In the end, I generally liked the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S. In many ways that matter, it's the best Mini Cooper ever made. The tweaks to the interior and the ride quality are hard to argue with, as are the larger hatch area and the various tech toys. Plus, it's still very fun to drive.
I just wish it hadn't gotten so large, and I wish it retained a little more of the driving insanity of the R53 and R56 Coopers.
Here's the weird thing, though: I liked the three-cylinder engine better. Yes, the Cooper S has plenty of power, but wringing all the juice I could out of that eager little three-banger as I rowed through the gears was just way more fun (For whatever it's worth, most journalists on this trip agreed with me). If I were buying a new Mini Cooper, the three-cylinder with a manual is the one I'd get. It has a lot more character than the 2.0 four does.
I think the new Cooper will appeal to people who wanted something a little more refined and larger than the outgoing car, who were less apt to deal with its oddball interior ergonomics. Want the pure, crazy, pint-sized driving fun of the R53? I'm not sure there's anything currently in the market quite like that, but maybe the Ford Fiesta ST comes close. . . . .
WHAT'S COMING UP?
August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...
Jalopnik Drives New MINI, Calls It "The Future Of BMW"
Jalopnik was flown to Puerto Rico by MINI to drive the new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. Exclaiming the vehicles to be "the future of BMW" writer Peter George provides an extensive review and, in part, concludes:
Posted by NorCal MINIs