The new Clubman is both the longest Cooper yet and the first step towards a more "premium" Mini brand.
While the Cooper started selling in 1959, Mini didn't become a brand in its own right until 1969. It became part of BMW in 2000, where it remains to this day. Currently, the automaker produces several variations of bright-eyed small cars, including hatchbacks, wagons, convertibles and crossovers.
The 2014 Mini Cooper benefits from a small but powerful engine, and connected cabin tech with a bit of whimsy, but its handling feels more grown up than the previous generation's.
It has more power than any JCW that came before, but also a fair bit more polish. Is that a good thing?
Larger, with more doors and a more powerful engine, the 2015 Mini Cooper S, in 4-Door trim, broadens its appeal while retaining its unique looks -- but tread carefully on the option sheet as the price can get very high.
A stylish and easy-driving car with many fun connected features, the 2013 Mini Cooper S Paceman works fine for mundane driving, but enthusiasts should stick to its smaller sibling.
Love or hate its styling, the 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe John Cooper Works is easily one of the best-performing front-wheel-drive cars we've tested. Unfortunately, it's also priced about $10,000 too high.
The 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works is very fun to drive and offers useful connected cabin tech. But it is hard to justify this car's price tag when the Cooper S Clubman is nearly as good.
The 2012 Mini Cooper S Countryman maintains the fun character established by Mini's other models, and all-wheel drive will give confidence on slippery roads. Cabin tech, however, is middling, with app integration limited to the iPhone.
The Mini Cooper S can be polarizing with its style over substance cabin and harsh, performance-oriented ride, but with a list of options longer than the car itself, it's easy to make the Cooper your own.
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Kind of makes you feel bad about what you do in your spare time, doesn't it?