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New Mini Cooper gains size, shrinks engine (pictures)

For its newest generation, the Mini Cooper Hardtop grows in size all round, offering more cabin space, although its engine drops a cylinder.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Mini gives its Cooper hardtop the biggest change yet since its launch in 2000.

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Mini retained its retro styling, but there are subtle changes around the body and grille.

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Most notably, the size increases by a full 4.5 inches nose to tail.

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The handling has matured somewhat, and dynamic dampers are an option.

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LED headlights are a high-tech option, not often seen at this price level.

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The engine is smaller, now a 1.5-liter three-cylinder. Its direct-injection and dual-stage turbo give it 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque.

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The hatchback coupe body format remains.

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These seats are comfortable and supportive.

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With the larger cabin, the rear seat can more reasonably fit three.

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Ambient lighting around the cabin is a fun effect.

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Much of the cabin tech is optional.

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A plus-size LCD, at 8 inches, can be options over the standard 6.5-inch LCD.

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The speedometer and tach remain analog.

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The cabin tech interface controller works exactly like BMW's iDrive.

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The Harman Kardon audio upgrade comes with 10 speakers.

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The main menu on the LCD is circular.

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Mini lets you configure a few aspects of its Green mode.

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Virtual performance gauges show engine output.

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The LCD offers a split-screen mode.

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Rich, 3D-rendered buildings populate the maps.

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The music library screen is more complex than it needs to be.

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Through the Mini Connected app, you can listen to Internet radio stations from around the world.

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The Mini Connected app offers many useful and fun features.

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