The Minis I've Never Bought - 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Mini Cooper: The Minis I've Never Bought

August 14, 2015

2014 Mini Cooper

I've thought about buying a Mini Cooper many times over the last 13 years, but I've never committed. Now that I have a house and a child, the window for buying toy cars may have closed for a decade or two. Nevertheless, after rereading the comments in the Introduction for our 2014 Mini Cooper about how our long-term car has a ridiculous list of options and an implausible MSRP of $33,095, I decided to see how much my hypothetical Mini would cost.

I couldn't remember the last time I built a Mini. It was bittersweet to open my "garage" on the Mini USA site and find this base 2011 Cooper already parked there. I have no memory of building it, but the car is green so it's definitely my work.

I'd go with Electric Blue if I bought the current-generation Mini Cooper. Notably, that color wasn't offered during the 2014 model year (which had a limited palette), so new or used, I'd have to go '15 or later. As you see, this 2016 Cooper would cost a hair under $26,000 when equipped to my taste. I didn't even consider the S or new John Cooper Works model, by the way, because I enjoy the car so much with the base turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

2014 Mini Cooper

I didn't try to talk myself out of ordering the Sport package ($1,750), because I'd of course want the extra lateral bolstering on the seats and the upgraded LED headlights. Adaptive dampers have been added to this package for 2016, and obviously, I can't say how exactly the car will feel with those fitted.

I really thought about going with 16-inch wheels. But I don't care for any of the available designs and I think our long-term Mini rides fine with its 17s. I've selected the Silver Cosmos design ($500).

Lighting is important to me, so I've also tacked on the adaptive cornering functionality for the headlights ($250) plus LED foglights (another $250). The $1,250 I'm saving by choosing the six-speed manual transmission over the optional automatic (as on our long-term car) helps defray the added costs.

The $750 Media package is perhaps unnecessary in any sort of focused driver's car, but smartphones are a reality now so I might as well have the most possible connectivity when I want it, plus there's a center armrest included in that package.

You'll notice I've added a truly snazzy set of all-weather Speedwell floor mats ($165 total). That might seem like an unnecessary expenditure, but in my household, this is a mandatory add-on. My better half is obsessed with all-weather floor mats. Every car we own has all-weather floor mats. So I might as well get a set I like up front, because he's just going order a set later anyway.

2014 Mini Cooper

I almost didn't spend $250 on the Comfort Access upgrade. Then I thought about how annoying it is to dig around in my pocket for our long-term Mini Cooper's keyless remote, then hit the tiny unlock button all while holding a baby and at least one bag. Indeed, this is one of the few options our long-termer doesn't have. And I believe it's worth the spend.

Unlike the Porsche website, the Mini USA site doesn't really make it easy to share cars you build with its configurator, so I've offered only these screenshots. Still, if you bought a Mini, how would you equip it?

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 18,857 miles

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