MINI Cooper S Coupe review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

24 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on MINI Cooper S Coupe review (2011 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Mini Cooper S

MINI Cooper S

Coupe review (2011 onwards)

Bodystyle:  three-door coupe

Engine:  1.6 turbo petrol

Transmission:  six-speed manual


Where does it fit?

The crop of supermini-based coupes isn’t a bumper one at the moment, if indeed it ever has been. There are a few small convertibles out there but MINI has a soft-top version of this car, dubbed the Roadster. to square up to those. There are lots of hot hatches too but the MINI Cooper S hatch is fighting that battle.

This unit has got 184hp and can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 6.9s

If we’re after sporty hard-tops in the same £20,000 financial ball park as the MINI Cooper S Coupe, Volkswagen’s Scirocco and Peugeot’s RCZ are options. Then you have the likes of Audi’s TT and Toyota’s GT-86 for a few grand more. All of these cars are a good deal larger than the MINI Coupe, which retains the cosy footprint of the three-door hatch.

Is it for you?

So what we’ve got is a 3-door, two-seat, hard-top MINI with compact dimensions and an upright driving position that promises to make it a touch more practical than a conventional compact sports car. It’s got those MINI family looks too, though opinions in the office are divided over the way the Coupe plonks a sleeker glasshouse onto what ostensibly seems to be the lower body of the standard MINI hatch.

Mini Cooper S

The Cooper S Coupe has MINI’s ever-impressive 1.6-litre turbo engine in its nose. This unit has got 184hp and can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 6.9s. That’s quick and in S form, the Coupe also gains firmer sports suspension to help it make the most of that performance.

As ever, those who want to go more hardcore can upgrade to the John Cooper Works version with 211hp.


What does it do well?

The joys we’ve come to expect from fast MINIs are fully in evidence in the Cooper S Coupe. It’s got that hyperactive character that instantly gets you grinning and a brilliant tactility to its controls. The steering’s well weighted and coupled with the Coupe’s inherent compactness, it makes the car feel at home in urban traffic or threading down twisting B roads.

The manual gearbox has a short, stabbing action perfect for fast changes and the engine is smooth in its delivery but with real potency as well.

The MINI’s youthful exuberance does come at the expense of the big car comfort

The ride is very firm but still manages to take the edge off the biggest bumps. The car also displays a fine neutral balance with great body control and a dogged resistance to understeer. Unusually for a compact front-wheel-drive coupe, the tail end can become quite lively, binging an extra layer of excitement on the wet roads of our test route.

What doesn’t it do well?

Mini Cooper S
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