By on April 8, 2015

2015 Mini Cooper 4-DoorWith one of the most detailed monthly sales reports of any auto brand competing in the United States, Mini revealed their March 2015 sales in a breakdown that included door counts.

Not since Volvo’s monthly report divvied up the V60’s sales by regular and Cross Country variants has a numbers addict been so pleased.

Excluding the 540 leftover niche versions of the second-gen BMW Mini – Convertible, Roadster, Clubman, and Coupe – and 1654 sales of the high-riding Countryman and Paceman, Mini’s core Hardtop model was up 429% to 3635 units in March 2015; up 319% to 8224 units in the first-quarter of 2015.

42%, or 1509, of the March sales were produced by the 4-door. Precisely four out of every ten Mini Cooper Hardtops sold so far this year were 4-doors.

Mini USA sales chart 2015 Q1The year-over-year results of the 2-door model are skewed by the fact that there was little overlap between the outgoing and incoming models. At this time last year, the 2-door’s demand had mostly dried up, as had much of the inventory. Thus, sales of that model alone are up 151% this year; up 209% in March.

But with its somewhat awkward stance and $1000 premium, the 4-door has quickly become an integral part of the Mini lineup. First-quarter sales of the 4-door were greater, albeit marginally so, than first-quarter sales of the brand’s other 4-door, the Countryman, sales of which tumbled 25% over the first three months of 2015.

2015 Mini 4-door and 2-doorAs for the defunct Clubman, its monthly sales average between 2011 and 2014 of 425 units pales in comparison to this new 4-door’s early 1100-unit monthly average.

To what extent some of these 4-door buyers would be choosing the new 2-door if the 4-door wasn’t available, we can’t fully know. But assuming they wouldn’t, assuming they’re considering the 4-door because they wanted a Mini with extra cargo capacity and a usable rear seat that isn’t a Countryman, we can say the brand’s 2015 Q1 results wouldn’t look quite so impressive without the latest variant.

Mini brand sales are up 48% to 12,777 in early 2015. Excluding the 4-door, Mini sales are up 9.5% to 9483.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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45 Comments on “4-Door Is Providing A Big Sales Boost To Mini USA...”


  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    I am not surprised, this car has needed a 4 door for a very long time. The Mini is a genuinely great car once you get behind the wheel. 2 doors grows old fast and is a pain.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      If we had to do a full fleet reset, I think my wife would be in a 5 door MINI. She loves her 2005 MCS, but she only puts 2k or so miles on it each year because the Rav4 is so much easier to live with day to day. Getting our 2.5 year old in and out of the back of the MINI isn’t bad, but it is way harder than the Rav.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Clubman wasn’t a bad option. I rather liked it, but yes, if you wanted four doors, the three(ish)-door Clubman wasn’t going to cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      I don’t mind the 4 doors but MINIs have just been getting uglier with each generation. The 4 door has no more personality than a Nissan Versa or a Fiat 500L.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Oh, come on. No more character than a Versa or the ghastly 500L? Based on what criteria? I don’t care for the latest 2 door MINI thanks to the FWD 2 series platform derived front overhang, but the 4 door actually brings the proportions back in order. The 500L takes the already silly proportions of the 500 and makes them worse in every way. I don’t really need to comment on the Versa’s lack of charm.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          I agree, the 4-door’s proportions work pretty well. I still prefer the more wagonesque Clubman, the third door worked well and the barn doors are much nicer than a hatch. But the 4-door’s growing on me.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          The MC has great proportions; however the 500L is funkier, and it’s interior is tremendously less cartoonish. Which is a strong positive as it’s something I’d be looking at every day.

          Plus the 500L has about what, 30% more volume?

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        You can call the 500L ugly (I have one), but lacking personality to the level of a Nissan Versa is quite a stretch.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Other than dedicated sports cars, I don’t understand the point of two door cars. If it purports to have a usable backseat, it needs four doors. We’ve seen this even with pickup trucks. Nobody wants to climb around a sliding front seat anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Sometimes I think there is no 4-door vehicle on the Mustang platform because Ford hates me.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      I am longtime buyer of 4-seat/2-door cars, and even now when I have a wife and child I still drive a 4-seat/2-door car. For me it’s a style thing. I just don’t like how 4-door cars look and I like how 2-door cars look. It’s not rational but it’s as simple as that; I don’t drive 4 door cars.

      As for nobody wanting to climb around a sliding front seat anymore that’s true. Oh wait, it’s not my problem is it? It’s my car so I am not the passenger!

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Grandma thanks you for your cavalier attitude. Junior will as well once he hits around 9-10.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          Actually, I have a daughter. And I stick by what I said. She wants her own doors she can when she gets her own car.

          As for grandma, she does fine in the backseat. I am a little embarrassed to admit, but my mom is in better shape than I am right now.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Agreed. The public has spoken that they truly aren’t interested in having only two doors.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “The public has spoken that they truly aren’t interested in having only two doors.”

        Both of our cars are 2-doors.

        Take your “popular = correct” bullshit elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      afedaken

      @slance66 Ease of entry. I’m not freakishly tall, but it’s easier to get in and out of the wife’s 200SX than it was to get in and out of my same-vintage sentra. Folks who are long of leg could tell you the real horror stories.

