The 2017 Mini Hardtop has a happy personality. From its pug nose to the gently rounded roof and perky rump, it's a small car that looks like it's having fun even when it's parked. The word "iconic" gets tossed around too often, but the Mini's design is exactly that. It takes the themes and styling elements of Sir Alec Issigonis' original 1959 Mini and brings them adorably into the 21st century.
This is actually the third generation of the Mini Hardtop following the relaunch of the brand in the 2001 model year. It's considerably larger than the 1959 original, but the three- or five-door Hardtop is diminutive by today's standards. It's also more luxurious than its ancestor and current rivals, undoubtedly due to the guidance by Mini's owner, BMW.
The modern Mini Hardtop was introduced for the 2014 model year and continues to evolve in 2017. For instance, the "Media Package" that was once optional is now standard on all Hardtops, so even the least expensive Mini has a 6.5-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
And yes, you can still get a Union Jack on the Mini's roof.
Because this front-drive Mini is fashionable as well as functional, the Hardtop can be ordered with a dizzying number of options to suit any taste. Base Cooper models are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine rated at 134 horsepower. Move up to the Cooper S and the turbocharged engine sprouts a fourth cylinder that bumps displacement to 2.0 liters and output to 189 hp. The John Cooper Works version, available only as a three-door, uses a fortified version of the 2.0-liter four rated at 228 hp. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all trims, while a six-speed automatic is optional.
Small cars often justify their existence with superior fuel mileage. The Mini Cooper with manual transmission is EPA rated at an excellent 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway). At the opposite end of the spectrum, the John Cooper Works Hardtop with the high-performance turbo four and manual transmission is rated at 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway).
Making sense of the Mini Hardtop's comprehensive options list can be frustrating. Use the tools provided by Edmunds to navigate it all. Then use our connections to hook up with a great dealer who may already have the Mini you want in stock and ready for delivery.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.