Is it the funky retro design, the fabulous cozy interior, the exceptional handling or the beefy engine? Although this was a pretty different model than the Cooper S Cabrio we drove last year, I guess we have to choose the handling bit as its greatest strength again. Having had the chance to also experience its track prowess on a go-kart circuit, there's nothing that could change our opinion about the “corners like it's on rails” analogy. It really works. And we don't say this about a front-wheel driven car too often.
As far as the bad part goes, its comfort disadvantage remains at the same level as on the Cabrio, if not even lower because of the fact that the interior doesn't become “open” at a given time. The Cooper S is simply too much too handle for a person that's used to a "Buick" of a car. The suspension is not hardcore stiff, but its lack of travel can really become annoying on poorer roads. Moreover, albeit they had a higher road height since they were winter ones, the tires use the same run-flat technology, which is anything but shock-absorbing.
The ugly bit about the Mini Cooper S we drove is probably the fact that the "Mayfair 50" special edition package costs quite a lot of money. Sure, the bits and pieces it adds on a "Cooper S" really look cool and enhance the car's presence by a long shot. Too bad that for the same money you pay for it you could almost buy an old Mini.Continue reading