- New four-door body style is available
- Turbocharged three-cylinder engine in Cooper models
- Completely redesigned in 2014
The 2015 MINI Hardtop returns with a new trick up its sleeve, well two of them actually, with a new four-door body style that debuts this year.
The four-door versions of the Hardtop are 6.3-inches longer than their two-door counterparts and the added length adds extra cargo room (9.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats) and gives rear passengers some extra legroom as well. There is also a third seat now in the second row which gives the four-door room for one more passenger. Expect four-door Hardtop models to arrive at dealerships in January 2015.
Even after the redesign, the MINI Hardtop retains much (if not all) of its MINI-ness. That means big, round headlamps up front, an off-colored roof, and wheels that are pushed as far out to each corner of the car as they can be. Cooper S variants get their own set of unique decorations, including a dual exhaust and a hood scoop to feed air to the turbocharger.
What’s under the hood varies by model as well. Cooper models get a 134-hp, turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder that makes 162 pounds-feet of torque. Cooper S models get a larger 189-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 207 pounds-feet of torque and also offers an overboost function that dials up the torque at the push of a button. Both engines come mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The Cooper is the more efficient of the two models, topping out at an estimated 30/42 mpg city/highway with the automatic and manual models close behind at 30/41 mpg. The Cooper S gets great fuel economy in its own right, considering how powerful its engine is: 28/40 mpg with the automatic, or 23/37 mpg with the manual.
Last year’s redesign brought big changes to the Hardtop’s interior. There is still a large circular element in the dashboard, but the speedometer has been moved back to a traditional placement in the instrument panel. That makes place for an available 8.8-inch touchscreen display that controls the telematics and audio systems. There is also a new control knob to control the optional infotainment system borrowed from BMW’s iDrive system, which bumps the window and door lock controls to more traditional placements on each door. Standard features include leatherette seating surfaces, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, and push-button start.
The 2015 Hardtop offers eight standard airbags, antilock brakes, and an electronic stability system standard. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available for safer parking and reversing.