By on November 18, 2013



Photos of the re-designed MINI Cooper have been leaked ahead of its debut at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show. As you can expect, it looks a lot like the old car.

The big news here is an all-new engine for the base car, a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The Cooper S retains a 4-cylinder, this time a 2.0L with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

Both 6-speed manual and automatics are on offer, while the car is 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider and 0.3 inches taller. Absent on the new MINI is the goofy giant speedometer, now placed with a giant LCD screen.

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59 Comments on “Meet The New MINI, Same As The Old MINI...”

  • avatar

    The next chapter in the sad story of how European pedestrian crash regulation is destroying car design.

    Compared to the first and second new mini that front looks horrible. Too long, too high, the friendly face turned into a frightened stare. Tragic.

  • avatar

    The interior is much much better… I really liked the old one from the stats and looks, but I just couldn’t get over how campy and non functional the interior was. Now they go and semi-derp the front end…

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Maybe for their next feature, they can build a car that doesn’t come in at the bottom of the reliability ratings.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Yeck, still.

  • avatar

    Looks like it was “designed” by the same team that did the “revolutionary” new Chevy Silverado. I still have trouble distinguishing the new one from the old one.

  • avatar

    Looks like someone glued one of those new-style hollow centered frisbees to the center of the dash. The interior seems very mismatched.

    And I agree the front does look scared now. Or like Patrick from Spongebob, when he goes “LEETLE LEETLE LEEETLE.”

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Finally something Mini can hang their hats on: LED running lights.

  • avatar

    BMW seems to be running out of viable permutations of the MINI theme, therefore I politely suggest a C-segment size version called the MIDI and a D-segment size called the MAXI (not to be confused with the feminine hygiene product!)

  • avatar

    They should have made the LCD screen perfectly round, like those old TV sets. Those buttons could have been replaced by knobs on the bottom left and right of the circle. Having the circle screen show a test pattern when first turned on would have been a nice touch.

  • avatar

    Any idea if this engine is related to the one in the 320i? Seems like it would make sense from a production efficiency standpoint if they were similar. However, if that’s true, I’m sure the drivers of the 320i’s 180 hp / 184 lb-ft engine would be none too pleased to find the new Mini packing more under the hood (assuming 320i owners know anything more about their car than “it’s a BMW”, of course)

    • 0 avatar

      I thought they used Peugeot engines in the Mini?

    • 0 avatar

      These are the same 1.5 liter I3 and 2.0 liter I4 engines as BMWs have (the 1.5 liter I3 is avaialble in Europe). If you think the BMW 320i owners are upset think of how upset the BMW i8 owners will be that their $136,625 cars have the same 1.5 liter turbo I3 as the base MINI.

      Or maybe BMW buyers will not care about the engines since most don’t even know that their cars are RWD.

      This is BMWs new modular engine line. .5 liters per cylynder. A 1.5 liter I3 engine is half of a 3.0 liter I6 engine.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Just like the original Mini, styling remains constant year after year, that was ok then, I wonder how ok is it now?

  • avatar

    It’s the front! The overhang is just wrong and way too much OK, so the hood maybe needs to be raised a tad more for the regs, but why extend it? The whole idea of the Mini is “it’s a Mini” and BMW seems determined to “grow the brand” Sure, it’s small inside and trunk space is minimal, but isn’t that the idea! Now we have this abomination added to the Countryman and other enlarged Minis. Will this ever end!!!!! Please. If someone needs more room, there are a zillion other cars available to them. None of the photos shown, show the car in profile where the egregious front end is solo obvious. This version sure doesn’t make me want to upgrade from my ’07 Cooper S.

    • 0 avatar

      The front overhang is certainly bothersome. I’ve always marveled at how our ’05 MCS has the front wheels pushed to the corners with practically no over hang. Overhangs are generally worse in photos than in person. It depends what lens they used when shooting these publicity shots. If they have already added curvature to the image to hide the nose, it might be as unfortunate looking as it first appears.

      The interior is nice, though. The rear 3/4 view is pretty decent, too.

