A few weeks back MINI took me on an evening out where I met the really hot Heather and ended up slightly drunk. That was to reveal the MINI Coupe. Now the car is on the market and I took it for a quick drive. Thoughts after the jump.
The model I had the chance to mess about with was the Coupe Cooper. Its the entry level model in this range and its 1,6l petrol engine puts out 90kW and 160Nm. Not amazing but not slow by any means. This model also had the optional John Cooper Works kit and the body paint stripes. From a list price of R265k, our model had risen to a price of R300k.
Anyway, I picked up the car from the dealer and drove it to the Car-Life War Room. The staff at the war room (or ‘my office’ as its called) really liked the MINI Coupe. Girls especially preferred it over the hatch. Goose, the MINI fan from a few months back loathed it however saying it looks terrible. Whatever.I drove it around and all, and then returned the car to the dealership. All done and dusted.
So, how was the MINI? Well, it is very well equipped. The JCW pack throws in leather seats, a body kit, MP3 CD, climate control and all the usual toys like electric windows. One very cool toy on this car is the spoiler that raises at 80km/h or as you press a button on the dash. When raised it can be slanted ( ) or straight ( — ). Very nifty.
To drive, it feels quick and nippy, as do all MINI’s. Not as fast as Goose’s Cooper S, but hey, what did you expect. The steering is quick, the gearbox is amazingly smooth, and the clutch is light. A major failing I found was the ride. It is insanely hard. This could be that my back has been giving trouble since getting a new chair at work, or because the ride is hard. I’ll wait for CAR’s views on this.
So, things to like:
- The price: Cheaper than a 1 Series Coupe or 370Z and only a little more than a Kia Koup (And you won’t have to buy a Kia)
- Very good looking
- Amazing to drive
- Cool. MINI’s are cool by nature.
- Big boot for a MINI
Things not to like:
- Extras load the price
- The ride
- Very cramped inside. I’m not a big guy, but it does have a tiny cabin.
- The ride
Would I consider it? Well, no. Not yet. However, I have a younger sister and I think for her, this is fantastic. She would fit inside, does not have a bad back and does not need the power of the Coupe Cooper S. I’d love one for a full review, but my hour with the MINI Coupe made me think that MINI have delivered a quality product. It’s going to be interesting to see how it sells.
Get yourself a test drive now!