MINI Cooper 2.0 S Classic 3dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 45.6 mpg
  • 3 door hatchback
  • 140 g/km CO2
  • 140 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 45.6 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 6.6 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 204 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The fourth generation F66-era MINI Cooper S is a properly credible hot hatch, rather than merely a very quick but fashionable urban trinket. Its harder-hitting 2.0-litre engine and a talented chassis deliver plenty of fun as you power to 62mph in 6.6 seconds to the tune of a blissfully cheeky exhaust note. It's a more mature thing too, better built than any of its rivals and with a now far more sophisticated cabin. In short, this car has come of age.

Background

The MINI Cooper S has long been an exercise in artful compromise, looking to occupy that sweet spot between the warm-ish Cooper and the wild race-inspired John Cooper Works model. As a result, it's often been the best pick for those who aren't likely to subject their car to a race circuit and instead just want a MINI that's entertainingly quick without incurring huge running costs in the process. That hasn't changed too much with this fourth generation F66-era model, but what lies beneath the skin has. True, under the bonnet, you'll find much the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine as before, but it now puts out a 204hp total that's 25hp up on what went before. More importantly perhaps, we're promised a smarter, better finished car than before - and one that now seems to have a clear run at the supermini-based hot hatch genre now that virtually all of the previous model's key rivals have disappeared. This ought to be many people's ideal expression of go kart-inspired MINI-ness? Is it? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

So. What's it like? Slip behind the wheel and at first glance, quite a lot seems to have changed. The new minimalist cabin is completely different and the gear selector's been relocated from the centre console to a panel below the new centre screen. What matters though, is what lies beneath the bonnet: the same four-cylinder 2.0-litre unit as before, but now blessed with 25hp more. Which means 204hp in total (50hp more than the standard Cooper) and 300Nm of torque. Which translates into 62mph in 6.6s en route to 150mph. For reference, that's about the same performance as the all-electric Cooper SE, though this combustion model's top speed is much faster. To disguise the commonality beneath the bonnet, the brand has introduced seven so-called 'MINI Experience' modes - 'Core', 'Green', 'Go-Kart', 'Personal', 'Vibrant', 'Timeless' and 'Balance'. As the names suggest, these do a lot more than just affect steering feel and throttle response, altering cabin colours and graphics. In 'Go-Kart' Mode, there's a focus on MINI's racing DNA; the display and interior as a whole feature the colours anthracite and red, while specific analogue displays for driving dynamics complement this mode inspired by John Cooper Works. Adding to the overall driving experience, this model is equipped with a suspension and damping system designed for precise handing and powerful brakes. What you can't have in this generation model, rather sadly, is a manual gearbox. The previously optional Steptronic 7-speed auto is now non-negotiable but at least comes in sharp-responding 'Sport' form complete with paddles on the steering wheel. One thing this combustion MINI can offer that the Electric version can't quite replicate is really agile handling - because it weighs an awful lot less. Both petrol Coopers tip the scales at the much more than 1.2 tonnes.

Design and Build

The first four BMW MINI models simply evolved generation-to-generation. This MK4 modern-era version, in contrast, is the first since the R50 model of 2000 to base its styling primarily on the 1950s Alec Issigonis original. It was launched in the F66 3-door form we look at here but you can talk to your dealer about a 5-door variant and there will later be a convertible derivative too. Styling chief Oliver Heimler has based this latest Hatch model's penmanship around the company's current DNA-defined design language, called 'Charismatic Simplicity'. You might think it doesn't look much different; the silhouette's certainly recognisable, with its flush glazing, 'floating' contrast-coloured roof and blacked-out window pillars. But much is different too. There's a fraction less body length, the wheels have been further pushed out to the extremities of the body and chrome has been stripped away from the exterior. At the front, the octagonal grille is new and the trademark circular headlamps now come with three different LED lighting signatures. Oh and it's no longer mandatory to get Union Jack tail light graphics; two other patterns are available. At a glance, this combustion model looks identical to the Electric version but, but there are exterior differences (apart from the grille not being blanked-off). These include black plastic cladding along the flanks and a clamshell bonnet line. There's virtually no differentiation over the Electric model inside though. As with every MINI, the cabin's centrepiece remains a familiar large circular central display - here 9.5-inches in size. Now though, it's the only one; there's nothing to view through the re-designed steering wheel except the new textile-trimmed dashboard panel - though a head-up display can be specified. The minimalist fascia is largely shorn of buttons and the gear selector has been relocated to a toggle beneath the central screen (rather nauseously now known as the 'MINI Interaction Unit'). You sit low, which adds to the promised 'sporty' feel. And the previous round vents are replaced by slimmer ones. The seats lack the previous model's adjustable thigh bolster but remain decently supportive. With this 3-door model, you won't be expecting much in terms of rear seat space - and you shouldn't; the rear pews are still very much for small children only, which is as it should be because if you wanted rear seat space, you'd have chosen a Countryman or an Aceman. Boot space is pretty much the same as before and still tiny, rated at 210-litres, though that's still 25-litres more than a rival Fiat 500 hybrid. With the 60:40 backrest folded, there's 725-litres on offer.