      • 0 avatar

        “Overhangs are generally worse in photos than in person.”
        Yeah i’ve noticed that too. The new Mazda3 looks like a crazy amount of front overhang in pics, but in person it’s not bad.

  • avatar

    Why is Mini always at the bottom of the quality surveys? You would think by now they could have figured out a relatively simple car.

    I have a relative that owns a used car dealership, and he said they are the absolute worst car ever made.

    I would love to own one a used one as a fun 2nd car, but they seem to be service nightmares. I could understand the first model year or two it being an issue, but it’s been close to a decade now of basically the same car.

    Maybe they need to focus on that part of their product instead of cosmetic changes.

    • 0 avatar

      Pure anecdote, but our S/C’d MCS has been great for the nearly 9 years and 75k miles we’ve had it. We also don’t savagely beat on it. I’ve always felt it was one of those cars that you just can’t thrash and expect it to feel fine the next day. I’ve changed the supercharger belt, coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, and tires. The suspension still feels good. The brakes are now just approaching replacement time. No additional creaks or rattles than what it had new. I suspect the steering pump is about to go from the groans it makes.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Because it’s made in the UK notorious for making unreliable cars, and BMW is not exactly known for their long term reliability either!

    • 0 avatar

      Simple? My lightly-optioned 09 Mini had a lot more electronic gizmos than my loaded 07 Honda. Don’t assume small means simple. Known issues have been CVT’s (discontinued around 06 or 07), turbos, fuel pumps (on the DI turbo engines)…that’s about it. Get a non-turbo with a stick and you’re pretty safe… European cars go.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Mk3

      Because BMW quality, or lack thereof. Just because they’re relatively simple doesn’t mean the Europeans won’t find a way to screw it up, the Smart car being a similar unreliable example. Although to be fair when both are working properly the owners tend to love the little bastards to death.

      Each iteration of the Mini just brought about more problems without resolving the previous. I wouldn’t recommend any model but the later supercharged S variant with a robust 3rd party warranty and the assorted recall work already performed (Mini only reimburses parts and labor if performed at the dealership). Dealerships hate the things because they generally require a decent amount of work before resale and most shops want nothing to do with them.

  • avatar

    Well, since the mk2 MINI looked the same as the mk1 MINI, and since every other MINI model basically looks like a MINI with various thyroid conditions…we’re not surprised or anything that the mk3 MINI looks like it does, are we?

  • avatar

    That giant porthole in the middle of the dash is just …wierd.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      The “Great Porhole” will be the locus of “infotainment” in this product. It will also be how the Gen 3 MINI’s owners know if you got the cheap MINI or the full boat MINI. The Great Porthole will be where you have the choice to place $2500 when you buy the car new, and it’s $2500 that you will never get out.

      To most people, the outside of the MINI looks the same, regardless of model or supercharger. So they’ve got to make it different somehow on the inside. And that’s the porthole.

      • 0 avatar

        Unless you buy the loaded version of ANY car, and then just place it up on blocks and then try to sell it 5 years later, I’m pretty sure that you will “get out” the increased value of the upgrades, because you will get to use the upgrades.

        In my car, I have the upgraded seats, headlights, sound system, etc. I drive the car 50 miles per day, and every day I use the better seats, headlights and sound system…but unless I get increased resale value or trade-in value dollar-for-dollar for what I paid for these items, I’m somehow getting gypped?

      • 0 avatar

        While you won’t get $2500 “out” of the system, you’ll never get the original value “out” of the car either. Proportionally, cars with nav/infotainment trade at higher transaction prices than those without.

  • avatar

    It’s a law of nature that every car must grow until it stops being relevant. Sometimes it happens very quickly, like with xB. Sometimes, slower.

    • 0 avatar

      I totally agree with this, sometimes it takes a glacial period (the Civic for instance, now quite a bit larger than the Accords I grew up with).

      Then I thought, what about the fuel-crisis cars? The American cars that all suddenly shrank, and completely killed off the Colonnade (most successful Cutlass ever), the big Mustang, the R-body Chryslers, etc. I’m not sure what to think of this, is it that the big 3 simply couldn’t redesign to scale? Have the Japanese brands ever shrunk successfully?

