MINI is largely credited with bringing the first premium compact car to America, proving that high quality and small packaging were not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts. Over-engineered with a well put-together feel, all the Coopers in the MINI lineup are praised for their agility and fun-to-drive factor and all of that returns for 2014 in the form of a thoroughly redesigned MINI. For 2014, the MINI Cooper hardtop comes with a new pair of engines. The base powertrain is a turbo 1.5L 3-cylinder engine. While diminutive, this powerplant, will put out 134 horsepower and 162 lb-feet of torque, more than last year's base 4-cylinder. Transmission options include either a standard 6-speed Getrag manual or a 6-speed automatic. The Cooper S adds an additional level of performance to the MINI. It's powered by a 189-hp turbocharged 2.0L four. The Getrag 6-speed is standard on S models. A 6-speed automatic is available, as are steering-wheel mounted shift paddles. The MINI Cooper is slightly bigger in every way than the 2013 model. It's not easy to see these differences, but careful observers may notice the front fascia has a general-- differentness-- than it did before. Despite this, it is immediately recognizable as a MINI. The inside too, seems very much MINI-like dimensions. It has room for four-- if there's room for only children in the rear seats. A substantial revision has taken place inside, aimed at improving ergonomics, but also to make room for several new features for 2014. The speedometer and tachometer are both behind the steering wheel and clearly visible. The large center instrument pod is now fully committed to auxiliary display and control functions. A controller knob, similar to BMW's iDrive, is used to navigate the menus on the device. New tech options now include available heads-up display, navigation, adaptive cruise control, automated parking-assistant and a rear-view camera. MINI's customization program is legendary. The automaker wants buyers to make the car their own-- allowing them to go beyond simple alloy wheels and paint colors and offering hood stripes, mirror caps, roof décor and a dazzling array of interior upholstery options.