2015 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door – Review and Road Test
Minis are cute, and they are also much fun to drive. The small car, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, first reached the motoring public in 1959 and immediately was considered an icon of automotive design. With BMW’s 1994 takeover of Rover, it acquired the Mini brand and BMW completely redesigned and enlarged the car to provide typical BMW handling characteristics accompanied by a sufficient dose of Freude am Fahren, the Joy of Driving, the Bavarian automaker’s long-time tagline.
BMW’s Mini reached the market in the summer of 2001 and was a resounding success. Now the German-engineered Mini is in its third iteration and more and different kinds of Minis are available, ranging from the original two-door hardtop and convertible to a coupe and the Countryman, which has five doors, something certainly not envisioned by Sir Alec, although he did design the rather spacious Austin Maxi.
The Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 Door is more than just a four-door version of the Mini. While it isn’t the first Mini with rear doors (that distinction belongs to the Countryman), it does add versatility to the Mini Cooper 2 Door models without becoming quite as large as the Countryman.
Mini added 2.8” to the wheelbase and 6.3” to the car’s length while widening the car by 2.4” and raising the roof by 0.4”. The result is a very spacious interior in the front and a reasonably spacious interior in the rear. Seats, as one would expect in a BMW-designed product, were comfortable and supportive.
DRIVING THE MINI COOPER S HARDTOP 4 DOOR
There’s much Bavarian DNA in the Mini but what’s visible is all Mini in all its whimsical glory. While the round infotainment screen dominating the center stack is surrounded by a color-changing mood ring, it’s a version of BMW’s iDrive and is easy to use. The ring changes color based on what’s happening in the vehicle at the moment in terms of driving style, with colors moving from cooler hues to warm as the intensity of one’s motoring style increases.
Despite the extra doors, this Mini still has its signature go-kart feel. The sporty S model is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged gasoline engine that BMW calls TwinPower Turbo. It can go from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.6 seconds (6.5 with the automatic) and tops out at 145 mph (233 km/h).
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