2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,135
edited September 2014 in MINI
image2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop Long-Term Road Test - Introduction

We ordered a base 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop to test the diminutive hatchback's brand-new turbocharged three-cylinder engine.

Read the full story here


  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606

    Wow. Your options alone exceed the MSRP of a 2014 Nissan Versa. If I were shopping for a hot hatch subcompact I'm not sure I would spend the extra for this versus the more powerful Fiesta ST.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    Fun - can't wait to see if the repair and maintenance costs exceed those of @Mr_Shiftright‌.

  • sharpendsharpend Member Posts: 177

    $33,095 for an entry-level Mini.
    Holy mother of god.

  • jeepsrtjeepsrt Member Posts: 88

    @sharpend said:
    $33,095 for an entry-level Mini.
    Holy mother of god.

    I agree, for that amount of money there are so many other better options.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021

    Bah, the silly price tag is meaningless. It is well established that Edunds always gets as many options as they can so that they can use them to see how they function and are they worth the money. I would bet that Mini sells only a handful of the base models with this level of options each year. Although, if the new engine really is as good as Dan said in his review, that might change.

    Personally I am thrilled at the powertrain combo they selected. While I have renewed my love for manuals with my MG (my year round regular driver here in Chicago, but I don't drive to work), the reality is that for a daily driver in urban environments like LA, NYC, Chicago, Boston, Dallas etc an automatic makes life and commuting much more liveable.

    I do wish they had skipped the 17's. While they might add something to performance in some situations, they take away ride quality and are far to succeptible too damage from potholes.

  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512

    Great price. I sure would not have wanted to skip the park assist package for a 12-foot-long car with lots of windows in it. That parallel-park feature will come in handy - you can leave your white cane and seeing-eye dog home!

    What a joke.

  • pureclassicpureclassic Member Posts: 12

    Had a 2007 Mini for 7 years 80K miles- sold to CarMax - complaints: annoying - Premium fuel mandate. Mismatched value: Dealer basic service pricing: after warranty - $150.00 oil changes?! Most aggravating - BMW pricing for repair - engine lights - $130.00 to put key into computer? really. Thought I was buying Mini heritage - was sold an expensive ticket to maintain pocket-rocket performance with painful servcie/repair/operating costs. If you are buying one for your child graduate - simply...don't.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021

    There is no reason to automatically use a dealer for oil changes ever unless your car has the factory basic maintenance included deal. Silimarly, I would be very picky about what non-warranty repairs I would have a dealer do.

  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580

    While the as tested price did shock me a bit at first it does make sense to test out the options to see which ones are worth it and which ones aren't. When you go into a restaurant it doesn't make sense to get everything on the menu but it can be nice to know what is good and what isn't when ordering. That being said I still think that anyone in the real world that options one up like that is crazy.

  • seamus6seamus6 Member Posts: 5

    I bought a used '07 Cooper S with the 6 spd and 58k miles. BMW honored 3 recalls, timing chain, turbo water pump and heat shield. I got the oil changed at 62k and checks for $110. It's been a delight to drive and drive like I stole it even after 4 years in a Cayman S (traded for a family hauler). The thing is with the new one is it's too big! Oh it's got great goodies and fixed some of the oddities, but I'd like to find a '13 equipped like mine more than get the new one.

  • legacygtlegacygt Member Posts: 599

    Not sure the 17" wheels were a wise choice. Some of your issues with the last Mini Cooper could be blamed on the wheels as much as the sport suspension. I understand what you say about going with the automatic but editors should be reminded regularly so we don't see a year of posts stating that this car should have a manual.

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    edited September 2014

    Didn't the Mini always have a digital speedometer readout as part of the tach? Having an actual dial gauge is nice, but a minor improvement. The unmentioned bigger improvement is the placement of the power window controls on the door cards where they belong and not at the bottom of the center stack.

  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187

    Add me to "crazy" then, because I have a MINI Cooper optioned out very, very close to this one (mine has manual transmission and 16" wheels though, and was $30,000 on the nose). I've had mine 3 months.

    Great choice, Edmunds!!

    Criticize all you want, you armchair critics, but this iteration of the MINI Cooper is like no other!

    The fuel-economy has me in utter amazement, and the engine is wonderfully refined and the power is just right.