Market and Model

Prices from launch for this combustion 3 door Cooper S hatch started at £26,700, £4,400 more than you'll pay for the entry-level 1.5-litre Cooper C. For reference, at the time of this F66 combustion model's introduction, the 40.7kWh Cooper Electric E was £31,945 and the 54.2kWh Cooper Electric SE was £33,445. Whichever version you choose, MINI boasts that this is its most connected car ever, courtesy of a revised 'My MINI' app; and a "Hey MINI" personal assistant voice control system, via which owners can choose digital depiction of a British bulldog named Spike as their screen avatar of choice. There are three available trim levels - 'Classic', 'Exclusive' and 'Sport' - and all are well equipped. The knitted textile dashboard gets a two-tone houndstooth pattern with 'Exclusive' trim and a multi-coloured finish with 'Sport' spec. The black synthetic leather sports seats get perforated trim with 'Exclusive'-spec and contrast red stitching on 'Sport' models. You'll need to avoid base spec to get a contrast-coloured roof, a 'Spray-Tech' top which blends three different colours. Key available features include 'Park Assist Plus' parking set-up, 'Digital Key Plus' (which allows you to unlock the car with your smartphone) and the 'Remote 360' surround view monitoring system. On longer journeys, the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, and the 'MINI Driving Assistant' enhance comfort. The 'MINI Interaction Unit' central screen offers 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto', but only the former fills the whole circumference of the 24cm-diameter OLED round display. Third-party apps like Spotify now fit and work in it too.

Cost of Ownership

Let's get to the figures. For the 2.0-litre Cooper S, the combined cycle fuel figure is up to 44.8mpg and the CO2 return is up to 143g/km. for reference, the base 1.5-litre Cooper C manages up to 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and up to 133g/km of CO2. To get anywhere near these figures, you'll need to drive most permanently in the 'MINI Experience' 'Green' drive mode. That 'Green' setting modifies throttle and transmission response and tweaks the standard gear shift point display. It also includes a so-called 'coasting' function where at high cruising speeds the drivetrain is temporarily decoupled for extra frugality when you come off the accelerator. What else? Well, residual values are bound to be strong - they always have been. You can expect your MINI Hatch to have retained just over half its value at the three year / 60,000 mile point. As expected, there's the normal three year unlimited mileage warranty with the usual BMW-style variable service indicators. Beyond that, there's an optional extended 'MINI Insured' warranty available that can cover you for up to 100,000 miles and can also be specified to apply to particular components, like the clutch, the engine or the gearbox.

Summary

We can all argue about whether this generation Cooper S is as pretty a car as its predecessor, but there can be no doubt that it's a better all-rounder. It's more sophisticated, better built, features some fascinating technical features and seems to have been engineered to offer more driving fun on one hand and lower bills on the other. Which is welcome news because with the demise of the Fiesta ST and the Hyundai i20 N, there really aren't now too many options if you want a small shopping rocket that isn't an EV. This Cooper S is a MINI to the max. And that's always a tempting thing.

  • Central toggle bar
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Personal eSim
  • Black grille surround
  • Cupholders
  • Front compact armrest
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Light headliner
  • Sport Vescin Steering Wheel
  • Vescin/Cloth upholstery
  • Driving assistant pack - Cooper Hatchback
  • Level 1 pack - Mini Hatchback
  • Park assistant pack - Cooper Hatchback
  • 3 point seatbelts on all four seats
  • 6 Airbags - front, side, head and seat belt tensioners
  • Acoustic pedestrian protection
  • Front ISOFIX (iSize)
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 137
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEH: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEL: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 119
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEH: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEL: 119
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 202
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEH: 204
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEL: 202
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEH: 139
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEL: 136
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1998
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • Engine Code: B48A20M2
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 6.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 9.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 6.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 46.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 46.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 53.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 31.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 31
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 31.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 47.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 47.1
  • AdBlue: False
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 204
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: Cooper S Classic
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 24E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 30000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.6
  • Engine Power - BHP: 204
  • Engine Power - KW: 150
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 221
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 30.6
  • Engine Torque - NM: 300
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1450
  • Top Speed: 150
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 215/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: U SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1432
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 3876
  • Wheelbase: 2495
  • Width: 1744
  • Width (including mirrors): 1970
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 44
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1735
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 725
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 210
  • Max. Loading Weight: 450
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1285
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.1