It’s been only 13 years since BMW revived the Mini brand in 2001, and the Cooper has already been treated to a second overhaul for the 2014 model year. The redesign brought many changes inside and out, including fresh drivetrains. The Cooper S was upgraded to a larger four-cylinder engine that not only delivers more power and torque, but better fuel economy too.

The most striking fact about it, though, is that it’s longer and wider than it has ever been. Not only that, but Mini also launched its first-ever five-door Cooper, a body style that seemed unlikely with the Clubman still around. Moreover, the performance-oriented Cooper S also received one and a JCW is probably underway as well. The reasoning is simple here. Buyers are asking for increasingly larger interiors and the previous Cooper didn’t have much to offer in that department.

It’s not exactly a minivan (though it could become one at this rate), but the roomier interior and added legroom should bring more people into Mini dealerships. What’s more, the Cooper S 5-Door has just started a new career as a family hauler, something the Fiat 500 Abarth, for instance, can’t brag about yet. Hoping Fiat doesn’t get a "bright" idea soon, let’s have a closer look at the third-gen Mini Cooper S.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Cooper S.

  • 2015 Mini Cooper S
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    192 @ 4700
  • Torque @ RPM:
    206 @ 1250
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    146 mph
  • Price:
    24100
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Exterior
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Styling-wise, the latest-generation Cooper S is an evolution of its predecessor. However, more important than the wide array of nips and tucks front and rear is the hatch’s new size. Due to an enlarged front overhand and a slightly longer wheelbase, the Cooper S is now 151.1 inches long, exactly 4.3 inches longer than the previous model. Of course, the new model is also a bit wider. All told, the Mini Cooper S isn’t that mini anymore.

For 2014, Mini expanded the Cooper Hatch family to include a more wagon-like model dubbed the 5-Door.

Moving over to design features, modifications aren’t radical, but significant if you know where to look. While the new headlamps are similar in size, the front grille and bumper have quite a few changes to brag about. Mini ditched the previous split grille that incorporated part of the body-colored bumper for a bigger piece highlighted by a chrome frame. The lower piece, however, still sports a bumper-like element instead of a mesh. Below, the Brits went with larger, trapezoidal air scoops and larger foglamps.

Around back, a pair of significantly larger taillights dominate. The tailgate features the same clean design, while the bumper seems better integrated into the fascia. The center-mounted exhaust arrangement was carried over from the previous model, but the pipes have been moved upward into the bumper. Mini meddled only slightly with what’s supposed to be a subtle rear diffuser.

The bigger news here comes in the form of a five-door hatch. For 2014, Mini expanded the Cooper Hatch family to include a more wagon-like model dubbed the 5-Door. Naturally, this version also received an "S" badge and all the benefits that come with it.

New styling features aside, the Cooper S stands out thanks to the wide range of customization options customers have access to. Mini not only offers a wide range of graphics packages, trim options, colors, wheels, spoilers, and storage options, but also a wide selection of John Cooper Works goodies.

Exterior Dimensions

Model Mini Cooper S 3-Door Mini Cooper S 5-Door
Number of doors/seats 3 / 4 5 / 4
Length 151.9 Inches 157.4 Inches
Width 68 Inches 68 Inches
Height 55.7 Inches 56.1 Inches
Wheelbase 98.2 Inches 98.2 Inches

Interior

2015 Mini Cooper S Interior
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2015 Mini Cooper S Interior
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2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Interior
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The massive center display is the first thing that catches the eye when entering the Cooper S. The unit is now flanked by square A/C vents (the previous Cooper had round vents) and highlights a more premium and sportier looking dashboard. Most surfaces are still plastic, but everything feels solid and durable. While the new instrument cluster attached to the steering wheel is also larger, the vents mounted at each extremity of the dash are slightly smaller. The dashboard doesn’t look as silly as its predecessor’s.

The center stack is now cleaner, featuring fewer buttons and switches thanks to an updated infotainment system.

The center stack is now cleaner, featuring fewer buttons and switches thanks to an updated infotainment system. Sport seats are standard in the Cooper S and offer excellent lateral support unless you take it to the track. The leather upholstery has high-quality fabric inserts and contrast stitching.

The new 5-Door version has an extra 2.83 inches of legroom due to the longer wheelbase, and 0.59 inch more headroom due to the increased roof height. To further expand the vehicle’s utility, Mini is offering a 60:40 folding rear seat as standard equipment or a 40:20:40 configuration as an option. With the rear seats up, the 5-Door’s luggage compartment space measures 9.2 cubic feet, a 0.5-cubic-foot improvement over the hatchback model.

Much like the exterior, the interior can be fitted with an array of options and packages. Whether you’re into luxury, sportiness or lots of tech, Mini is happy to provide. These options and packages are far from cheap, but they allow buyers to build themselves a personalized cabin. This is something no other automaker in this segment can offer.

