Mini Hardtop 2 Door

MINI is credited with bringing the first premium compact car to America, proving that high quality and small packaging are not mutually exclusive concepts. Thoroughly engineered with a well put-together feel, all the Coopers in the MINI lineup are praised for their agility and fun-to-drive factor, and all of that returns for 2017.

The MINI Cooper hardtop now comes with a choice of two- or 4-door body styles, while each is available in either standard Cooper or Cooper S trim. The 2-door is also available in the high-performance John Cooper Works trim.

The basic Cooper version is powered by a turbocharged 1.5L 3-cylinder engine. While diminutive, this powerplant makes 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, more than the old 4-cylinder engine found in MINI Coopers of years past. Transmission options include either a standard six-speed Getrag manual or a 6-speed automatic.

The Cooper S adds an additional level of performance to the MINI. It's powered by a 189-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder, and the Getrag 6-speed is standard. A 6-speed automatic is available, as are steering-wheel mounted shift paddles. Finally, the John Cooper Works is powered by the same 2.0L, but produces 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Four-door MINIs ride on a stretched wheelbase, adding more interior room, bigger back seats and the extra pair of doors. Overall, the 4-door adds roughly six inches to the overall length of the car when compared to the two-door. As a result, interior space grows in nearly every direction, with additional head, shoulder and foot room for rear-seat passengers.

MINI typically offers little variety between trim models, other than engine choices. Buyers are instead welcomed to option up their cars individually or through option packages, of which there are many. Being a bit of a premium small car, the MINI Cooper hardtop is available with several upscale features, including a heads up display, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, automated parking assist, a Harman/Kardon sound system, and leather seating.

In addition, MINI's customization program is legendary. The automaker wants buyers to make the car their own and allows each owner to go beyond simple alloy wheels and paint colors by offering hood stripes, mirror caps, roof décor and a dazzling array of interior upholstery options.

Editors' Review

There are lots of affordable, fun-to-drive cars for sale today, and at $27,700 including destination, the 2022 Mini Cooper S Hardtop is right in the heart of the pack. But while other cars offer more passenger space and versatility, the Mini charms with its quirky personality, helping to make this pint-size performer feel a whole lot more special.

The Cooper S packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There's 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque available, and all of it heads to the front wheels. With my tester's six-speed manual, Mini quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.5 seconds. Not bad.

The engine's power surges hard and boost builds right away. All the torque arrives at 1,350 rpm, and by the time you hit 2,000, you've got more than enough forward momentum. Even in sixth gear, you can get the Cooper S to pull at low revs, which is nicely appreciated in traffic. The 6,000-rpm redline arrives somewhat quickly, however, and power really drops off after the 5,000-rpm peak, so you'll want to upshift more often than you think.

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The Good ~ Fun to drive ~ Cute and quirky styling ~ Feels premium for the price

The Bad ~ Rubbery shifter ~ Cramped interior

The Bottom Line The lovable Mini Cooper S impresses with style and spunk.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 7
  • Design 8
  • Media 7

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