What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Mini Cooper S?

(any of the recent models such as 2005-2008)

Hassan K., Mississauga, Canada

The Cooper S is obviously a small car, but the exterior size is somewhat misleading as the interior room is fairly spacious for the average six-footer on our staff. Being called a “Mini” probably doesn’t help its image, either. Of course, you’ll have to try it on to see if it fits.

One of the biggest changes to the modern Mini came in 2007 when the Cooper S hardtop was redesigned. The 2007 and newer hardtops feature an all-new engine — now turbocharged instead of supercharged — that improved fuel efficiency. This is obviously an advantage, but the redesign only happened to the hardtop, not the convertible, so the convertible is still the older chassis with a supercharged engine and worse fuel economy.

Some Cars.com staffers have mentioned issues with the usability and design of the 2007 and its newer center stack controls. Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen says the fan and temp controls are flimsy and feel cheap, and the seat reclining lever is hard to reach.

But one of the most appealing aspects of the Mini is the driving experience. Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder writes in his review on the redesigned 2007 Mini Cooper S,

“With its nearly telepathic responses, the Cooper is one of the most controllable front-drive cars you'll find. The steering is impressive; aside from being precise, its feedback is excellent — especially for electric power steering.”

For more information on the Mini, see the Cars.com expert review, here, and check our articles and driving impressions below. 

Learn more

Answered by Joe Bruzek on June 20, 2008 in I'm Just Wondering , What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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