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2015 Mini Cooper S keeps British style, adds doors and power (pictures)

The Mini isn't so mini any more -- the latest version can be had with four side doors making rear seat access easy, while more power from the engine will help with increased loads.

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Wayne Cunningham
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The latest generation of the Mini Cooper S retains its British style but gets a little bigger.

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The classic Mini bits are there, including a big intake in front and hood stripes.

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The old turbo 1.6-liter is gone, in favor of a 2-liter engine with a dual-stage turbo, increasing torque significantly but maintaining fuel economy.

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With its extra size and different suspension tuning, the Mini Cooper S handles more like a typical hot hatch.

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One of the big changes with the new generation is the availability of this four-door model, called a 5-door Hatch in the UK and Australia.

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The Mini Cooper S retains its front-wheel-drive, front-engine format.

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Mini offers an optional adaptive suspension for the Cooper S.

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A spoiler lip extends over the hatch.

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You can opt for a number of upper body styles, such as this all-black greenhouse.

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Even with the larger engine and about 200 pounds (90 kilograms) more weight, the Mini Cooper S keeps its average fuel economy in the high 20s.

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The rear doors mean easier access to the rear seats.

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While some of the fun may have dripped out of the Mini Cooper S, the car will appeal to a wider range of buyers.

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The coupe version is still available, but the four-door will likely bring in more buyers.

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Cargo capacity has more than doubled, now boasting 13.1 cubic feet.

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Front sport seats are manually actuated for fore and aft movement.

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The Mini may be bigger, but rear seat legroom is relatively cramped, and this rear bench is only designed for two.

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An optional panoramic moonroof treats rear seat passengers to a view.

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Upscale styling gives the Mini Cooper S a premium feel.

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Accent lights in the doors cycle through a rainbow of colors.

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The electric power assist steering could be tuned for quick response.

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The Mini Cooper S uses a minimalist gauge cluster.

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This example came with a six-speed automatic transmission, including paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

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A toggle switch serves for ignition.

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This optional head-up display shows route guidance, speed and help for voice commands.

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This dial, with its touchpad top, controls navigation and entertainment.

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A split-screen capable display sits in the center dashboard, where Minis used to have their speedometers.

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The main menu offers various features in a circular format.

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This Sport display shows real-time engine output.

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Navigation, courtesy of parent company BMW, uses richly detailed maps.

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The navigation system uses traffic data to adjust routes, and can be set for more economical routing.

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The Mini Connected app uses your phone to offer a multitude of connected features, such as online destination search and Web radio.

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The Bluetooth hands-free phone system offers this dialer, along with the ability to make calls to contacts using voice command.

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The Mini Cooper S comes with HD radio, and an active Mini Connected setup enables Web Radio among the radio sources.

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Web Radio includes a list of Mini-curated stations.

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Whether using a device plugged into the car's USB port or a Bluetooth-connected phone, the car shows a music library interface.

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The stereo shows album art, when available, for audio sources playing through the car's USB port.

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