2017 Mini Cooper Hardtop

2017 Mini Hardtop 4 Door Cooper S Review

by John Tallodi

The Mini Cooper S Hardtop is a very accomplished sporty performance hatchback and in 4-door configuration adds a unique blend of performance and practicality to the Mini range.

2017 Mini Cooper Hardtop Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Cooper 2-Door
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
Cooper 4-Door
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
Cooper S 2-Door
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
Cooper S 4-Door
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive

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For 2017 the Cooper range receives some additional standard equipment and a few new trim options.

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What’s it like inside?

There is a lot to like about the quirky interior design. The large central touchscreen is easy to use and most of the controls and switchgear feel solid and well made. The quality of the materials is excellent for this class and there is a lot of scope for customization too.

The occupants up front should have no problems getting comfortable and the sport seats offer good support. Access to the rear is much better with the two additional doors although despite the lengthened wheelbase, knee and head room is still at a premium for taller passengers.

The trunk offers acceptable if not quite generous storage capacity but it is a big step up from the 2-door variant.

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How does it drive?

There is a lot of fun to be had with the 4-door Cooper S down a mountain pass, it responds immediately to steering inputs and the planted chassis is a joy to push into corners.

The slightly heavier curb weight and longer wheelbase over the 2-door Hardtop give this Cooper a softer ride although it may still prove a bit too firm for some over rough pavement and opting for larger diameter alloys will only make matters worse.

The cabin is quiet without a lot of wind or engine noise disturbing the peace, highway driving is no problem for this little hatchback and there is more than enough power to get past slower moving traffic.

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What about the performance?

The Mini Cooper S 4-door is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine producing 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional.

It gets to 60 mph in 6.6-seconds, two tenths off the 2-door Hardtop's time but hardly noticeable in everyday driving. The S feels quick in-gear too and matches up well to its competitors, posting times very close to the more powerful Golf GTI.

The Automatic transmission is a hair quicker but the manual gearbox is arguably a better fit for those looking for more driving engagement. Fuel economy is a claimed 28mpg combined with the automatic transmission falling to 26mpg with the manual option, both commendable figures.

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What are my options?

The 4-door Cooper S comes equipped with a decent level of basic equipment which includes a 6.5-inch display with smartphone and Bluetooth integration, rearview camera with parking sensors, keyless ignition, climate control, sport seats, LED foglights, 6-speaker audio system and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard.

Available options include the Technology Package which offers a parking assistant, navigation system and real-time traffic information, a Sport Package which includes upgraded wheels, sport seats, LED headlights and dynamic damper control and the Premium Package which includes a panoramic sunroof, Harman/Kardon audio system and comfort access.

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The Fully Loaded Package adds the whole lot into one bundle and offers a saving on the total price too. The majority of these items can be ordered individually as can a head-up display, active driving assistant and Harman/Kardon audio system.

The 228hp John Cooper Works trim is not available in the 4-door body style but you can choose an exterior and interior JCW Package which adds a JCW aero kit, 17-inch alloys, JCW cockpit detailing and JCW sports seats.

A Mini Seven Edition Package is a heritage inspired option with unique bonnet stripes, 17-inch alloys and interior finishes.

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The Verdict

The 4-door Mini Cooper S Hardtop will have a strong appeal to shoppers wanting a dash of additional practicality to go with the usual Mini traits of engaging handling and great performance.

A range of upmarket options such as a head-up display, parking assistant and high level of customizability mark the Cooper S out as a premium offering in its segment.

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