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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to decide between a new Cooper S Sport or a new JCW.
Only autos I've driven are VW Golf DSGs (DCT). I love this box except for one really annoying fault - if I approach a junction without actually stopping, but notice there's a reasonable gap in traffic, if I try to accelerate fairly hard to cross the junction quickly and safely, the box tends to still be in a higher gear longer than I'd like and you end up slowly crossing the junction before a lower gear is selected.
This tend s to happen more when my wife drives as she drives more sedately than me and never manually selects gears.

90% of the time my wife will be driving this car, so a regular Cooper would be fine, except for the 10% when I will be driving it purely for pleasure/fun.

Which box is best for shorter city type driving?
Which is more reliable (I keep cars for long periods)?
 

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Hi there!
8AT JCW owner here.
if I approach a junction without actually stopping, but notice there's a reasonable gap in traffic, if I try to accelerate fairly hard to cross the junction quickly and safely, the box tends to still be in a higher gear longer than I'd like and you end up slowly crossing the junction before a lower gear is selected.
Oh i definitely know what you're talking about.
Happens to me like once in half a year, when an unknown sequence of events happen like "drive fast enough, slow down to a certain extent in a corner, release throttle, wait a certain amount of time, push the throttle hard enough while still rolling fast enough = get 1-1.5 seconds of lag when the car is not accelerating at all and apparently rowing through the gears".
But that's really super rare, so rare you can ignore it.

Apart from that, Mid mode might be somewhat slower in cases like this (slow down without actually stopping, smash the gas) but still responsive enough, not like what you described. Sport mode is much sharper in that regard. Both modes are convenient enough for city driving. Sport mode + sport gearbox mode is overkill, holds high RPMs and very responsive.

P.S. Also note how the gearbox decides when to shift to a lower gear not according to pedal travel alone but also the force you apply to the pedal momentarily (i.e. press faster = get a downshift, press slow and gently to the same length = no downshift)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you @LazyLancer , great explanation.
From what I understand, the torque converter boxes are smoother in stop start city style driving which it will mostly be used for.

Except for the poorer fuel efficiency in the JCW, my only other concern is the firmness of the ride. The new JCWs come with a no cost option of the Intelligent Adaptive Suspension (which is standard on Cooper S). I'm not sure if you have this, so may not know, but 1 - Does this IAS make the car as smooth as a Cooper S?. 2 - Is there a reason some people may not tick this no cost option?

Obviously the best way for me to understand how each drive is to drive them, but it's tricky at the moment due to my health.
 

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Except for the poorer fuel efficiency in the JCW
That is debatable.
Yes, you should get slightly better fuel efficiency in the S on average and in city because of less power, slightly higher DCT vs TC efficiency in transferring power... but you might be actually getting higher mileage in the JCW on a highway because of that extra 8th gear.
my only other concern is the firmness of the ride. The new JCWs come with a no cost option of the Intelligent Adaptive Suspension (which is standard on Cooper S). I'm not sure if you have this, so may not know, but 1 - Does this IAS make the car as smooth as a Cooper S?
The ride is firm indeed, although it depends on what we compare with.
Unfortunately, i don't have dynamic damper control so i'm not sure. But what people say about DDC goes like:

FIRM
^
Sport suspension (+30% over standard)
-
-
-
DDC suspension sport mode (+10% over standard)
-
Standard suspension
-
DDC suspension normal mode (-10% from standard)
v
SOFT

In this case DDC suspension should be as smooth as Cooper S, but would be great if you could have a test drive or something.

Is there a reason some people may not tick this no cost option?
Once again, have not confirmed personally, but it looks like Sport suspension with no DDC is firmer and also has thicker rear sway bar compared to DDC suspension even in sport mode.
 

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Thank you @LazyLancer , great explanation.
From what I understand, the torque converter boxes are smoother in stop start city style driving which it will mostly be used for.

Except for the poorer fuel efficiency in the JCW, my only other concern is the firmness of the ride. The new JCWs come with a no cost option of the Intelligent Adaptive Suspension (which is standard on Cooper S). I'm not sure if you have this, so may not know, but 1 - Does this IAS make the car as smooth as a Cooper S?. 2 - Is there a reason some people may not tick this no cost option?

Obviously the best way for me to understand how each drive is to drive them, but it's tricky at the moment due to my health.
Agree on the comment about 8th gear on motorways, likely to yield better longer trip avg. consumption than S and the 7 speed.

As far as sport vs. Adaptive, some just want the sportier ride but also worth considering for ride quality is whether you go 17/18/19 tyres. I am collecting F60 JCW with 18”s and adaptive on Saturday. Had adaptive on my X3 M40i and loved it
 

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I have recently gone from an F54 Cooper S with DCT to another F54 JCW with the TC box. There are some differences, but the key is to be in the right driving mode for the right conditions.

With my Cooper S I used BimmerCode to set Sport as the default setting. I had this for a year or so, then defaulted it back to mid mode, as that is so much smoother in regular traffic. With the odd exception mid mode was just a drive and forget mode for me. Occasionally it would clunk into first gear but nothing too bad. I hear a lot on line about DSG boxes being a bit snatchy in the low gears.

My JCW only has 400 miles on it so far but it is really smooth in mid mode. I've not had any snatching yet in mid mode. Because of the power in the JCW I would almost say that mid mode almost feels a little sluggish. Go in to sport mode though and it keeps the revs high in order to have the turbo spooled up. With this setting power is instant. Add putting the gearbox into manual/sport, then you're going to get an ASBO and so points on your license at some point. When our dog has that un-stoppable fit of energy and runs around the garden at 100mph we call it the "zoomies". When my wife drove our car the other night I put it in sports mode and the gear box into sport and she said the car was acting like it was making her go faster and had the zoomies. I think thats the best description I've heard, it's spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone's advice. It seems that both DCT and TC boxes are both good. Also seems that if I go for JCW with Intelligent Adaptive Suspension it shouldn't be too firm.

@blusox69 love your wife's description of the Sports mode!
 

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Thanks for everyone's advice. It seems that both DCT and TC boxes are both good. Also seems that if I go for JCW with Intelligent Adaptive Suspension it shouldn't be too firm.

@blusox69 love your wife's description of the Sports mode!
I have the adaptive suspension too, I don't find it too firm at all and neither does my wife. I just got in from a trip into town and the JCW was nice and smooth. It changes up from 1st quite early and can some times flick between 1st and 2nd if you end up at a slow speed. I expect this is because it's got 8 gears and a closer ratio.
 
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