    I had a 2005 MINI Cooper for 6 years. This car is on a whole other plane of existence!

  • vvkvvk Member Posts: 196

    Very cool. But why not test the new 5-door?!!!

  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187

    It's not out here yet. Maybe starting in October?

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863

    I read the options selected to my co-worker and practically ran out of breath going through all of them. Interesting choice, I'll be curious to see how reliability and maintenance winds up. I'm missing the Tesla - you guys need a electric or hybrid to fill in the gap. Pick up a cheap Leaf or Volt or something.

  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671

    At $82 per horsepower (707hp for $58K), the Dodge Challenger Hellcat is a much better value than this $246 per horsepower (134hp for $33K) MINI.

    Put it another way, for less than the price of two 3 cylinder MINIs you can own a 707hp piece of all time awesomeness.

  • greg128greg128 Member Posts: 463

    By choosing another import for their long term test fleet Edmunds is again showing its rather obvious import bias.
    Their current percentage of GM-Ford-Chrysler vehicles in the long term fleet is about 22%.. Past long term vehicles as listed are also around 22%. This is despite the sales of GM-Ford-Chrysler vehicles accounting for over 45% of the US market in 2013.

    Therefore Domestic branded vehicles are represented by less than half of their actual domestic sales compared to import brands. Why is that?

  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187

    I wouldn't drive a Dodge Challenger for free. NOBODY who likes a MINI Cooper would ever cross-shop a 70s-esque Redneckmobile. To suggest it, is like trying to sell a vegan on a porterhouse steak. It's preposterous!

  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    Greg, that figure is driven by the massive numbers of light trucks sold in the US. Look only at SUV's and cars and the domestics aren't even close to 45%. Based on August year-to-date results from Automotive News. Domestic nameplates accounted for 29% of YTD sales of cars (no SUV's or light trucks). Excluding pickups, only 3 domestic vehicles are in the top 15, the Escape, the Fusion, and the Cruze.

    I do agree though that they are currently light on domestics. For my part there are some domestics I would like to see: the Cruze diesel (even though it sells in minuscule numbers) after all the VW TDI's that have been LT tested, the Escape (#11 in August), Fusion (#12), and Impala. If they can test the K900, which will sell in very small numbers and the Kadenza, which will also never be a big seller they can include the Impala, which is very well reviewed (including by Edmunds) and outsells everything else in its class by a wide margin.
  • 500rwhp500rwhp Member Posts: 99
    You spent more on a 3 cylinder mini than a Fiesta ST? Or a Focus ST, or a GTI or a WRX or an FR-S, or....dear God the list could go on forever.

    And it's not irrelevant that Mini owns the "least reliable on the JD Power Dependability Survey" slot pretty much forever. Because who wouldn't sign up for high prices and crap quality. Man that sounds appealing to me.

    No wait, that's just dumb.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    For $33K, it had BETTER be on a "whole new plane of existence" from the 1st GEN Minis, because that plane suffered a lot of turbulence during flight---plenty of ups and downs.

    What price cuteness?
  • adcockj62adcockj62 Member Posts: 1
    Looking forward to reading your assessments, as the new one in my garage is doing well so far! My options were Sport (love the seats!), Premium, and Automatic Trans.
  • darexdarex Member Posts: 187
    edited September 2014
    Same here: zero issues so far, and zero squeaks/rattles. One exception: the Start-Stop System. I've had to deactivate it. It has a software glitch that has several times caused the engine to fully shut-down at exactly the worst times. When this happened, I had to hit the engine start toggle to restart the engine. A software update is coming in December, but until then, it'll stay off. No more weird engine behavior since I turned it off.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    edited September 2014
    darex said:

    Add me to "crazy" then,

    Nothing wrong with being crazy as long as you can afford it, at that point it is called eccentric :) I get twitchy about any new car in that price range anymore because even a normal depreciation percentage ends up being a lot of dollars. I'd also worry about the options not adding that much to the resale value later.
    I ran a 2010 Cooper on KBB and came up with $11,865 for the current private sale value. Then added every option I could check and it went up to $15,591 so the options only increased the resale value by $3,726 and I'm sure they would have increased the original purchase price by closer to $15,000. So you could basically not get all the options and just give the car away after 4 years and be out about the same amount.
    500rwhp said:

    You spent more on a 3 cylinder mini than a Fiesta ST? Or a Focus ST, or a GTI or a WRX or an FR-S,

    It just comes down to priorities. If performance isn't the number one goal when shopping then most of the cars on that list fall away because of harsh ride and lack of bells and whistles, which is the priority for some.

