The fifth generation of the MINI Cooper – the F66 chassis – is finally here. Despite being heavily based on the outgoing F56 generation, there are some remarkable changes. Most notably in key areas like the interior and rear-end design. Here’s how the newest – and last petrol-powered – MINI Cooper stacks up against the outgoing generation. Along the way, we’ll look at the J01 – the electrified version – for additional insight.
Regarding size, the F66 MINI Cooper grows by 12 mm (0.4 inches) in length compared to the outgoing model. That places it at 3877 mm (152.6 inches) in total. The J01 electric MINI is slightly shorter, coming in at 3,858 mm (151.91 inches). The F66 is wider than the F56 and just slightly shorter than the J01 – measuring 1,744 mm (68.66 inches). When it comes to height, the F66 stands in between the two at 1432 mm (56.38 inches); it’s less than an inch taller than the F56 and just 2 mm shorter than the electrified model.
Front and Rear: F66 MINI Cooper vs. F56 MINI Cooper
In the front, there are minimal changes to the new generation. A streamlined front bumper gives the vehicle a more modern look, but it retains its iconic MINI hallmarks like circular headlights. It very closely resembles the J01 MINI Cooper, which isn’t surprising. Fun fact: the BMW Group fitted the smallest radar sensor to date to the F66 MINI Cooper.
In the back, the similarities between the F66 and J01 continue. Compared to the F56, the F66 gets smaller and more angular brake lights. A trim piece runs the width of the trunk boasting new Cooper badging, and MINI badging now sits above the trim bar. These are all welcome improvements and make the car look nearly identical to the J01.
Side Profile of the F66 MINI Cooper vs. F56 MINI Cooper
From the side, the F66 MINI boasts more modern styling than its predecessor. The mirrors are less circular and a bit squared off, giving the car a muscular look. You don’t get the cool integrated door handles that the J01 gets, but overall, the car still looks modern and less “chunky” than the outgoing F56. Like the front and rear profile, the side of the new MINI Cooper definitely leans into minimalism – and that’s just fine.
Interior of the F66 MINI Cooper vs. F56 MINI Cooper
Inside, the F66 MINI Cooper gets many updates and continues to emphasize minimalism. A simplified, smaller dashboard joins a new steering wheel design and a revised center screen. The cluster of switches and climate controls under the screen in the F56 vanish; while drivers may feel strongly one way or another about that decision, it goes a long way to de-cluttering the vehicle’s cabin.
The new MINI is full of improvements. The 240-mm (9.4-inch) screen is closer to the driver, allowing easier access to important functions. There’s even a wireless charging shelf for smartphones, thanks to the smaller shifter that opens up plenty of space.
The F66 MINI Cooper is a logical progression for the model. Its similarities to the J01 aren’t surprising, but we also don’t think that’s bad. We’re certain that the typical MINI customization options will make it as easy to stand out in the new F66 as in the F56. What do you think about the new F66 MINI Cooper?