MINI Hatchback 2.0 Cooper S Sport 3dr

  • Manual
  • Petrol
  • 44.8 mpg
  • 3 door hatchback
  • 143 g/km CO2

Ten Second Review

The improved MINI Cooper S is still one of the market's most engaging small hot hatches thanks to its hard-hitting 2.0-litre engine, its talented chassis and the fact that a big helping of fun inbuilt from the ground up. It'll get to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, has an exhaust note that's pure naughtiness and is sure to continue to win plenty of fans. It's even reasonably priced, as long as you don't get too carried away with options.

Background

The MINI Cooper S has long been an exercise in artful compromise, looking to occupy that sweet spot between the warmish Cooper and the incandescent Cooper S JCW. 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. The third generation MINI range launched in 2014 saw this Cooper S derivative gain an all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and become a bigger, better finished car than before. That's helped this MINI to make a case for itself against talent like the Peugeot 208 GTI, the Renaultsport Clio 200 and the Ford Fiesta ST. Now, this variant's been subtly improved.

Driving Experience

Since this third generation Cooper S variant was launched in 2015, this hot hatch MINI derivaive has stepped up its game. Of course it needed to given that even a humble MINI Cooper these days has a perky 1.5-litre turbo engine that can spirit it from rest to 62mph in around 8 seconds. Hence the requirement for the 2.0-litre 192hp four cylinder turbo unit that was inserted into MK3 model versions of his variant and which can now drive through a more sophisticated 7-speed Steptronic auto gearbox with paddleshifters if you don't want to swap cogs yourself with the usual 6-speed manual stick shift. The manual features a rev-matching mode on downshifts so it'll sound like you have the most flawless heel and toe technique. As before, this powerplant certainly shifts a bit, thanks to the MINI's light weight and the fact that this unit develops 280Nm of torque from just 1,250rpm. This engine loves to be revved and, in its 'Sport' mode, it even puts a few crackles into the exhaust note on the over-run. This Cooper S dispatches the sprint to 62mph in 6.8 seconds and runs on to 146 mph. This 2.0-litre lump is much the same as that we've seen in the BMW 1, 3 and 5-series, although here it's mounted crossways in the car.

Design and Build

There have been one or two grouses about this MK3 MINI Hatch's styling, with some saying as it's got bigger, this generation MINI has become a bit ungainly, especially around the front end. The styling of this revised model doesn't look all that different - as before there's a choice of three and five-door body styles. Close inspection will reveal the addition of standard-fit LED front and rear lights, plus there's now extra scope for all-important personalisation. Get out the tape measure and you'll find that this MK3 design is actually larger than you might think, thanks to a wheelbase exension of 28mm over its post-2014-era predecessor. These proportions give it quite a squat, purposeful look, helped by the tapered glasshouse. The interior features sports seats and black chequered interior surfaces, with piano black and dark silver highlights. The plectrum-shaped starter is a very nice touch and while I love the fact that the speedometer is these days positioned properly in front of the driver, there are other ergonomic glitches such as the fact that you can hardly move the infotainment controller when you're parked with the handbrake on. It's a touch larger than you might expect inside too - or at last it is provided you haven't been consigned to a rather cramped seat in the back: if that's an issue, you ought to be considering the alternative five-door version of this model - or perhaps the MINI Countryman SUV. Still, access to the rear isn't too bad and the rear bench seat splits 60:40. Boot volume is a supermini-like 211-litres. There's also decent interior stowage space, with cupholders and storage cubbies. Various fresh trimming options are available and a 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen and a multi-function steering wheel are both fitted as standard.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £21,000 for the Cooper S three-door hatch with the five-door version bumping that up by £700. There's a £1,360 premium for the Steptronic auto gearbox. That's for base 'Classic' trim which hardly an Cooper S buyers will want. Most will find the extra for either 'Sport' or 'Exclusive'-spec. At first glance, all this seems like a touch more than you'd pay for rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI but when these competitors are properly specced-up, there's not a lot in it. Equipment includes full-LED lighting, hip-hugging black cloth sports seats, a DAB stereo, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, air conditioning, Bluetooth and keyless start. This being MINI, there's a huge amount of personalisation options, so you might well indulge in body stripes, a John Cooper Works spoiler and contrasting mirrors. You can also choose from technology such as a head-up display, MINI Navigation System, MINI Connect and traffic sign recognition. Standard safety fittings include front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, automatic passenger airbag deactivation and front and rear ISOFIX child seat mounts.

