New petrol-powered MINI Cooper to join its electric twin in 2024

The combustion engines lives on in MINI’s iconic hatchback, offered at a lower price than the EV variant

  • All new styling and interior
  • Choice of two trim levels
  • Prices start from £22,300

The new MINI Cooper has at last received a petrol engine, following the reveal of the all-electric Cooper in September. Starting from £22,300, the petrol-powered Cooper offers the most affordable way to enjoy the latest iteration of the iconic hatchback, providing the same interior and near-identical styling to its electric counterpart.

The new Cooper represents the fourth generation of MINI’s smallest car since its revival in the early 2000s, although the ‘Hatch’ name has been dropped in favour of simply ‘Cooper’. It will be up against similarly priced hatchbacks, such as the Volkswagen Polo and Audi A1, when the first examples reach our roads in the spring.

The MINI Cooper will be offered in two trim levels, starting with the entry-level Cooper C and stepping up to the sportier Cooper S. Unlike the electric MINI Cooper E and SE, which use a bespoke electric platform, the petrol-powered Cooper is actually a heavily revised version of the outgoing car. However, you’ll need a keen eye to spot any visual differences between the two models, as MINI has carried over the electric car’s styling and interior to the petrol variant.

What does the petrol MINI Cooper look like?

Up front, the Cooper gets a big octagonal grille, similar to that seen on the latest MINI Countryman, as well as new headlights. The tail-lights are new, too, using LEDs that can be configured to illuminate in different patterns.

The short front and rear overhangs typical of MINI’s small hatchback are present here, along with a choice of three contrasting colours for the roof. The Cooper has only been revealed in three-door guise so far, but we expect a five-door variant to follow later this year.

What’s new inside the petrol MINI Cooper?

Inside, the new MINI’s interior is dominated by a large, circular 9.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. It’s the same unit found in the electric Cooper, and is used as the driver’s display as well as for infotainment, showing speed, navigation and fuel consumption. There’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and a handy ‘toggle bar’ with shortcuts to important controls.

On top of the standard driving modes, Core, Eco and Go-Kart, all UK cars come fitted with ‘MINI Experience Modes’ which will project changing, illuminating graphics onto the Cooper’s dashboard. Other standard kit includes cruise control, a rear-view camera, a heated steering wheel and a suite of driving assistance and safety features.

There’s a choice of option packages, too, simply named Level 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 includes features such as upgraded LED headlights and heated seats, while 2 gets a panoramic sunroof and upgraded sound system. Level 3 gets all the goodies, including massaging seats, a 360-degree parking camera, augmented-reality navigation and more.

What engines are available for the petrol MINI Cooper?

The more affordable MINI Cooper C gets a three-cylinder engine with 154bhp, whereas the Cooper S model gets a four-cylinder engine with 201bhp – a 25bhp bump over the outgoing car. The sportier MINI will complete a 0-62mph sprint in 6.6 seconds but the Cooper C follows closely behind, with a time of 7.7 seconds. 

Fans of old-school hot hatches may be disappointed to learn that there is no longer a manual gearbox option for the MINI Cooper – all cars now come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox

How much does the petrol MINI Cooper cost and when can I order one?

The base MINI Cooper C starts from £22,300, nearly £8,000 less than the electric version. The Cooper S, with its larger and more powerful engine, costs from £26,700. There are three trim levels to choose from – Classic, Exclusive and Sport – each bringing more kit than the last and costing slightly more. 

Are you looking for a hatchback with a sporty edge? Read our list of the top 10 best hot hatchbacks...

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