F56 vs R56 (drive/feel) - 2015 Mini Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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F56 vs R56 (drive/feel)

So coming from a lease of a R56 that i loved, i feel like the F56 is really, well, different. I'm wondering how many previous owners of R56 feel the same way about the F56's.

- First off I feel like the car is underpowered. I understand its heavier, but it has .4 more litres, more hp/tq. (mini claims 192BHP/206 lb-ft).But it really just feels slower than the R56. But that might just be how the car "seems", making me feel like its not as fast as the R56 when in reality it is faster or at least just as fast.

- The first day i got it, it was extremely quiet, took a few days for the exhaust to break in i guess because it got louder but it is still way too quiet comparing to the R56. the piping seems to be the same but I'm guessing theres more cats or mufflers in the piping? Also the R56 will backfire ALOT in sports mode. In the F56 its barely audible enough to notice if that.

-Also again might be because of the car being heavier or maybe it really has softer suspension. But the car even in sports mode feels really soft. again maybe its the tires or something else but the car just feels MUCH less sports car and "go cart" feeling

overall im just a little disappointed as the car doesn't seem to be what i expected, i just really like my led headlights and the refreshed interior. the car feels much more of a actual "car" and less of a mini in my opinion and thats not what i wanted obviously. hopefully the more i drive it the more it will grow on me.

ph and the automatic rev matching is cool...for my girlfriend.
but honestly it is actually surprisingly nice to have.

just felt like sharing my opinion with you guys!
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post #2 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 02:07 AM
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Welcome to the forum sure was an interesting 1st post I have the 3 Cylinder with a man gear box owned the car now for 9 month. We also have a 07 R56 with the automatic box and those 2 cars are like day/night. I understand what you try to say. When I drive the R56 it feels more lively because of all the noises been a smaller car than the F56 you can feel the bumps it is a total different driving experience than the F56. When I go back into the F it feels like I just stepped into a BMW even sounds like a BMW

I have to be honest after 9 month of ownership I find the F56 kinda boring to redefined to grown up too much like a BMW in many ways but I do like the built quality of the F56 it seem so much better than the R. The R in a way reminds me of my teenage years a blast fun always ready for an adventure the F is kinda like been an adult with a mortgage all grown up. The F56 is a great car and still is a Mini but also lost a lot of the old R feeling that so many people just loved. Give it a bit time I be sure you will find to love and enjoy the F56 in its own way.
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post #3 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 05:06 AM
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The F56 is more refined, but I doubt it will coke up in 30k (or less) like the R56, and it's a better all round vehicle. Personally, after having a series of R56 minis (Cooper S & JCW), I would pick my F56 every time. It's faster, more vocal and a nicer car....
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post #4 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 06:11 AM
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After three R56 Minis it took me a couple of weeks or so to get used to and fully appreciate how much better a car the F56 is.

My last high spec London edition was the best spec R56 I had but also the worst R56 due to the terrible ride on 17" wheels. My current F56 diesel has a great engine, economy, ride, is very comfortable with sports seats and quiet especially on the motorway. No way would I go back to a R56!
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post #5 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 07:21 AM
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We had a 2012 R56 JCW manual until this fall when we traded it for the F56 JCW automatic. I originally was planning on keeping the R and having both, but it would really have cramped the toy shed and it would meant moving things around a lot to work on them. Therefore, I traded beloved Jenny Cool Wheels in to make room for MITEY2! What really convinced me, well us as my wife is a miniac as well and possibly a better, but less aggressive driver than me. We took a performance driving course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice in F56s. The first time was as a couple sharing the same F56S and it was fun and a real learning experience and we realized we needed to be in individual cars, so we took it again in F56 JCWs. The second course was the one that convinced us to purchase the F56 JCW with an automatic transmission as we had been waiting until the manual was available to order. The new JCW is a fantastic performer and the automatic paddle shifters are better than manual shifting and only slightly less fun. The F series car has a totally different feel than the R series, larger, heavier, more refined, but definitely better handling at high speed. I felt the R56 was a little darty at speeds over 110 mph, but the F56 feels rock solid at 130 + mph. I do occasionally miss the jamming of the shifter to a lower gear turning and accelerating, but honestly with the new automatic with the paddle shifters it is seamlessly smooth and and the pop and growl of the automatic under power is exhilarating! Each car is wonderfully fun, but for high speed running the F seriously outperforms the S. I don't like the snout that is supposed to protect the pedestrians! What are they doing hanging around in twisties anyway!

Last edited by KYDan; 12-28-2015 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Grammar correction!
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post #6 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 08:39 AM
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We have owned 3 R56 and currently have 2 in the family as well as our F56. The F56 has lost a fair amount of MINI essence. It is less of a go cart and more of small higher quality hot hatch. The body is less pert and looks like a guppy from the side. The dash has lost its iconic center speedo and the new dials are small and subdued. The candy corn gas gauge was cool; the new flat black plastic add on gas gauge seems like an afterthought. The glossy chromed plastic pieces seem chintzy. The S has lost its popcorn exhaust gurgling and backfiring. 17 inch wheels don't fill the wheel wells like they used to.

Having said that, it feels more solid and better built. The ride is more comfortable and grown up. I like the new seats with better bolstering on the sides and for the legs. I have to admit liking the added interior space. I like this new motor much better than the Prince motor shared with Peugot. Adding the JCW kit brings back popcorn mode and more, turning the exhaust into a manic (frankly annoying after a short while) backfiring megaphone. And adding the JCW kit and tuning if you like more than compensate for the added weight. Ours chirps the front drive tires very readily, more so than even our former GP II.

Overall both are very fun cars, just different.
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post #7 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 01:46 PM
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Gosh chalk and cheese. F56 feels light years ahead. Totally disagree 're the power weight thing. I've gone from r56 s to f56 cooper and I cannot believe how fast and refined the f56 feels. 70 just feels so slow.I don't miss the power love t he extra tech and the refine m ent is out of this world. Solidity build quality 're dash and materials light years ahead of the r56. But still love the r56. We're keeping the roadsters s! Great engine!
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Surprisingly delighted to have moved to an f54((with a r59 in the fold for fun!)
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post #8 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Great responses yea the R56 was definitely more "raw" time to grow up I guess haha as mentioned in another thread the clutch is also much more longer than the R56. I just hit 1k and the car actually does feel a bit faster than a couple weeks ago.
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post #9 of 36 Old 12-28-2015, 06:31 PM
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After a year of ownership of my F56 MCS, I'm still not sure how it rates against my R56 MCS. The R56 was so pretty on its 17 inch wheels, so well-proportioned. And it always seemed much quicker than the quoted bhp being noisy, darty and just a little edgy. The F56 lacks that immediate grin-factor - it's too accomplished. It rides so much better, it's quiet, everything feels grown up. The interior is lightyears ahead, the gadgets (hud, satnav, LED lights etc) all work brilliantly but they do take you one step further away from that original mini "basic" feel.

For me, it's a much much better car but I don't love it in the way I loved the R56. It no longer feels like a playful puppy desperate to please - it's grown up now, it has more ability but less character (if occasionally trying to throw you off the road can be called character).

I'm having the pro tuning kit installed tomorrow in the hope that it brings back that edginess that I'm missing.

It's a great car and I think you'll grow to appreciate its talents. You just shouldn't judge it against the R56 as the game has moved on and cars generally are becoming more dull to drive (the R53 I had was a hoot). Judge it against the current rivals - Audi A1 anyone?
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post #10 of 36 Old 12-29-2015, 03:52 AM
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Great post amosian.sums it up well.

Surprisingly delighted to have moved to an f54((with a r59 in the fold for fun!)
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