      • 0 avatar

        Japanese brands just introduce new nameplates for a given size range as their existing models bloat up.

        Honda: The Fit is the new Civic.
        Toyota: The Yaris is the new Corolla.
        Nissan: The Versa is the new Sentra.

        At least, that’s what it seems like to me.

  • avatar

    I never did get the Mini. Why not buy a Mazda 3 hatch instead?

  • avatar

    An attribute of retro cars is that they get caught in a styling trap. Since the car is intended to evoke a model from 50-75 years ago, it has to resemble that model, which severely restricts the extent to which it can be restyled.

    So, it’s no wonder that the new MINI looks a lot like the MINI it’s replacing. Same with the New Beetle.

    • 0 avatar

      This begs the question why it needs to be re-styled, the original Mini barely changed cosmetically over the years save for really little details like taillights.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed. I think the original New Mini was the best of them, though I can see why you’d get rid of the center reverse light.

        It was nice, it was clean.

        Now it isn’t.

  • avatar

    This looks like a kid giving a sad lower lip, I don’t get why they changed anything but left the interior as cramped as ever.

  • avatar

    Still a big pile of meh. Apparently BMW has forgotten how to finesse design. Smaller cars need subtle touches to make it look good and BMW has always used a very heavy hand. They didn’t even do away with the huge pizza platter in the interior. I just can’t see how this was not a major complaint from customers and potential customers. Other details also bother me, like the humongous wheels and now the enormous backlights.

    Agreed that it’s very hard to evolve a retro design, but VW disengaged themselves pretty well of the task with the new, new Beetle, and the new Mustang looks promising.

    If I were o buy a retro car, the Cinquecento is still my favorite while the Mustang or Challenger move me in a different way. Mini could be, but has never been, and continues not being, for me.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    My reliability woes with my current MINI will keep me from ever putting money down on anything from MINI ever again.

    I’ve barely had this thing for a year and a half but my list of issues and repairs on it is a mile long. I knew I was getting a comically cheap interior for what I was paying (huge price premium vs the US) but this is ridiculous.

    Transmission issues, major water leakage (which also took out my $3500 laptop and bunch of apostiled and notarized paperwork), failing window motors, rattles, squeaks, paint coming off the steering wheel audio controls, rubber rubbing off the shifter, windshield washer nozzles failing 3 times in the past year, suspension sounding like a well used NYC hourly rental bed, etc.

    I just want to shoot the damn thing.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    As far as updating a retro look car , I think that VW did a much better job with the newer model New Beetle , which actually is an improvement , visually at least . Not that I would buy one , or the Mini, which is near the bottom in reliability according to Consumer Reports , etc .

  • avatar

    BMW really shot themselves in the foot by publishing a side-by-side photo of all four Mini generations:×1200/wallpaper_4b.htm×1200/wallpaper_4f.htm

    These two perfectly illustrate how bloated and badly proportioned the new generation has become. I’m particularly offended by the raised front (the demented guppy stare does not help) and the supersize-me rear end.

    And do note how they gave up a signature design element (the rear lights that used to be cut out of the quarter panels, which looks great but is expensive) for an oversized, cheap-ass solution that eats into the bootlid opening.

    The interior shots don’t exactly shout “premium” either: same crappy hard plastics, the same afterthought position for the iDrive controller (the armrest is absolutely guaranteed to get in the way EVERY SINGLE TIME), the pizza-plate center gauge that clashes REALLY badly with the square TFT display, a fuel gauge that consists of 8 LED lights in a plastic blob (how luxurious!) and panel gaps that look like you can slide your wallet into the glove box without actually opening it.

    Overall, a huge disappointment.

  • avatar

    Parked alongside each other, it appears that the front headlights keep getting pushed further and further back and up. Pretty soon, they’ll be shining up towards the sky! And is it me, or does the glasshouse look like it’s doing a shrinking manuever? While I’ve tested several S models and found them quite fun, I never warmed up to the interior, or the reported lack of reliability (with apologies to those that own them and haven’t had issues).

  • avatar

    Now that bmw have made the Mini bigger can we expect the Rocketman to appear?

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    But can it reliable ?

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