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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After more than 6,000 miles of trouble-free fun since late June in my Cooper D, I had the opportunity to test drive my dealer's Cooper SD 5-door which, as per normal, had almost every available option fitted.

Knowing my own car so well now, the most obvious differences with the SD were the slightly brisker pull-away & more eager throttle - but these came with a louder engine (mine is whisper quiet) and a noticeably heavier front end (which surprised me as the engine is only 25% bigger).

Also, I preferred the slightly softer suspension setting in my car - and my car's 16" wheels definitely ride bumps/ridges better than the 17” wheels of this SD did.

Moving on, I resisted the temptation to pay the ransom demanded for LED headlights:), although - as I like the way they look when I pass other cars that are so equipped - it was nice to test a car with them.

In my honest opinion, the benefits of LED headlights on the MINI are more about the way they look than any real safety factor. There is a different quality to LED light - but the standard headlights are absolutely fine... and I drive a lot in unlit country lanes. In time, I'm sure LED will become standard - and I certainly won't pay a big premium for such a modest difference.

Another two features I didn't add to my car, but had been keen to try, was the combination of Media XL/SatNav & HUD.

For me the position & brightness of the SatNav is wrong on the central display - so the HUD helps with this... but I did not regret leaving these particular options unticked when configuring my car. Both are expensive and, if you don't mind having a TomTom stuck to the windscreen (I put mine just under the rear-view mirror), you can drive and be updated without looking down... plus you get speed camera warnings!

Lastly, I thought the extra rear legroom & luggage space provided by the 5-door would definitely be worthwhile for some - but still prefer the profile of the 3-door. This SD had the MINI yours interior (metal) and, while the dash looked nice enough, the extra lighting in the doors was much too much for my eyes!

To sum up, anyone buying the Cooper SD will definitely have a very quick diesel car... but one which has slightly less precise turn-in and, probably, a little more understeer on the twisty bits.

For me, therefore, the 3-pot Cooper D is still the sweet spot in the range - with more torque than the Cooper plus amazing economy & EU6 low emissions. I can see why the Cooper S & JCW petrol models are so popular - but doubt the SD will achieve the same following.
 

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A nice comparison. I did buy the leds and yes it was for the looks! So far I've found the sat nav and hud really great but you're right,frustrating it doesn't do speed limits unless you have the driver assistant package.I drew the line at that but .....
 

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Mind you I bought the petrol Cooper. Just don't like diesels and their small rev range high torque delivery or t he sound. Sorry. Mind you maybe if it's as quiet as you say I ought to drive one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mind you I bought the petrol Cooper. Just don't like diesels and their small rev range high torque delivery or t he sound. Sorry. Mind you maybe if it's as quiet as you say I ought to drive one!
My first diesel car after 40 years of driving & car ownership...!!

I was initially concerned by the fact that my car was delayed when BMW stopped production of this new diesel engine, but the one in my car is a peach.

My previous R56 Cooper had the 4-cylinder 1.6 petrol engine which lacked torque & refinement - but you really can't hear the 3-pot diesel in normal use, and the car takes on steep motorway inclines without needing a gear change (usually).

All that and I'm getting 65mpg+ in a mix of motorway, town & country driving.

As I said, I like the look of the LEDs, but the standard lights are good - I spent my extra cash on the H/K sound upgrade... and am glad I did.

That's the great thing with a MINI - each of us being able to choose the exact spec we want.
 

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Exactly. Ill try a diesel when I'm next looking or next time am passing the stealers.. I too have the hk System. Just love it! As you say the mini is so good in that you can have it your way. My only problem then was cutting my coat according to my cloth. I really fancied leather but drew the line due to, cost and now I have the hud and the xl pack have a sneaky Suspicion the drivers assistant pack wouldve been good. I had to stop some where.
 

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Ps jjh when I sat there doing my order and trying to decide I went for the standard lights as I had a golf r32 .the hids went wrong.£400 a pop so swore never to have fancy headlights again. Came home looked at the forums and rang the dealer. Cancelled the gap insurance and the supa guard to pay for them !!!!
 
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