      Also, the assumption here is that people are climbing over the front seat. Our rear seat carries passengers maybe once a month. Most of time, it’s just her, me, or us.

      Heck, I pulled the rear seat out of my Wrangler; I never had passengers, and the cargo space was at a premium.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        @afedaken I get that. Perhaps when I am retired we will have a four door car/SUV and a two door car. For now, it makes no sense. I put stuff in the backseat, laptop bag, beer, wine, whatever, every day. I also think two other factors come in to play.

        1. Four door cars look much better now relative to two door cars. The styling of a four door can certainly be sporty. The gap has narrowed.
        2. More people view cars are appliances, devaluing those cars which look good but aren’t practical. I think the CUV surge is evidence of this.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        This only applies to places where you can actually open your car door all the way.

        All the 2-door cars I’ve had were hell to get into and out of in tight parking spaces, because the doors are long.

        I still have one. Can’t beat the look of a sleek sports car.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          “All the 2-door cars I’ve had were hell to get into and out of in tight parking spaces, because the doors are long.”

          This is one thing I love about my car and where I live. In Texas, every parking space is super-sized for trucks. And my car is only 5’8″ wide. End result? I can open my door nice and wide in most parking spaces here.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Even without a back seat it’s a pain. Something as simple as going to the gym becomes loaded with extra hassle.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      When the back passengers aren’t helping with the payments, let them crawl in the back seat though the hatch if they need to. Especially the CANIGOs. That’s what I like about 2-seater sports cars.

      There’s sedans and crew cabs for taking everyone along. If it’s a small sporty car, let’s keep it that way. Then back seats are cool for emergencies and insurance rates.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        well, you or the front passenger also have to get out the car in order to let the rear passenger in and out. Driver and front passenger likely are the ones paying for the car, so they have a right to not get inconvenienced.

        Other than that i agree, rear passengers either are adult fiends and don’t pay for the car, so they don’t get a vote. Or your children, who are small.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Why do they call it a hardtop when it is clearly not a hardtop?

  • avatar
    319583076

    My fiance is entering her 8th year of MINI ownership. Other than a few relatively minor (but aggravating) maintenance issues, it’s been a great car and I like driving it despite the CVT. Last month, I internet-shopped the Countryman. I didn’t drive one, but they’re roundly praised and I like the styling and specs.

    However, overall MINI reliability is terrible, especially for the FI engines. I can’t help thinking that a second MINI would be worse-behaved than our relatively issue-free current MINI (regression to the mean) so I’ve abandoned the idea of driving a Countryman. But I wouldn’t fault anyone else for choosing one.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      You mean the DI engine, which is only on the turbo motor. But I expect the NA 1.6 would have a hard time lugging the Countryman’s weight around, so probably best to stay away.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        In this case, I think we’re both right.

        I meant FI = forced induction because MINI has used both turbos and superchargers over the years (if I’m not mistaken).

        I wasn’t aware that the forced induction engines were direct injection versus (I assume) traditional injection on the naturally aspirated engines, but that makes sense from the production and operational perspectives.

        I certainly agree with you regarding smaller engines in heavier cars. I don’t mind turbos and superchargers when they are properly designed and performance-oriented – I’m not interested in “replacing cylinders” via forced induction.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    It sure is an odd naming convention but hey, it is Mini after all. I wonder why they dropped the Cooper name. Calling your core vehicles the Hardtop 2-door and Hardtop 4-door is pretty anonymous.

  • avatar
    Chan

    This is what the Clubman should have been. Not sure if this will cannibalise Countryman sales, though. The Countryman probably can grow a larger cabin to keep customers coming back. As it stands, the Fiat 500L has a much more usable cabin.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      This year, the wife decided she’d like to see something similar to a Mini Countryman. So, we took a look at them and the 4 door hardtop at the auto show. Nice cars, but somewhat cramped inside. I showed her a 500L, and she loved the amount of room and better ergonomics.

      While neither the MINIs or the Fiats are paragons of reliability, I’m leaning more toward the 500L in terms of packaging, driving and price. But I’ve heard so many stories of nightmares with DDCT that it’s putting me off of them entirely.

      We may end up with a Chevy Trax instead…

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        You ought to wait and see about the 500X, if you can.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          The 500X is OK, but I think the 500L would be a better fit for our purposes. I know the 2015 version will come with a regular torque converter (Aisin) automatic, so maybe will wait it out to see how those fare…

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Have her test drive a 500L. My wife has had hers for a year and a half now, and she can’t tell that the DCT’s response is sluggish compared to a traditional slushbox. The new Aisin 6AT may or may not fix that problem, but it will eliminate the inherent deficiencies of a dry clutch.

        The powertrain takes getting used to if you’re a leadfoot. Otherwise, the 500L works great and has much more interior room than a Countryman.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          Thanks for the real world feedback, Chan.

          I’ve gone to the 500 Forums, and expectedly, I’ve seen all of the posts from folks who are having problems. Glad to see someone is having a better experience than those folks.

          • 0 avatar
            Chan

            Zero problems except a crappy battery, or it could be high power drain from electronics.

            Any more than a week sitting, and the car needs to be on a trickle charger.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    Theres always been room for a premium 4 door hatch, and im sure Lexus could do one quite nicely

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