standard mode, a Sport mode and a Green mode for increased efficiency.

I like the idea of options, but over the years I've found these systems vary in their usefulness. Some systems transform cars, others are barely noticeable. Our Mini is somewhere in between.

In our base Cooper, switching to Sport mode does two things: makes the steering heavier and the throttle more responsive.

I find the steering plenty responsive as it is, so whatever weight it adds doesn't make much of a difference. The change in the throttle program is a little more noticeable. It adds a little more kick to what is already a reasonably quick-reacting pedal. I like the overall feel in Sport mode so I usually keep it there.

On Cooper S models, sport mode also changes the transmission programming, adjustable damper settings, interior lighting and even the sound of the engine. That might make a more discernable difference, especially if you prefer a stiffer ride and quicker shifts. It's nice that Mini was able to incorporate this new feature, but I wouldn't call it a game changer, at least on the base model.   

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 16,989 miles

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