Maker of some of the most distinctive cars on the road today, MINI has changed the way it names its models for 2013 but it's fun-to-drive lineup remains mostly intact.
Instead of breaking down its models by the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works configuration, the MINIs are now referred to by body type. For example, the MINI Hardtop now refers to the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works trims of that body style, while MINI Convertible refers to the same trims but with a retractable soft-top.
This shuffle means that available MINI models now include: the Hardtop, Convertible, Coupe, Roadster, Clubman, and Countryman.
The Hardtop and Convertible use the traditional two-door MINI body, with the one marked difference being the roof. Coupe and Roadster models use the new coupe bodystyle that debuted last year, with an abbraviated roof that slopes down right after the door windows which gives them a sportier appearance.
For those looking for more space, the Clubman and Countryman offer extra room in different forms. The Clubman adds 9.4-inches in length, as well as an extra door on the passenger side for easier access to the second row. The added length translates to improved cargo capacity, which is accessed through two rear doors that open outwards.
Rounding out MINI’s lineup is the Countryman, MINI’s first crossover. The Countryman is not only the only MINI model that will seat five passengers, it also gets very good fuel economy for a car of its class.
Cooper trims of each of these models get a 121-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder that is mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. If you are looking for more power, the Cooper S trim offers a 181-hpm turbocharged four-cylinder that might be more your speed. MINI also produces high-performance variants of its models that come with an 208-hp engine and various suspension/mechanical upgrades, called John Cooper Works models.