Drivetrain

2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Drivetrain
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Both the Hatch and the 5-Door received a new turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 192 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 11 horses over the previous model, which also brings quicker sprints from 0 to 60 mph. The three-door hatchback needs 6.4 seconds with the six-speed manual and 6.5 seconds with the six-speed automatic. For the 5-Door model, the times are 6.6 and 6.5 seconds, respectively. Top speed is 145 mph for both cars.

While performance figures are superior to the Ford Fiesta ST’s, the Cooper S’ main competitor, the Mini returns fewer miles on the highway — 33 mpg vs the 35 mpg of the Fiesta ST. Estimated city and combined ratings are 26 and 29 mpg, respectively.

Drivetrain Specifications

Model Mini Cooper S
Type/no. of cylinders/valves in-line / 4 / 4
Displacement 2.0L
Bore/stroke mm 82.0 / 94.6
Output (HP @ RPM) 192 HP @ 4,700 – 6,000 RPM
Torque (with overboost) @ RPM 206 LB-FT (221) @ 1,250 – 4,750 RPM
Acceleration 0-60 (W/ Auto Trans) 6.5 (6.7) Sec.
Top speed 146 MPH

Prices

The three-door Cooper S starts from $24,100, which makes it nearly $4K more expensive than the base model. The Cooper S 5-Door fetches $25,100 before options. Speaking of options, there are more than 10 available packages for both trims, ranging from $400 to as much as $4,500. All told, the Cooper S would cost more than $40,000 when fully loaded.

Model Price
Mini Cooper S 3-Door $24,100
Mini Cooper S 5-Door $25,100

Packages

Cold Weather Package $650
Sport Package $1,250
Premium Package $1,800
Media Package $750
Wired Package $1,750
Wired Upgrade $1,350
Loaded Package $2,250
Fully Loaded Package $4,500
Flash Package $400
JCW Exterior Package $2,500
JCW Interior Package $400

Competition

Ford Fiesta ST

2014 - 2015 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Available only as a four-door in the U.S., the Fiesta ST is the hatchback Mini buyers are most likely to cross-shop with a Cooper S. Though it’s not as fancy or as customizable as the Mini — it also lacks the rich heritage the Cooper benefits from — the Fiesta ST is quite potent as far as performance goes.

The 1.6-liter four-pot under its small hood makes 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque, which puts it on par with the Cooper S. However, because it is nearly 140 pounds heavier than the Mini, the Fiesta ST is 0.3 second slower than the British hatch, at 6.8 seconds. The Ford also has a top speed of only 130 mph, compared to the Cooper S’ 145-mph rating.

Fuel economy is where the Fiesta ST scores some points, as it can return up to 35 mpg on the highway. The Mini offers an estimated 33 mpg highway. City and combined rating are identical. Pricing is also on the Fiesta ST’s side, as it retails from $20,945.

Find out more about the Ford Fiesta ST in our review here.

Fiat 500 Abarth

2015 Fiat 500 Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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The 500 may be smaller than the Cooper nowadays, but it still remains the Mini’s traditional rival. Both were launched more than 50 years ago and both Mini and Fiatare struggling to keep their heritages alive through various special-edition models and packages. Not to mention that both are considered to be fashion statements of the modern automotive industry. That being said, I don’t see how one could not consider the 500 Abarth while looking at the three-door Cooper S.

Performance-wise, the 500 Abarth is the least powerful and slowest of this pack, employing a 1.4-liter turbo-four rated at 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 129 mph. For 2015, the Abarth received its very first six-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts from $22,495.

Read more about the 500 Abarth in our detailed review here.

Conclusion

2015 Mini Cooper S High Resolution Exterior
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While I’m simply in love with the original Mini Cooper, I’ve never fancied the modern iteration relaunched under BMW ownership. And it’s not just the glitz surrounding it or the fact that it’s overpriced for what it can deliver, but because BMW brought it back as a significantly larger vehicle. The extremely compact and affordable concept the original Mini was built on is long gone. This size thing got worse with the latest-generation Cooper S, which is significantly larger than its predecessor.

That’s not to say the Cooper S is a bad car. I wouldn’t buy one, but it’s perfect for the right people — the people BMW thought of when it redesigned it in the early 2000s. Given today’s trends, it’s safe to assume the Mini Coopers S got better. It’s larger, it now features a five-door version, it’s more powerful and it comes with more optional goodies than ever. It also requires a fatter wallet, but who said fashion accessories are cheap?

  • Leave it
    • It’s the largest Cooper S yet
    • The most expensive car of its segment
    • Not astoundingly quicker than the Fiesta ST
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