Cost of Ownership

As you might expect with BMW pulling the strings in the background, this MINI Cooper S features some faintly otherworldly efficiency measures. The quoted combined fuel economy figure is up to 41.5mpg and up to 145g/km of CO2 for the 3-door version. And 40.9mpg and 148g/km for the 5-Door variant. An innovation lies with the MINI Driving Modes set-up, an optional extra. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gearstick or selector lever, drivers can swap from the default MID mode to either SPORT or GREEN. The three choices offer a set-up which is either performance-oriented, comfort-biased or geared towards fuel efficiency. The latter includes a coasting mode when the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal.

Summary

While I'm yet to be convinced that today's MINI Cooper S is as pretty a car earlier generation versions, there can be no doubt that it's a better all-rounder. It's more spacious, 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. Just make sure you don't fit huge alloy wheels to it as it rides firmly already. The key change with this revised version is that an automatic gearbox is now a credible option thanks to the additon of that more sophisticated Steptronic 7-speeder. You could pay a little less for a Fiesta ST and I think the Ford would be purer, more focused experience on a back lane. Alternatively, you could also pay similar money for a Volkswagen Polo GTI and get a car that's more comfortable and relaxing. Smack in the middle of those two is the Cooper S - and its appeal lies somewhere between them too. If you want a big serving of fun but like to see where your money has been spent, it's a decent choice.

  • 3 point seatbelts on all four seats
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Two tone horn
  • 6 Airbags - front, side, head and seat belt tensioners
  • Tool kit
  • Walknappa leather steering wheel with grey seam and John Cooper Works badge on Piano Black lower steering wheel spoke
  • Cupholders
  • 12V Accessory socket in centre console
  • Height and length steering column adjustment
  • Anthracite headliner including grab handles and clothes hooks
  • Multifunction steering wheel
  • 4 lashing eyes in luggage compartment
  • Chrome interior highlights
  • Glove compartment
  • Storage compartments in doors
  • Leatherette gearshift lever and handbrake gaiters
  • Carbon black colour line - Knee roll and door armrest
  • JCW Aerodynamic kit - Front and rear bumpers with sporty JCW styling and part-painted side sills with MINI John Cooper Works door sill finishers
  • John Cooper Works rear spoiler
  • Radiator grille chrome border with honeycomb structure including S Badge
  • Two central exhaust tailpipes with chrome finisher
  • Side scuttle panel with integrated indicator
  • Model logo Cooper S on right of tailgate
  • Bonnet scoop
  • Metal door sill strips with Cooper S
  • Piano black exterior pack - Cooper S
  • Automatic start/stop function with brake energy recuperation
  • 8.8" touchscreen with LED ring
  • FM tuner and DAB digital radio
  • Start/stop toggle with keyless go
  • Electronic vehicle immobiliser
  • Alarm system with tilt sensor, monitoring doors, bonnet interior and tailgate
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 26E
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Coin Description: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • AdBlue: False
  • Special Order: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Coin Series: Cooper S Sport
  • Badge Power: 178
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 43.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 32.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 6.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 51.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 44.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 6
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 47.1
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 45.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 32.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 52.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 47.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 44.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 6.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 43.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 8.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 47.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 8.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 32.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 45.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 5.4
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/45 R17
  • Wheel Style: TRACK SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 731
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 211
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1205
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1640
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 44
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.8
  • Max. Loading Weight: 435
  • Max. Roof Load: 60
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1350
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.7
  • Engine Power - KW: 131
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Top Speed: 146
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 207
  • Engine Torque - NM: 280
  • Engine Power - BHP: 178
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 28.6
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Width: 1727
  • Width (including mirrors): 1928
  • Length: 3876
  • Wheelbase: 2495
  • Height: 1414
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 130
  • CO: 0.252
  • NOx: 0.013
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 142
  • HC: 0.013
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 136
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 137
  • Particles: 0.0003
  • HC+NOx: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 148
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 143
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 197
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 143
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 140
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 122
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 125
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 148
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 197
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 201
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • Gears: 6 SPEED
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Engine Code: B48A20M1
  • CC: 1998
  • Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Fuel Delivery: TWIN TURBO
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP