Need help deciding between Cooper S and JCW, speed vs luxury - 2015 Mini Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 04-14-2015, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Need help deciding between Cooper S and JCW, speed vs luxury

Hi guys.

I'm about to order a new Mini and I've specified my perfect Cooper S, which includes pretty much every option except for the JCW body and interior kits and the parking assistant.

But the Cooper S has now become so expensive that it cost like a more spartan (though still well equipped) John Cooper Works. There are certain luxuries that I'm not willing to sacrifice, like navigation and the Harman Kardon stereo, but some other options I can live without and others come standard on the JCW.

Sacrifices I've made on the JCW spec is:
  • No active dampers
  • No rear view camera
  • No parking assistant
  • No auto dimming mirrors
  • No chrome line interior
  • Uglier seats (standard JCW seats instead of the Black Pearl option in the Cooper S)

I am also not sure that I prefer the looks of the JCW; maybe it's a bit much? The Cooper S is certainly more stylish and restrained, while the JCW may be a bit gaudy. I'm undecided.

Lastly, my JCW spec is about 10% more expensive than my Cooper S.

Some people probably think I'm stupid now, because the Jimmy Clarksons always want more poweeeeeeer. So do I, but keep in mind that it comes at the expense of convenience and price. I will have to live with the payment and the harsh ride.

There's also the issue of the JCW "only" having 231 hp, which isn't quite a lot for the money, and it doesn't seem to make it that much quicker than a Cooper S.

So why am I even considering a JCW? That's an excellent question.
I can't help but like the exclusivity of it. And it is quicker, even if not by much. I'm also thinking it might have better residual value. And oh, the exhaust note should be great. Anything else that I've missed?

So what do you think? Is the JCW gaudy? Worth the money? What the **** should I do?
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post #2 of 46 Old 04-15-2015, 04:30 AM
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its a toughie. there is an argument that a JCW should have better residual than a fully loaded S as the resale value never takes into account added options. But that said there are probably as many who prefer the S to the JCW as there are the other way around. If its a tight decision i'd always recommend going with your heart rather than your head. Love the car first, worry about values when the time comes. who knows what might happen betwee now & then?

Personally i agree with you that the new JCW kit is a bit gaudy & dare i say it 'aftermarket'? but that might be an age-related view.
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post #3 of 46 Old 04-15-2015, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! I agree. My head would probably have bought a Volvo or something, but we can't have that, lol.

The problem is that my feelings towards each choices vary by each day. Today I'm thinking of course I'm going for the Cooper S: it's less money, more equipment, less boyish and just 0.3 or so seconds slower from 0-100 km/h. But yesterday I thought of course I want the exclusivity of the JCW.

You are right about the JCW kit. It does look a bit aftermarket, like a styled Nissan. Aftermarket is exactly the right word to describe it.

I think the most compelling reason though is that even though there's 40 hp more in the JCW, it doesn't seem to do very much for the performance. So what I end up with is a more expensive, less equipped and roughly as fast car as a Cooper S.

But maybe I'll change my mind tomorrow again.
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post #4 of 46 Old 04-15-2015, 05:16 AM
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i looked hard at the Volvo V40 R Design but just couldn't bring myself to do it. Part of me felt like it was giving up
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post #5 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Screw it. I'm going for the JCW.

I noticed I've already added the most important options to the JCW spec as well. I'm thinking it would be dumb to choose the gimmicks outlined above instead of more performance.

Then it really boils down to the looks of the cars, and I think I'm prepared to live with the uglier bodykit to have better performance and a rarer car.
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post #6 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 07:50 AM
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Love that decision stinky, YOLO etc...you know it makes :-)
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post #7 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 08:16 AM
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Red face

If you're going with the manual, let me know what you find out about placing the order and delivery expectations. I started a thread elsewhere on here to monitor progress of the manual transmission orders.

As for your decision, it appears you've done alot of homework and your reasons for choosing one car over the other will vary from others. Some of your reasons I agree with, some I don't...but that's what makes buying a MINI so much fun!

