See Also: 2014 Mini Cooper Test Drive Review
The Mini dates back to 1957 and is often considered one of the iconic cars of the 1960’s when fuel shortages forced manufacturers to design and build the most fuel efficient vehicles possible. The smart styling of the Cooper has led to its popularity in Hollywood—look for Cooper cameos in films such as The Italian Job and the Austin Powers movies. Although it is a small car, the interior feels surprisingly open due to Mini’s emphasis on maximizing interior space wherever possible. For example, they are the first car maker to turn the engine sideways to create more room.
Modern day Mini Coopers were reintroduced to the public in 2002. These two-door hatchbacks hearkened back to the British speedster of before but with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and 115 hp. Available in several different body colors, this reinvented Mini Cooper measured 142" long and 66" wide.
If you are interested in today’s Mini Cooper, you have several shapes and sizes to choose from. Starting at $19,950, the original Mini shape is the Hardtop Cooper with a rigid body, long-lasting fuel efficiency, cornering brakes, and mood lighting. You can choose from among nine body colors, with separate shades for your roof and mirrors.
Also available are the sportier coupe, convertible, and Roadster lines. These models have features geared towards speed and performance, like the speed-sensitive spoiler which help to keep rear wheels on the ground when the car reaches 50 mph. Aesthetic and entertainment options include a hard-top base with a soft-top sunroof and automatic windshield wiper and stereo volume adjustments keyed to how fast the car is traveling.
For a little more room, take a look at the Clubman, Paceman, and Countryman lines. The Clubman and Paceman editions offer more space and the option for all-wheel drive and lounge seating. The Countryman is Mini’s four-door Cooper with seating for five and is also available with all-wheel drive.
For pre-owned Mini Coopers, look for 2007 models and later. This second generation of the roadster are a little bigger and more powerful than the earlier version, although they incorporate the same two-door body design and cornered wheel look. These models will have 118 horsepower, and the S (sports) trim will be boosted up to 172 horsepower. The key feature with these 2007 and later models is the option for more customization. That means they will have varying amenities such as graphics, colors, bike and luggage racks, door handles, side mirrors, automatic weather sensors, and many other configurations.
Mini Cooper is the car for driving enthusiast, someone who is willing to test, and perhaps push, the car's performance features.
MINI COOPER SAFETY RATINGS
Safety is a top priority for Mini. Attention is focused on two areas, preventing a crash and safeguarding you if one occurs. With a high-strength steel front end and side panels, the rigid body provides protection. Six airbags in every Mini Hardtop model engage as needed, including side-curtain airbags. Antilock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution help you stop when you need to and dynamic stability control gives you the ability to handle the vehicle under difficult driving circumstances.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2013 Mini Cooper five stars for rollover prevention. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Mini Cooper Countryman the 2012 Top Safety Pick and gave the 2014 version its highest safety marks for crashworthiness.
NOTEWORTHY ABOUT THE MINI COOPER
In sales satisfaction, J.D. Power and Associates ranked Mini the highest in customer satisfaction for four years in a row.