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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
FOUR-DOOR MINI COOPER BROADENS BUYER APPEAL

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
And now we have a hardtop four-door Mini Cooper. This inevitably means larger in all aspects but it is still miniscule, sort of. A 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder twin-turbo engine develops 189 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 207 pounds-feet of torque @ 1250 rpm. The 6-speed manual in the 2015 Cooper S is a blast to shift, especially at lower speeds. Front suspension is left up to a MacPherson strut while the rear gets a multi-link axle. Keeping the car on course is an electro-mechanical power steering system. Drive modes include sport (aggressive), mild (normal) and green (eco). Fuel mileage mimicked EPA estimates at 24 mpg in the city (EPA highway is 34 mpg).
Here is how the four-door version is larger than its smaller twin: 6.3 inches longer; 2.9 inches in wheelbase; 0.6 inches in headroom; 0.4 inches higher; and 0.5 cubic feet in cargo volume with all seats up and 40.7 with seats folded down; rear passenger legroom by 1.5 inches. Large round traditional Mini headlights surround a hexagon radiator grille with honeycomb pattern, power dome and an air intake scoop. The rear shows off jewel-like upright tail lamps, centered dual exhaust and prominent S etched on chrome bar. The circular theme continues inside with air vents, instruments, door trim and of course the eye-catching retro-style, center-mounted speedometer. Toggle switches for heat/ac enhance the distinct appearance of the cabin. So does the LED light ring in the instrument cluster that provides feedback to the driver. Other notable features include 60/40 fold-flat rear seat, dual a/c, interior LED lights and a hidden under floor cargo bin.
Always wanted to buy a Mini Cooper but hesitated because you feared it fell short on space? Well, you have plenty of room in this splendid ride with its inimitable European flair. And lest we forget, it is great value for the money.

MINI COOPER S
Tires: 195/55R16
Wheelbase: 101.1 inches
Length: 158 inches
Weight: 2,895 pounds
Fuel capacity: 11.6 gallons
Base price: $25,100
Web site: www.miniusa.com

CALLING ALL MINI DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com