Cute, cute, cute! While the 2014 Mini Cooper specs, gas mileage, and features are great, there’s something special about this little car. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to try driving a Mini Cooper at least once?!
One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Not only is the Mini a fun car to drive, but it sings to you. A little musical jingle greets you as you get in and as it warns you to put on your seat belt. All the sounds are quite cheery. It’s kind of hard to explain but the Mini is just a little happy thing. It also has colored lights that you can adjust around the screen, on the inside of the doors, and for ambient lighting at night.
2014 Mini Cooper Specs, Gas Mileage, Space
The 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop only has three cylinders (most cars run on four) so it gets great gas mileage. Don’t let that fool you. This car has more than enough power to go and it even did just fine as I drove through San Francisco. The suspension is tight so you have a bit of a rough ride, and it’s not too quiet inside. Those things are minor as it just feels like it’s part of the experience. The design of the buttons and dials and the placement of controls are very unique but esthetically pleasing. It just works.
People with long legs can drive a Mini Cooper and be comfortable doing so. The bottom section of the driver and passenger seats even pulls out if you need more length for support. However, that does mean the legroom behind them disappears. So, if you are considering a Mini, keep in mind who will be riding with you on a regular basis. Any more than two people will be squished in some way or form. Also, the back seats are not quite as comfy as the front so I don’t know how long of a trip can be endured there.
The back seats do drop down though. You can also adjust the cover in the back to create a flat surface for luggage. The cover can also be propped up so you can make use of the roped pockets and cubby area.
2014 Mini Cooper Features
The Mini has some nice bells and whistles, many of which I did not expect on such a car. When you go in reverse, the side mirrors automatically tilt down. You can chose Eco, Mid, or Sport mode. The HID headlights light up the width of 5-lane roads. The two sunroof covers are made of mesh (gives an open feel without burning your head) and the driver has two sun visors, one in the normal spot and one on the side. The Harman + Kardon sound system is crystal clear. Even the exterior door handles have a bright light embedded so you can easily find and open it when it’s dark out.
One thing that I really liked was how the parking assist was set up. It was almost like a heat map in that it showed exactly where objects were in relation to your car and at what angle. This is so much better than a car constantly beeping at you and you have no idea why. This made it super easy to park. The controls are really easy to get used to too.
Only the navigation system is lacking. You had to listen carefully to the audio as there were no on-screen directions for upcoming turns or exits/roads to look for. Sometimes I need that visual cue to make sure I’m going the right way. At least the audio is clear. It’s a little funny, but clear. The female voice almost sounds sleepy as it talks at half-speed, “Bear…left…on…U…S…1…0…1…South…”
Overall, the 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop is a fun ride. No wonder our friend loves hers so much and even gave us a slight head nod when she drove by. It’s not really a practical family car unless you have 1-2 small kids. That will require the larger model, the Countryman, but I haven’t tried that one yet. If you’re driving solo or just with one other person, the Mini Cooper is a fun (sorry, that’s really the only word to describe it) vehicle to pop around in.