MINI has added a 4-door model to their hardtop lineup for 2015. The MINI Hardtop 4-door uses the same basic chassis as the 2-door but with a stretched wheelbase, adding more interior room, bigger back seats and of course an additional pair of doors. The 4-door version adds roughly 6-inches to the overall length of the vehicle when compared to the 2-door version but interior space grows in nearly every direction, with additional head, shoulder and foot room for rear seat passengers.
MINI is credited with bringing the first premium compact car to America, proving that high quality and small packaging are not mutually exclusive concepts. Thoroughly engineered with a well put-together feel, all the Coopers in the MINI lineup are praised for their agility and fun-to-drive factor and all of that returns for 2015.
For 2015, the MINI Cooper Hardtop comes with a choice of 2- or 4-door body styles, while each body style is available in either Cooper or Cooper S trim. The MINI Cooper Convertible returns as well, retaining the same powertrains as in 2014. The Convertible also offers a high-performance John Cooper Works trim
The more basic Cooper version is powered by a turbocharged 1.5L 3-cylinder engine. While diminutive and featuring only 3-cylinders, this powerplant, makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-feet of torque, more than the old 4-cylinder engine found in MINI Coopers of years past. Transmission options include either a standard 6-speed Getrag manual or a 6-speed automatic.
The Cooper S adds an additional level of performance to the MINI. It's powered by a 189-hp turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. The Getrag 6-speed is also standard on S models. A 6-speed automatic is available, as are steering-wheel mounted shift paddles.
While the MINI Cooper Convertible continues to be available for 2015, but is based on the previous generation platform, which utilizes a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine good for 121-horsepower in the base trim and 181 horses in the turbocharged S trim. The Convertible is available in base Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims. The John Cooper Works, however, adds an even more powerful engine tuning for 208 horsepower, as well as a limited-slip differential and sport suspension. The base and S trims are equipped similarly to the equivalent Cooper Hardtop trims.
MINI is a bit different than other brands out there, offering little difference between trim models other than engine choices. Buyers are instead welcomed to option their cars up individually or through option packages, of which there are many. Being a bit of a premium small car, the MINI Cooper Hardtop is available with several upscale features including a heads up display, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, automated parking assist, a Harman/Kardon sound system and leather seating.
In addition, MINI's customization program is legendary. The automaker wants buyers to make the car their own-- allowing them to go beyond simple alloy wheels and paint colors and offering hood stripes, mirror caps, roof décor and a dazzling array of interior upholstery options.