Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2015 Mini Cooper S 4-doorThe latest Mini Cooper gets four doors, but are two more doors a good idea? Brian Cooley finds out.
[MUSIC] Now, the key to the Mini Cooper four door is, of course, four doors. They've never had a Cooper with four doors before, though there are other Minis that have four doors. The whole car is six inches longer nose to rump. About half that much is in between the wheels, extending the wheelbase. Two inches more rear seat leg room which if you're gonna put in doors you better have a reason to use them. Even the front doors are Different to allow these doors to be bigger, and you also get two inches of additional shoulder room in the back seat, because the whole rear quarter of the car is contoured differently. It's not like they just took the two-door and hacked it and stuck in an extender. This is a substantially different car from the cowl on back. Still, after all that, it picks up only 110 pounds over the two-door. [MUSIC] Now, the first thing I notice when I get in the current generation Mini that brings a tear to my eye is that this round, bezel thing is just a thing. It's no longer ever that big, iconic speedometer that Minis used to have back in the day. Now, it's simply a place for a screen. We have the largest screen, the eight-inch, that has navigation. Now your other interface is up here. You've got your motorcycle style tac and speedometer, and little helper LCD down there as well. There's one more screen that's optional, but we have it. That's the little motorized head up display that's kind of visor style You can set that to show speed, navigation prompts, calling and audio. If you use a connected phone in the console cradle, nobody has more audio choices than these guys including Pandora, Rhapsody, Tune-in, Audible, [UNKNOWN], Amazon Cloud, and Oppio. And all of that is via the mini-connected app on your phone. Slide into a phone dock in the console, which also gets you power and an external antenna. Even without an app, you got AM, FM, HD radio, satellite's optional, six discs is optional, like you'd really want that. Auxiliary jack and USB. Basic audio. It's a six speaker rig and you can upgrade to Harman/Kardon surround sound, which we do have. Now controlling all of your head unit gear is an iDrive controller down here. But very different than BMW. Not in it's layout, but in it's altitude. When it's up here on a console like most BMW's Your hand is like so, as it operates it. So now your finger is like this. You're using a down-pointed fingertip. This was a pain to use. Now, driving our Mini gets us to this automatic shift Because we have the six speed automatic. We'll size it up on the road. Paddles on this car because of the automatic. Around the shifter, you've got your drive mode controller like you've never seen before. Take it over the green mode, the normal mode, or the sport mode. Now under it's cute little snout you've got two engine choices, depending on whether you get a cooper or a cooper S. Base cooper's got a three cylinder. This is an S, it's got a four. Both engines are turbo charged but ours has got two liters of displacement versus one and a half. Hundred and eighty nine horse power, two hundred seven pound speed of torque. Zero to sixty in five point six seconds. MPG varies on your transmission. Twenty nine forty if you get a manual, interestingly lower MPG if you get an automatic. It doesn't usually go that way. And regardless of what engine size or transmission you've got, front wheel drive, let's go for a ride. [MUSIC] Out on the open road I'm pleased to report that the Mini hasn't lost its mininess, even though it's a little more maxi then it was. It still has this go cart like steering, short wheelbase, tightly sprung undercarriage which adds a stiff cell all leads into that. [NOISE] Maybe you can hear that nice little exhaust snarl. Before you turn your back on that automatic, [MUSIC] know that it's a really good one. Especially when the ring's in the sports mode or the shifter's in the sport gate. Gears work tightly and swiftly. [NOISE] I find this is what works best. Sportier reward's what this car's all about. The ride quality's what I would call, us, comfortable go-cart. It's not jarring and super taut. Some of these in the past, especially with the Cooper S package, could be a little bit brittle. Not any more. And all around, the Ergo is really good its Its just enough car for me; I'm pretty tall. And visibility's not terribly constricted even though we have some very chunky pillars back at the rear corners. [MUSIC] OK, a Cooper S four-door is 26 or so bay-exactly a $1,000 more than at two-door. You pay 500 bucks a door if you wanna look at it that way Now, $1500 more if you want the automatic transmission. It's a pretty good one I gotta say and it seems to pair well with the mission of a four door car. Once you load this guy up CNET style you're right up against 30 grand. They've retained the essential [UNKNOWN] To the vehicle even though they have added some inches and added some doors. A pretty good trick. They did their homework. And the fact that you've got a more practical and justifiable platform for the purchaser who wants to make sure it's the right car for more years to come. They should sell these things like mad. [MUSIC] More cars driven CNET style. Standing by now on CNETOnCars.com. Click ON THE ROAD. [MUSIC]