    I also tend to think that spending a ton on cars with performance that can never really come into play in day to day driving without risking others lives is crazy too. As I often say, I spend a lot of time on the road stuck behind cars that have well over 300 HP and reputations for being ultimate driving machines begging them to get out of my way. On my commute I'd occasionally get stuck behind a guy in a WRX Sti on a big freeway on ramp curve in my 130 hp Mazda wagon as he slowed down more and more for the corner to well under what I'd regularly take the corner at. Same thing with a guy in a lowered NSX; I'd cringe when I'd see him in front of me because that corner was one of the more fun parts of the drive home. And these guys in their 'performance' cars would suck the fun right out of it. But at least they had bragging rights about their cars.
  • diigiidiigii Member Posts: 156
    Bwahahaha!!! Cold Weather Package in California?!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hey we got mountains, too!
  • tacomamudpittacomamudpit Member Posts: 65
    Our tester rings in at $33,095 + TAX - Know that some serious coin for a 3 cylinder turbo anything....with only 134HP. I'll take a 2015 entry level (minimal options if any) Ford Mustang GT manual trans for a couple grand more or same price on the Ford A-plan and 420 HP - OH YEAH
  • ahightowerahightower TXMember Posts: 539
    Obligatory kvetching, mostly repeating other comments. Here we go:

    "Back in 2009 the specific options we found most disagreeable were the 17-inch wheels and sport suspension..."
    "First we grabbed the...Sport package...and 17-inch Tentacle wheels."
    Umm. Okay.

    "Park Assistant package ($1,000 — front and rear sonar sensors and parallel parking aid)."
    It has to be repeated: If you can't effin' park a MINI, you shouldn't be driving!

    Finally, I do like all the options you chose: interior, lights, color. But total price $33,095?! Can I interest you in a new Audi A3?

    I love Edmunds. Fo' real. But this is hilarious.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    darex said:

    I wouldn't drive a Dodge Challenger for free. NOBODY who likes a MINI Cooper would ever cross-shop a 70s-esque Redneckmobile. To suggest it, is like trying to sell a vegan on a porterhouse steak. It's preposterous!

    No, what is preposterous is a 3 cylinder $33K subcompact car.

    Think of it another way. If no-one knew this was a MINI, and just were asked "how much would you pay for a 3 cylinder 2 door hatchback?" what do you think the answer would be?

    Anyone who said $33k would be carted away in a padded ambulance.
  • daddioddaddiod Member Posts: 2
    They didn't buy anything:
    "The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation."

    To use the restaurant analogy: If the Nobu restaurant owner invites you in for a free meal, wouldn't you try all items on the menu?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well that's not *quite* fair because the MINI is a very solidly built car that uses high grade materials. It's built as well as any $33K--there's just less of it :)
  • mitt_zombie1mitt_zombie1 Member Posts: 32
    edited September 2014
    For those that want the looks and performance of a car half the price, MINI only 33k! That car is not even that well equipped, the option prices are just plain gouging.

    But really for 33k you can get all sorts of good cars in so many categories.

    Miata and cash
    Mustang GT
    Subaru WRX , VW GTI, or FOcus ST and cash....
    Accord V6 manual with lots of equipment, or other V6 or 4cyl turbo brand midsize
    Entry level Audi or Mercedes
    Decently equipped entry Buick or Toyota Avalon for highway cruising...
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    How you guys feel like getting a automatic is a special thing I have no idea. In your area with your traffic patterns if you don't get an automatic then you are a fool already. So really all you have done is come one step closer to normal people. I really think you guys are going to relive the 07 Mini unless this new platform has allowed for bigger tires so even with the 17 inch rims you have some sidewall.
  • darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    diigii said:

    Bwahahaha!!! Cold Weather Package in California?!

    A set of good seat heaters actually make a huge difference in how comfortable you remain during a long trip. The heat keeps the muscles in your lower back loose.
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