• Starting price of $19,700
  • Choice of two turbocharged engines
  • Newly available features

When MINI recently introduced the redesigned 2014 MINI Cooper hardtop, we expected the British automaker to largely stick to its original formula: tidy dimensions, sporty handling, commendable fuel economy and that classic MINI look. Although the new model is a bit larger than the outgoing 2013 model, it meets each of these expectations. With the new generation, the MINI Cooper's price increases slightly. The 2014 Cooper starts at $19,950, while the more powerful 2014 Cooper S is priced from $23,600.

That starting price, which does not include a $795 destination charge, represents an increase of just $250 compared to the 2013 MINI Cooper. The new model brings a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine to justify the price bump. The base 2014 MINI Cooper is now powered by a 134-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and includes a standard 6-speed manual transmission. Drivers who prefer an automatic transmission can get the optional 6-speed automatic for an additional $1,250.

The automatic transmission is also available for the more powerful 2014 MINI Cooper S. It has a starting price of $23,600 -- $300 more than the 2013 equivalent. The higher-performance S model uses a 189-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and has upgraded standard equipment like sport seats.

A range of available equipment and optional packages builds on the new MINI's standard features. Driver assistance features such as a head-up display, collision warning and adaptive cruise control are available on the model for the first time. Buyers can choose optional sport suspension or adjustable Dynamic Damper Control, which allows the driver to select from sportier or more comfortable suspension settings.

MINI's Fully Loaded package -- yes, that's the official name -- combines features from several popular option packages into one. Priced at $4,750 for the MINI Cooper or $4,500 for the Cooper S, it includes a panoramic sunroof, navigation, Harman Kardon premium audio, automatic headlights and wipers, automatic climate control and more.

Fuel economy estimates for the new MINI Cooper have not yet been announced, but the automaker expects the latest model to be more efficient than the 2013 model. We expect combined fuel economy ratings in the low to mid 30 miles per gallon range.

The 2014 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S hardtop offer a unique combination of upscale appointments, exciting driving dynamics and good efficiency in a compact package. With a starting price still under $20,000 and strong resale value, the 2014 MINI Cooper is a nice deal.

What it means to you: The new MINI is a bit pricier than the 2013 model it replaces, but the compact hatchback still offers a solid value. And those who prefer the older model can take advantage of special deals on 2013 MINI Coopers as the new version rolls into dealerships.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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