2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop

Jan 12th
Under BMW’s stewardship, the Mini Cooper has been a rambunctious ball of hanky-panky, all stiff ride, manic responses, and general churlishness. Alas, the blouses are being rebuttoned and the flies re-zipped, for—like a parent interrupting a teen groping session—BMW is tossing some cold water on its spry British hatchback.It starts with forcing the Mini onto BMW’s new, larger front-drive platform.…
2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Review

Jan 7th
Date:June 2012Months in Fleet:15 monthsCurrent Mileage: 40,034 milesAverage Fuel Economy:27 mpgAverage Range: 335 miles Service: $0Normal Wear: $363Repair: $0Damage and Destruction: $2364Mini’s Countryman was a revolutionary vehicle when it debuted—although, kind of like the revolution in Michigan that now allows us to legally buy the fireworks we’ve been buying illegally for years, this revolution was small. The appearance of the…
2016 Mini Cooper Convertible S / JCW

Dec 24th
Minis are notoriously quirky, and the 2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible is no exception. Most of the little droptop’s eccentricities are shared with its Hardtop counterpart—like the one we recently parted ways with after spending 40,000 miles behind its three-spoke steering wheel. Peculiarities include a headlight switch mounted low by the driver’s left knee and angled toward the floor, as…
2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop S

Dec 22nd
A Mini should be a joyful thing. The cheeky styling, quick reflexes, and punchy power­train are supposed to be a playful escape from the anonymous sedans and me-too crossovers that plug up exit ramps and make driving a chore. It should be whimsy on wheels.But looking back over our 21 months with a 2014 Mini Cooper S, we’re left hunting…
2016 Mini Cooper Clubman S / JCW

Dec 19th
Although small wagons have been upstaged by small crossovers, they still appeal to a discerning few who want passenger-car handling plus a little extra cargo capacity without adding the higher center of gravity and additional mass that goes with a CUV.It doesn’t hurt when the small wagon looks distinctive, either—a particularly strong suit of this not-so-mini Mini Clubman. While it…
2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop S

Dec 14th
Age and maturity usually go hand in hand, but not always in divorce court. The Mini Cooper and the Cooper S hit their third generation as slightly larger and somewhat less fitfully childish fashion accessories. The Mini as a whole has more comforts, more features, more inches here and there, and more presence and security on the road, even on…
2013 Mini Cooper Countryman S / JCW

Dec 8th
Mini went maxi when it introduced the five-door Countryman in late 2010, and our response was tepid. Not much larger than a Honda Fit, it was snug inside for its circa-$28,000 price, none too pretty, a bit shivery over the bumps, and not quite the playful frolic that Mini’s other cars are. So nothing spectacular was expected with the arrival…
2013 Mini Cooper Hardtop S / JCW / GP II

Dec 7th
“But why?”According to Mini designer Anders Warming, that’s the question the brain trust in Munich asks repeatedly to justify new ideas. It’s the same one we have after driving one of the brand’s latest ideas, the 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP.The $39,950 GP is a limited-edition track-day special that splits the difference between the standard John Cooper Works hardtop…
2015 Mini Cooper Hardtop S / JCW

Dec 4th
When engineering the 2015 John Cooper Works, the most powerful production model in its history, Mini started somewhat paradoxically, with the brakes. And indeed, the brakes are utterly fabulous. Red-painted Brembo front calipers are so large that the wheel offsets needed to be increased. (Consequently, fairings on the fender arches were also added.) When called upon, the binders bring the…
2017 Mini Cooper Countryman

Dec 3rd
Although we rarely celebrate the work of the Grim Reaper, we will happily make an exception for the Mini Paceman. While the first generation of the Countryman crossover sold in sufficient volume to warrant development of the successor we’re driving here, its ungainly, ugly, two-door pseudo-coupe sister found more ridicule than buyers. Mini confirms that it won’t be making another…
2016 Mini Cooper Hardtop S / JCW

Nov 15th
Mini’s U.S. lineup is rife with choice, from the basic two-door and four-door Cooper Hardtops to the Clubman wagonette to the crossover-y Countryman to the Cooper convertibles. Factor in three engines and two transmissions, and Cooper derivatives number in the dozens. Now consider that Mini’s home market of Great Britain gets everything we get, plus four additional powerplants. Should we…
2017 Mini Cooper Clubman S / JCW

Nov 13th
Mini, initially a single-car brand, has sprawled out in every direction—quite literally, in the case of the Clubman tested here. It is both longer and wider than the earlier Countryman crossover and only slightly smaller than the just-launched second-generation model. But unlike that make-believe SUV, the Clubman presents itself as a more carlike wagon that rides low. Rather sleek-looking, it’s…
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