The 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop is the third generation of the so-called “New Original Mini” and it sees the most change since the overhaul of the iconic three door.

A new modular turbocharged balanced-shafted engine series powers the new Mini with a 3-cylinder standard rated at 134 horsepower, and the S jumping to 4-cylinders and 189 horsepower.

The three cylinder sounds great, and is silky smooth with a Highway fuel economy of 42 MPG. Along with added power the S adds a stiffer suspension and more features. Dynamic Damper Control and LED headlights are also now available.

While the interior stays true to Mini heritage in general layout and theme, materials are upgraded, with plenty of new options from head-up display to the new Mini Connected infotainment system.

But, the proof that the Mini Cooper is something special always comes from the driving, and we did that on mountain switchbacks just west of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Rough road bump harshness is substantially reduced while noise isolation is increased. In every way the Mini drives like the premium small car it pretends to be. But, the most impressive aspect of the new Mini is that standard engine. Among 3-cylinders it is simply a jewel.

We’ll have more on the 2014 Mini Cooper coming up soon on MotorWeek.