After the huge problems that Hyundai/Kia experienced with its mislabeled fuel economy labels, you'd think that any time an automaker has to adjust its mpg numbers, heralds would be shouting from the rooftops. But, after Ford admitted to three big mistakes with its numbers for the 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz had to lower the fuel economy rating for the C-Class, we understand if those heralds are a bit tired by now.
One of the big challenges as an automotive journalist is reviewing cars that you have a personal connection to. I have a strong passion for Minis. My first new car was a 2004 Cooper S, and I still own a 2006 model. It's this affinity that's left me with a general disdain of the 2007 to 2013 model relative to my first-gen.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone from Mini refer to 'go-kart-like handling,' I'd be retired, living on a beautiful piece of coastline somewhere in the Caribbean. Perhaps even on the shores of Puerto Rico, where Mini chose to launch its latest Cooper and Cooper S hatchbacks. As with so many frequently used phrases, though, there is indeed some truth to the cliché – while the Mini Cooper has never actually handled quite like a go kart, it has always had a certain direc
As surprised as the face of the new 2014 Mini Cooper makes the model look, customers shopping for the third-gen hatchback won't be surprised at all come spring. When the Hardtop goes on sale, it will not only offer a similar design to the outgoing model, it will also have a familiar price with a starting MSRP of $19,950 (*plus $795 for destination).
We wouldn't buy a car to make a dog happy, but Mini's latest commercial, Bullheaded, would have you believe that dogs like the new 2014 Cooper as much as humans. Regardless of the commercial's target audience (Spike The Bulldog, or his owner?), it does show a couple new tidbits about the car, such as the new center dial touchscreen, ambient lighting and the nifty tinted pop-up display on top of the dashboard that reminds us of the head-up display on the new Mazda3.
Mini will be ending custom orders of the current R56 Cooper Hardtop ahead of the retooling process for the new F56 Mini. That means owners who aren't enamored with what they've seen of the model's new look (shown in the gallery below) but still want a personalized version of the tossable hot hatch had best get down to their local Mini dealership and submit their order post-haste.
Here it is, all but undisguised. We've been clocking the 2014 Mini Cooper for months now, but engineers' well-placed camouflage has meant that our views have been very limited. Today, though, the disguises have been cast aside and the new Mini has been revealed in both standard and Cooper S form during a photo shoot, and there are some real surprises afoot.
The two-door Mini Cooper is getting two additional portals in its next generation. A coming five-door Cooper S with central exhaust has been spotted out testing, the idea presumably being that it will pose a better challenge to other small, premium hatches in the segment like the A1 Sportback from Audi. Based on the same UKL platform that will support the production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, the wheelbase has been lengthened to make more room for rear passengers.
Given the spate of new models Mini has introduced in the past few years, from the Clubman to the Countryman to the Coupe to the Roadster, it sometimes seems like BMW has forgotten about the original model, the plain old Mini Cooper hardtop. It was last redesigned for the 2007 model year, which seems like a long time ago because, well, it is. Which is why Mini will shortly introduce an all-new hardtop Cooper, which our camera spies have captured testing in Europe.
The relentlessly unconventional Mini Cooper looks to be going a lot less unconventional for its third generation, at least on the inside. A glimpse of what appears to be Mini's future was snapped by KGP Photography in the Arctic Circle, and outside, there looks to be little change except for slightly larger dimensions. Inside, though, the giant-speedo-and-toggle-switch IP looks to be binned in favor of a soberly BMW-esque dash cluster and horizontally laid-out central console.