2015 MINI COOPER REVIEW
Since its realization, the mini cooper has maintained its signature quirky design. This design has led to a near cult following within its circle of admirers. Upon being adopted into the BMW family, it quickly became the fun younger sibling of the luxury brand, representing an exciting, playful addition to the name. What’s more fun than Edmonton’s summer streets, playing host to a vast array of festivals, fairs and midways? The 2015 Mini Cooper, with its exclusive design and quirky, go-cart like handling fits right in around here. It is the obvious choice for drivers seeking a classic vehicle that is chalk-full of spunky personality.
The Mini’s cheeky, roller-skate handling is a signature feature that has transcended the brand’s first redesign since 2007. The 2015 Cooper represents the third generation of the “new Mini” that was launched ten years ago, and not much has changed beyond aesthetics. The new version is available in two models: the more familiar 3-door hatchback has come back with a facelift and brought a 5-door hatchback with it. Previously, we would have only been able to find the 5-door version in the all-wheel drive Countryman. These new additions bring the mini line-up to eight models in total, but the hardtops are only available in front-wheel drive.
UNDER THE HOOD
You can choose your level of power with the new Coopers, as we’ve been given the option between two different engine sizes. Both are turbo-charged and direct injected, adding a bit of pep to your ride. Developed for the first time, Mini’s all-new 1.5-liter 3 cylinder engine produces 124 horsepower. With the manual transmission, you’re looking at getting 29/40/33 city/highway/combined mpg fuel economy. Those numbers drop slightly when you switch the manual transmission out for the automatic, which gets us 28/37/31 city/highway/combined miles per gallon.
The second engine option is a slightly beefier 2.0-liter 4 cylinder, which put out 189 horsepower and give us a fuel economy of 24/34/27 city/highway/combined mpg. Having the 4 cylinder paired with the automatic transmission will change your fuel economy ratings to 26/33/29 miles per gallon.
We have collectively been misled into believing that smaller equates to better fuel mileage. Despite its compact size, the new Mini has been rated below most hybrids in fuel economy. As a means of compensation, Mini has introduced a “green” mode that can be activated by twisting the lit ring around the base of the shift lever.
Somebody took the 2014 Mini Cooper and stretched it out. Exterior looks have remained the same for the most part. Appreciators of the Mini brand will recognise the unchanged upright windshield, long roof, horizontal window line and signature oval front lights. Aficionados of the brand will immediately notice the new Cooper’s extended nose, elongated body and more capacious interior. On top of having more space, the general comfort level inside the 2015 Mini Cooper has been heightened and refined. Sport seats and soft-touch materials give an impression of higher quality while functionality is improved by a reorganization of the dash. The speedometer has finally found a home behind the steering wheel, and the round central dashboard is solely a display screen for multimedia and navigations options. Below the screen you will find three central knobs controlling the ventilation system, and that’s it. The dash has a cleaner, more streamlined look rather than displaying an array of sporadically placed knobs and switches. The overall impression of the Cooper’s new makeover is one of a nicer, quieter ride that still contains all of the virtues of the original Mini.
FEATURES AND TECHNOLOGY
Within a playful, compact frame, the 2015 Mini Cooper hides a plethora of state of the art equipment and technology. As we continue to advance into the future of auto-making, such features as full power accessories, heated mirrors, automatic headlights and Bluetooth connectivity are becoming a standard. At least, for luxury brands they are. And the Mini Cooper is one of those rare creatures that dances on the cusp of luxury without really bragging about the privilege.
The new Mini Coopers also come equipped with such amenities as automatic climate control, a refrigerated glovebox and color-adjustable ambient lighting. The improved infotainment controller is strikingly similar to BMW’s iDrive, but that is to be expected from two brands that live in the same house. To accompany it, the Mini is ornamented with a USB / iPod adapter, auxiliary input jack and a standard six-speaker sound system that can be switched out for a ten-speaker Harman Kardon system in the upper trim levels. Adjustable driving modes allow you to completely customize your adventure.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The 2015 Mini Cooper in Edmonton has its own unique persona. Fun, but not in a “clown in the crowd” kind of way. The Mini is the best friend that you’ll ride the roller coaster fifteen times with and then collapse exhausted next to, tearing at the seams from all of the cotton candy and corn dogs that you ate. It has an engaging personality that you connect with as a young, free-spirited vagabond on a mission to experience life to its full extent. It has an excited, go-cart like handling with such a responsive nature that you’d think it was connected to you. The 2015 model has a more solid feel than previous years and a quieter interior as well, giving a more secure impression and disconnect from passing traffic. Getting into your 2015 Mini Cooper is traversing into your own world. Owning one is a completely revolutionary experience. But don’t take my word for it.
Book a test drive today.