Personally I love all the MINI's, and the JCW certainly isn't "uglier" IMO...just more beefy (on steroids?)...and that's the way a high performance car is suppose to look. And if you are wanting a soft gentle ride, the JCW is not going to be to your liking. As for the seats, the leatherette sport seats are perfectly fine...much better than the older Gen seats. My only regret is I wasn't able to see & sit in the std JCW cloth sport seats (nobody has any STILL!). I think I would have liked those, since I didn't order heated seats.

I chose the JCW because I love the new BMW powerplant in the JCW (hp & torque), I could care less about parking assist, and such things.....my car isn't for family outings...my kids are all grown up and on their own. I got the JCW "for the fun of driving"! it WON'T have any bells & whistles, other than the HK sound system and the added driving lights (those are practical though since the JCW has no fogs).

Only thing that bums me out is no CD player in the F56 (without cramming a 6-cd changer into the glovebox and adding Visual Boost...visual what?).

It's gonna be a long wait! Good luck with your final order...stay focused on what you really "need" when ordering or your wallet will empty really fast!

John
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post #8 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 02fanatic View Post
If you're going with the manual, let me know what you find out about placing the order and delivery expectations. I started a thread elsewhere on here to monitor progress of the manual transmission orders.

As for your decision, it appears you've done alot of homework and your reasons for choosing one car over the other will vary from others. Some of your reasons I agree with, some I don't...but that's what makes buying a MINI so much fun!

Personally I love all the MINI's, and the JCW certainly isn't "uglier" IMO...just more beefy (on steroids?)...and that's the way a high performance car is suppose to look. And if you are wanting a soft gentle ride, the JCW is not going to be to your liking. As for the seats, the leatherette sport seats are perfectly fine...much better than the older Gen seats. My only regret is I wasn't able to see & sit in the std JCW cloth sport seats (nobody has any STILL!). I think I would have liked those, since I didn't order heated seats.

I chose the JCW because I love the new BMW powerplant in the JCW (hp & torque), I could care less about parking assist, and such things.....my car isn't for family outings...my kids are all grown up and on their own. I got the JCW "for the fun of driving"! it WON'T have any bells & whistles, other than the HK sound system and the added driving lights (those are practical though since the JCW has no fogs).

Only thing that bums me out is no CD player in the F56 (without cramming a 6-cd changer into the glovebox and adding Visual Boost...visual what?).

It's gonna be a long wait! Good luck with your final order...stay focused on what you really "need" when ordering or your wallet will empty really fast!

John
All very good points. I went with the auto gearbox. This will be my only car and it'll be used a lot. I don't have the luxury of having two cars.

I have indeed done a lot of homework, but I've been stuck between these two cars after having eliminated a lot of cars and their options. It's quite a nice problem to have though, and I believe I will be happy with either one.

I'm not dead seat on having a soft ride. The adaptive dampers option on the Cooper S is part of the Driver Package, and I'm not sure I would have chosen them otherwise. Also from doing even more research on these forums, it seems that the sports suspension is the way to go if you want better handling, which I do. I was under the impression that with dynamic dampers, I could have the cake and eat it too, but while that's sort of true, it'll never handle as well the sport suspension. So I've sort of moved on from that option.

I will use my car for everything, but then again, it's not like the JCW is a 911. It's still practical enough to carry four people from time to time, and to do some shopping in.

Now regarding the seats, I saved quite a lot of money by not specifying the Chili package on the JCW, which include the black/red seats. Those are an additional $2000 in my country. Instead I cherry picked the other options included in the package.

I haven't seen any photos of the black standard JCW sports seats either. I hope they are nice.

Last edited by stinky; 04-20-2015 at 08:45 AM.
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post #9 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 08:52 AM
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JCW with auto box? that's a bold, but i think, good choice.
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post #10 of 46 Old 04-20-2015, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hat View Post
JCW with auto box? that's a bold, but i think, good choice.
That's the only choice right now, unfortunately. I have no doubt the automatic trans is going to be awesome (and supposedly quicker 0-60), but I still like the idea of manual shifting when driving...and why on earth MINI has delayed the manual transmission on the JCW is an absolute mystery to me! SOMEDAY, in the future, the truth will reveal itself, but there's something to this strategy, mark my words!
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