The short answer is yes, they are cool. Especially the 2014 1.5l Turbo model I drove.
The longer answer? Well, fun, cool, and stylish are all great ways to describe this Mini. It’s also….mini.
The thought put in to little interior touches makes this a fun little care to zoom around in. The start/stop switch illuminates and is nothing like most boring buttons. The ring around the infotainment ‘screen’ illuminates with various lighting patterns. And even though this one had an Auto transmission, the shifter is booted so it ‘feels’ sporty.
That classic, bubbly, Mini Cooper exterior styling is carried out well in this 2014 Mini Cooper. Racing inspired stripes, a black roof with black mirrors, and big red tail lights ensure you’ll be easily seen in this small package. The wheels in the base model are nothing to get excited about, but from all angles the Mini Cooper is still a good looking commuter car.
The little 1.5l Turbo engine provides plenty of power to get up and go, once it gets up. Turbo lag in this model is evident, so it takes careful driving to still get decent performance. Luckily I still managed 31.4MPG even though I mostly drove the car like I was stealing stolen gold.
Any time I test a two-door coupe, it’s an entertaining dance to get the children in & out of the back seat. I know these cars are not built for daily car-line dropoff duty, but it’s all part of the testing. The Mini Cooper did not disappoint in the entertainment area.
It truly is a small ‘mini’ car. Getting in & out required various levers, sliders, and body contorting. I’m glad my kids are small, and flexible. With our 7 year old in the back, the passenger seat had to be moved forward so far that another adult would not have been comfortable.
Rear storage is also mini. I was able to fit the drone case + my photography gear but only with a little effort and stuffing. If you’re able to drive this car in 2 seater coupe mode it would likely be fine, but even a small family would have difficulty making it work.
Finally, while this was a base model as far as features go, the infotainment still left a bit to be desired. Lack of integrated Bluetooth Audio meant plugging my iPhone into the USB port. For a car built after about 2012, this is an oversight.
As far as a commuter car, the 2014 Mini Cooper can be a fun way to get around town. You can drive it like you stole it and really get some enjoyment. If you have children of any age, at least look for the 4 door variant.