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2014 Mini Coupe/Roadster

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/13/2014 Karla Sanchez

Vehicle Overview

There's no denying that Mini is a niche brand, but it got even nichier with the Mini Coupe and its topless counterpart, the Mini Roadster. While the Mini Coupe and Mini Roadster are still loads of fun to toss around, there's not much measurable gain over the Mini hardtop, so it's best to think twice about choosing the two-seaters over the hardtops, especially since they wear a heftier price tag.

Research

Like the rest of the Mini lineup, the Coupe and Roadster is available in three trim levels. Base models are powered by a 121-hp 1.6-liter I-4. For even more spirited fun, the Cooper S models burns it up to 181 hp, which in Motor Trend testing, resulted in a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds for the Coupe. Cooper S variants also get a "Sport" mode button, which tightens the steering, increases throttle response, and makes the exhaust burble. It gets even better with the top-trim John Cooper Works model, which bumps turbo boost up to 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Even though it was only 0.1 seconds faster than the Coupe S, we said the JCW Coupe was the most entertaining Mini ever. "No other car of its kind -- if there such a thing -- comes close to that time, and few front-drivers can compete with its near-telepathic responsiveness and maneuverability," we said of the JCW Coupe. As for the Roadster, it wears a manually or electrically operated soft-top in place of the Coupe's backwards baseball cap. While some may call the Roadster an abbreviated version of the convertible hatchback, we called the Roadster an affordable British sports car.

While the cost of a Mini Coupe and Mini Roadster can leave a dent in your wallet, they get excellent fuel economy with the base engine, with manual-equipped Coupes achieving an EPA-rated 29/37 mpg city, and automatics achieving 28/36 mpg. Manual-equipped Roadsters lose 1 mpg on the highway, while automatics lose 1 mpg on both the city and highway. While fuel economy is on the plus side, it's not the number one factor for prospective Mini buyers, but rather a fun driving experience, and with that, it certainly delivers.

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Mini Coupe and 2014 Mini Roadster now offer a new City Pack option package, which bundles an alarm system, power-folding rearview mirrors, heated mirrors and washer jets, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, rear park sensors, and keyless ignition and entry. Mini also streamlined its premium packages into a single option group, which includes a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, automatic headlamps, and automatic climate control.

You'll Like

  • Effortlessly weaving in and out of traffic
  • Burbling exhaust in turbo models
  • Sharp handling

You Won't Like

  • Limited rear visibility
  • Choppy ride
  • Pricier than larger hardtop

Key Competitors

  • Fiat 500
  • Scion FR-S
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Mazda Miata MX-5

Sum Up

3 star Still fun and funky.

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