The redesigned 2014 MINI Cooper manages to both grow and down-size at the same time. Evidence of the former can be found in its footprint, which although still modest has been stretched in almost every dimension compared to the model that preceded it. Under the MINI Cooper’s hood, meanwhile, there has been some shrinkage: gone is last year’s naturally-aspirated four-cylinder motor and in its place the company’s first turbocharged three-cylinder unit.
The pursuit of increased thrift at the fuel pump has created more than a few compromising situations in the subcompact segment, but the 2014 MINI Cooper hatchback manages to preserve the fun-to-drive character that has made it a success amongst status-seeking entry-level buyers. You’ll pay a price, however, to slip behind the wheel of the Cooper, one that stands taller than rivals offering similar efficiency and much better practicality.