Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door: Quirky And Roomier

Highlight: Maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $34,350 (base price $22,550)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: airbags; daytime running lights; ABS; cornering brake control; electronic brake force distribution; fog lights; a tire pressure monitoring system; driveway lights; run-flat tires; heated outside mirrors; washer jets; rain sensing wipers; automatic headlights; and a remote keyless entry

Standard Features: a 6-speed manual transmission; manually operated sport seats with lateral and thigh support; run flat tires; leather-like seats; manually adjusted front seats;  chrome grille; a leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel; aluminum foot pedals; a start/stop ignition turn-on switch; and toggle switch instrument controls

Upgraded Features Standard Features On S Model: 16-inch wheels; a 4-cylinder engine; a turbo charged engine; black mesh front grille; chrome fuel filler door; aluminum foot pedals; LED fog lights; roof and mirror caps in black; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a front center armrest; real-time traffic information; and hidden dash storage

Optional Features:  17-inch wheels; LED foglights; LED headlights; white turn signal lights; leather seats; gray interior;  power folding mirrors; heated front seats; a center armrest; enhanced USB connections; keyless entry; a panoramic roof;  a storage package;  a Harman/Kardon premium sound system; rear view camera; a rear parking distance control; a navigation system; and an interior surface in piano black

Trim Levels:

Cooper Works Countryman
Cooper Works Paceman
Cooper Works Roadster

Suspension System: MacPherson strut (front)/multi-link (rear) designed for performance

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system AM/FM/HD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

iPod connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder/1XX-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 24-city/34-hwy

What’s New:  For the 2015 model year, the brand’s first four door hard top has been added to line up. The four door Mini costs approximately $1,000 more than its two door sibling.

Pros: Yes, there is a Cooper to appeal for everyone. The quirky and spirited hardtop sedan is just like the coupe we recently reviewed. Like the coupe, the sedan is available in both a base model and a S model, with either an automatic or a manual transmission. Fortunately, we got our hands on a spirited, manually operated turbocharged, 4-cylinder S model, which spits out 189 horsepower.

From the toggle-like race car switches to start and turn off the vehicle to the multiple extended adjustment ranges added to provide extra front seat comfort to the optional graphics spattered throughout the headliner to the oversized dual panoramic roof to the three driving modes to the round shaped colorful infotainment system to connectors for iPods, this quirky British-built vehicle provides loads of features to keep the occupants entertained.

Overall the driving experience in the spunky subcompact reveals its close ties with the BMW line. The Mini S not only handles well, but takes corners too, especially, when equipped with the new turbo charge 4-cylinder engine.

With the new sedan, we continue have some of the same gripes as the coupe. One is that this British vehicle only gulps premium fuel. And although concern i the vehicle has been expanded due to adding two additional doors, its still a tight fit for most in the rear seating area.
Lastly, there is no place for a CD player and that satellite radio isn’t included with the premium audio system. (We must note an optional 6-disc CD changer is available).
Verdict:  For independent, free thinkers looking for a wow experience in a fun-to-drive customized British sedan, coupe or convertible, the Mini should be placed at the top of one’s car buying consideration list, especially if money is no object. In fact, the S model we reviewed, before adding on options, was priced about $3,300 higher than the base hardtop sedan. Conversely, when adding on options, one will surely notice that the price can easily go head-to-head with entry level models in the BMW line up.

Nearest Competition: Fiat 500

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