All Minis are smallish, but the 2014 Cooper Coupe takes smallness almost to the level of the half-century-ago originals. The Coupe is not for practicality. It's a 2-seater, there's a modest trunk and the roof looks like a chopped top from a 1950s' custom; the next size down is the Smart. The Coupe shares mechanicals with the other Minis which means, being even littler, all the lovable Mini traits of incredibly snappy response and cat-quick handling are enhanced to new highs of near-unbelievableness. Competitors are few: Fiat 500, Scion iQ? Maybe, but not quite. Still, as long as you don't need to haul much in people or cargo the Coupe is a thoroughly usable daily driver, returns terrific fuel economy and is an absolute giggle.
You'll Like This Car If...
You want a Mini, you don't have to haul much or it will be the second or third car, you're looking for the most fun you can have behind the wheel of a production car? There are very, very few that will match the Cooper Coupe. Driving is believing.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Be honest with yourself. The roofline is not for everyone. This is a little car. Driving it can tend to be a somewhat high-involvement exercise. If there is any reason why you think this won't work for you, it almost certainly will not work for you.
Changes to the 2014 Mini Cooper Coupe are so minimal even the price is unchanged.
Driving the Coupe
The Mini Coupe's driving characteristics are terrific, more terrific and even more terrific as you move upward through trim-level and horsepower steps, and each feels just slightly "racier" than its...
... corresponding Hardtop model. With a skilled driver the Cooper S Coupe can make it from zero to 60 mph in about the mid-6-second range. The John Cooper Works (JCW) version, with 208 horsepower, is yet another leap ahead and, on the top end and with an appropriate location, will nudge 150 mph. But where the Mini Coupe stands out is when the pavement serves up twists and turns. You may end up with the feeling that all you do is think about the corner and the Mini Coupe is around and on to the next one. There's just one warning: That chopped top and the automatically rising rear spoiler limit visibility to the sides and rear, so keep a watchful eye.
IMMEDIATELY QUICK HANDLING RESPONSE All Minis have super-responsive handling, but the Coupe, particularly in the Cooper S or John Cooper Works versions, hangs onto twisty roads like a handshake with flypaper. It makes champions of us all.
ACTIVE REAR SPOILER This little wing on the trunk lid automatically lifts at speeds over 50 mph to increase downforce on the car. It also looks nifty and racy. That being the case, you can raise it manually at lower speeds at the push of a button.
2014 MINI Coupe Details
Mini interiors can take a little getting used to, but in a charming way, and the Coupe is no exception. In the center is a big round speedometer, in front of the driver a round tachometer, and there are round air vents, door pulls and speakers from side to side. Locations and operations of various switches borders on eccentric, but familiarity breeds, well, an easy familiarity and soon it's all just fine. The seats are comfy and, just as important, quite supportive. There's a removable shelf behind the seats and a handy pass-through to a trunk of 9.8-cubic-feet capacity.
The Mini Cooper Coupe's chopped top is called a "helmet roof" (check the side view) and, taken as a whole, the Coupe is more rounded, the Hardtop more rectangular. Still, it's unmistakably a Mini. Access to the trunk is through a rear opening. Identifying clues for the Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions include dual tailpipes that exit from the center and front-fender air vents that are chrome instead of black. All three models include the automatically rising rear spoiler that deploys over 50 mph, thus adding to both the sporty appearance and aerodynamic stability at higher speeds.
Standard equipment for the 2014 Mini Cooper Coupe includes remote entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD audio system with auxiliary input, air conditioning, Bluetooth and a climate-controlled glove box. The base model has 15-inch wheels, the Cooper S has standard 16-inchers and the JCW has standard 17-inchers, but Mini offers an enormous array of wheel choices in various sizes and finishes. There's a standard 3-year/36,000-mile maintenance plan and 4-year/unlimited-mileage roadside assistance. Also included are the usual convenience items and all the government-mandated safety features.
Mini is the absolute leader in allowing owners to individualize their cars and there are probably millions of combinations that can make any Cooper Coupe unlike any other. The more usual options include leather, the Mini Connected system – with or without navigation – a 10-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system, sport seats, automatic climate control, heated seats and all sorts of interior and exterior trim choices. Available accessories can make it look different or go faster. And spending time on the entertaining website (www.miniusa.com) is a fun way to plan your new Mini's exact configuration.
Under the Hood
The 2014 Mini Cooper Coupe is offered with three versions of the 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine: The base version makes 121 horsepower and the Cooper S and JCW models are turbocharged and are rated at 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. While the base version performs completely adequately, the Cooper S and JCW are real eye-openers, with acceleration and performance that seem at first surprising, given the cars' small size. The turbo engines have great throttle response, deliver plenty of kick to get up and go and are remarkably efficient, rated at 35 mpg on the highway with either the 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. One warning: All Cooper Coupes require 91-octane premium gasoline.
The 2014 Mini Cooper Coupe has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $21,500, the Cooper S is just under $25,000 and the John Cooper Works version is near $31,500. Options, understandably, will increase those prices. The Mini Cooper Coupe's base price is higher than those of the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Chevy Spark, and less than those of the Mini Cooper Roadster and Audi TT. Before heading to the dealership, be sure and check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2014 Mini Cooper Coupe. As for the long-term, Minis traditionally hold their value very well and the Mini Cooper Coupe is expected to maintain strong residuals.
Pros: "great price, fun to drive, eye catching, safe"
Cons: "too much chrome"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"On my second Mini now (first was the original style 2010)... My first one was totaled in an accident, and SAVED my life, the front was completely destroyed and I walked out without a single scrape. Because of this, I bought the new Coupe that came out. BEST decision ever. Such a small car, I can fit anywhere and zoom around... super easy to drive too. It feels like I'm driving a go-kart which makes it so fun. I can go on.. My next car will definitely be another Mini, perhaps the Paceman. I recommend this vehicle to those young, old, whatever. And the young-at-heart like myself.. Minis seem to do best with us fun people."