There are all kinds of ways to pay compliments to friends who have obviously lost weight, but there’s not much to say to those who have gotten bigger. Usually it’s best to just say nothing, but we don’t wish to be rude. So to our newest long-term tester, a 2014 Mini Cooper S, we say: Hola! Welcome! You’re looking awfully, er, lush these days!
The newly maximized Mini is big for a reason. For its 2014 overhaul, it moved onto BMW’s new UKL global front-drive platform, which soon will underpin a whole family of Mini and BMW vehicles, all of them larger thanthe Cooper hardtop. So the new Cooper, internally dubbed F56, had to stretch a bit as a compromise for its shared architecture. Park the new next to the outgoing R56 model (or especially next to BMW’s original 2001–2006 R50), and the differences are dramatic. The new Cooper has become anything but mini.
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