2014 Mini CooperBMW's 2014 Mini Cooper features an all-new platform, engine, and cabin. CNET's Wayne Cunningham drives it and checks the tech.
[MUSIC] Well, pip pip and cheerio. The all new Mini Cooper is here. So let's check the tech and motor. The Mini-Cooper model launched in 2000 by BMW, proved so popular. The company only made minor changes throughout the last decade. Now we have a totally new generation of the model. This is a new platform, a new [INAUDIBLE], new engine. It's actually four and a half inches. Longer, it's one point seven inches wider, that leaves to a little more room in the cabin, you'll see a larger air intake up-front, a single exhaust in the rear for the Mini Cooper but the Mini Cooper X you still have dual exhaust down the middle in the back. This cabin definitely has a premium feel. I really like these seats I think this is fake leather here but they're very comfortable they're well bolstered sports seats looks like this stretch of wood here or something obviously it's not real wood. We've got some interesting queues in here that kind of deviate from past minis. For example, we have a full speedometer in front of the driver. Instead of on this dinner plate, in this center plate here, we have a large LCD screen. That's where we get all our cabin tech features. We have an engine start toggle switch down here. That's actually an option. And we have this armrest here in the center, which I believe it's optional and I kinda hate it. Just kinda like gets in your way. To really show that this has BMW DNA in the cabin tech, they don't call it iDrive in mini, but. We've got this center dial here. We have a touchpad on top of this dial so I can trace in letters, or move around on the map or move through menus. And we have have four buttons: media, telephone, radio, nav. That's all straight out of BMW's playbook. The nice thing about this map: it shows a lot of good detail, traffic information, traffic flow information, traffic jam, things like that. And I also get 3-D rendered buildings in certain areas. So they consider them as landmarks if you're driving around. Now in typical BMW style, now Mini style, we have a split screen here. So right now I've got my map on the left my music information, stereo information on the right. Right now I've got a USB port down here, I've got my iPhone plugged into it via the white cable. I can also put a USB drive [MUSIC] In there. Bluetooth streaming for audio. Don't seem to have a CD player. I guess that's something that they got rid of for this generation. You can get a six disk CD changer if you want. And of course I've got my hands free telephone where I can go through my contacts in my phone book that are on my phone that are synced with the car. Actually voice command is really good in this car. It covers a lot of the function. But what I really like about the cab intake in this car is the mini-connected app. So for example I've got web-radio which lets me find radio stations from around the world; any radio stations from around the world that broadcasts on the internet I can find it here. I have online search, so this actually enacts a Google search. Which integrates with navigation so I can say the name of any business or anything like that, program that in as a destination. So, other apps in here, they have Facebook and Twitter and that may seem distracting, but they are mainly using that for location information. So if you want to tell your friends that [MUSIC] If you're about to show up at a destination you've got programmed into the navigation you can post a [UNKNOWN] tweet or a Facebook update that'll give your ETA to another destination. So that, that's pretty helpful. One thing they have is called mission control. This is kind of fun. One voice that is female, British accent voice. Is sort of your car. And it gives you information. It's says hi, stuff like that. Another British male voice is your engine, supposedly. So when you rev the engine, it says, oh, let's go, and stuff like that. Dynamic music is another interesting one that they have programmed in here. So this has some tracks you can download to change as you're driving. When you accelerate, they pick up the beat. When you turn on the turn signals. I would say Mini has the most fun with their app integration of any auto maker I've seen. Now, finally, we have a Harman Kardon premium audio upgrade in this car: ten speakers, 480 watts, sounds really good. This is definitely an upgrade that I would get in this car. [MUSIC] Now one thing Mini Coopers have always been lauded for is what they call go-kart-like handling. Put it into a support mode. Drop the transmission over to sport program and see how it does. [NOISE] It's kind of fun, but it's not quite as sharp as the previous generation. Brakes are a little disturbing cuz they're not that grabby. A little hard to modulate. They don't give me a lot of stopping power. And this car definitely lets you play a bit with the handling. It may not be [NOISE] A super track star. I think it's something you can have a lot of fun with on the weekends. Ooh, ha ha, woah. So this has an entirely new engine. This is actually a three-cylinder engine but before you let that scare you, it's actually a 1.5 liter whipped direct injection, twin turbo charger. That's what BMW's two-staged triple charging. One scroll for lighter power to, a bigger scroll for higher power. The horsepower in this car is a hundred and. Forty, it's more of torque monster, a hundred and sixty-eight pound, feet of torque, this is actually a lot more powerful than the outgoing cooper so, I'm actually impressed, there's no adaptive suspension here it's all just a fixed suspension. Twenty-nine miles per gallon in city, forty-one miles per gallon on highway, when I'm driving this in San Francisco the. The mileage just plummets, goes way down. We're talking down to 20 miles per gallon. These smaller displacement engines just like this one, they do great when they're just humming along but, as soon as you introduce a lot of stopping and starting, that kills it. [MUSIC] Let's price out a 2014 Mini Cooper. Base price comes to $20,450. The automatic transmission is 1250, but we'll leave that off and just stick with six speed manual. To do it up CNET style, we'll add what Mini calls the fully loaded package. That gets us navigation, bluetooth, Harman Kardon sound, and LED headlights for $4,750. The wired upgrade adds a head's up display for $1,350, and an adaptive suspension is only $500, so that's a no brainer. All in for $27,050, for a very dynamic, very tech-forward Mini Cooper. Leaving the Mini Cooper S out of the question entirely, this new Mini Cooper is a big improvement over the previous one, I really enjoyed the handling even though it's not quite the same as the previous model. But most important, the MINI faithful are gonna love the continued retro styling of the MINI Cooper.