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.
The latest generation of the Mini Cooper S retains its British style but gets a little bigger.
The classic Mini bits are there, including a big intake in front and hood stripes.
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.
With its extra size and different suspension tuning, the Mini Cooper S handles more like a typical hot hatch.
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.
The Mini Cooper S retains its front-wheel-drive, front-engine format.
Mini offers an optional adaptive suspension for the Cooper S.
A spoiler lip extends over the hatch.
You can opt for a number of upper body styles, such as this all-black greenhouse.
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.
The rear doors mean easier access to the rear seats.
While some of the fun may have dripped out of the Mini Cooper S, the car will appeal to a wider range of buyers.
The coupe version is still available, but the four-door will likely bring in more buyers.
Cargo capacity has more than doubled, now boasting 13.1 cubic feet.
Front sport seats are manually actuated for fore and aft movement.
The Mini may be bigger, but rear seat legroom is relatively cramped, and this rear bench is only designed for two.
An optional panoramic moonroof treats rear seat passengers to a view.
Upscale styling gives the Mini Cooper S a premium feel.
Accent lights in the doors cycle through a rainbow of colors.
The electric power assist steering could be tuned for quick response.
The Mini Cooper S uses a minimalist gauge cluster.
This example came with a six-speed automatic transmission, including paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
A toggle switch serves for ignition.
This optional head-up display shows route guidance, speed and help for voice commands.
This dial, with its touchpad top, controls navigation and entertainment.
A split-screen capable display sits in the center dashboard, where Minis used to have their speedometers.
The main menu offers various features in a circular format.
This Sport display shows real-time engine output.
Navigation, courtesy of parent company BMW, uses richly detailed maps.
The navigation system uses traffic data to adjust routes, and can be set for more economical routing.
The Mini Connected app uses your phone to offer a multitude of connected features, such as online destination search and Web radio.
The Bluetooth hands-free phone system offers this dialer, along with the ability to make calls to contacts using voice command.
The Mini Cooper S comes with HD radio, and an active Mini Connected setup enables Web Radio among the radio sources.
Web Radio includes a list of Mini-curated stations.
Whether using a device plugged into the car's USB port or a Bluetooth-connected phone, the car shows a music library interface.
The stereo shows album art, when available, for audio sources playing through the car's USB port.
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