Posted in: 20/08/2018
The Mini Cooper easily is one of the most distinctive vehicles on the road. This British-born car has a style all its own, and it offers attributes that are attractive to urbanites and those who make a daily drive into the city for work.
Mini Cooper buyers can choose from a two-door hatchback, a four-door hatchback and a convertible. Hatchback models entered their third generation in the 2014 model year, but the convertible carried over unchanged. The convertible variant wasn’t redesigned until the 2016 model year. We took a look at Mini Coopers from 2014 to 2018.
So, why is the subcompact Mini Cooper the perfect city car?
1. Petite Size
The Mini Cooper is one of the smallest vehicles on the road. The shortest body style comes in at roughly 151 inches, or about 12.6 feet. That tiny footprint lends itself to navigating congested streets and squeezing into parking spaces that will be too tight for most other cars.
Despite its diminutive footprint, the Mini Cooper offers a reasonable amount of utility, provided you choose the right body style. Convertibles and two-door hatchbacks seat four, but four-door hatchbacks can seat up to five passengers. Four-door hatchbacks also provide up to 40.7 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s more than enough to accommodate grocery runs or hold a few weekend bags for an out-of-town getaway.
2. Outstanding Fuel Efficiency
Fuel economy can suffer during stop-and-go city driving. Typically, small vehicles offer great fuel economy, and this is the case with the Mini Cooper. Third-generation models top out at 29/39 mpg city/highway.
Its small stature isn’t the only factor in the Mini Cooper’s superb fuel efficiency. Even the earliest models in the third generation are fitted with an automatic start-stop system. Start-stop systems shut down and restart the engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling. This slows fuel consumption, and it also reduces emissions. Having a vehicle equipped with a start-stop system is perfect for urban drivers who spend a lot of time waiting at red lights or getting stuck in traffic.
3. Nimble Handling
One of the hallmarks of the Mini Cooper is its go-kart-like nature and the slick handling that goes along with it. It’s agile and energetic, and it eagerly embraces the maneuvers sometimes needed on crowded thoroughfares and narrow alleys. That agility is complemented by engine choices that easily get the Cooper up to speed. Mini claims some models go from zero to 60 mph in just 6 seconds.
Keep in mind that ride comfort suffers a bit, especially when the Cooper is fitted with the available larger wheels and tires. Still, given the Cooper’s fun-to-drive nature, that’s one trade-off many drivers are willing to make.
4. Impressive Safety Ratings
Choosing a safe vehicle is important, especially when you’re navigating chaotic city streets. The third generation of the Mini Cooper earned a solid three out of four stars overall in crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the 2016, 2017 and 2018 two-door hatchbacks were designated Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Later models are available with useful driver-assistive technology, including adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Mini Cooper may also be equipped with a self-parking system that will handle the task of parallel parking on busy city streets.
5. Abundant Customization Options
Though its look is plenty funky and one-of-a-kind already, the Mini Cooper offers a number of ways to further personalize your vehicle. Options include Union Jack side scuttles, a roof-rack base-support system, a gold Union Jack roof graphic, a broad range of unique floor mats, a Union Jack rearview mirror cover, a variety of unique bodyside graphics, a surfboard holder and a luggage compartment tray. Any or all of these aftermarket options will give your Mini Cooper a singular look that will help make it easy for you to find your car in a large arena lot or a full parking garage.
The Perfect Companion
Fun to drive and loaded with personality, the Mini Cooper is ideal for city dwellers. It offers great fuel efficiency and strong safety ratings. And with its endless personalization possibilities, you can make your Mini Cooper truly your own.
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