With its larger footprint and revised interior, you could say the 2014 MINI Cooper is all grown up. That’s true, but the MINI isn’t done growing.
The British brand just took the wraps off the 2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door, which brings two extra doors and a bit more practicality to the party.
This much-anticipated second model is as straightforward as its name. It adds 2.9 inches to wheelbase and 6.3 inches to the overall length of the existing two-door Cooper, but retains the original model’s proportions and styling.
Inside, there’s a rear bench with seating for three and a slightly-larger cargo area. Otherwise, the interior and options mirror the two-door MINI’s, including an available 8.8-inch center display, and an infotainment system based on parent BMW’s iDrive.
With added interior usability, the 4 door could very well become a replacement for the hearse-like Clubman wagon, and perhaps even give the Countryman mini-crossover a run for its money.
The only other major difference between the two-door and four-door MINI Coopers is a model-specific suspension system meant to preserve MINI’s signature “go-kart” handling. Dynamic Damper Control electronic adjustment is also available.
Unchanged are the engine options, which will be identical to those of the two-door MINI. That means base models will get a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
With the manual, the base 4 door will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds; MINI adds 0.1 second for the automatic. The top speed of both versions is 129 mph.
Meanwhile, the 2015 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. With the manual transmission, it will do 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 145 mph; the automatic takes 6.5 seconds and tops out at 144 mph.
With everything that makes the standard third-generation MINI great, plus a couple of extra doors, the 2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door should draw plenty of interest when it hits showrooms in January 2015. MINI says it will be priced at $1,000 over the two-door model.