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1,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all!

So this post is a bit late – I picked up my 2015 Cooper S F55 about a month ago, but since I just got it back from the paint shop, I thought it was about time to post pictures and my review of the different features I opted for so that other people can reference when ordering or buying their own.
A little background on me, I've driven all the MINIs from the R56 and up and MINI #1 for me was a 2011 Countryman so most of my impressions are comparing it to that. This is a US spec MINI so some of the packages may be different in other countries:

Park Assist: While I did it get it mostly for the front parking sensors, I've had the chance to use the auto park feature on a non-busy side street. Pretty impressive, but the real test will be in Seattle where parallel parker newbies will sweat buckets. I'm an ok parallel parker myself, I can park the same as any other Seattlite, but it may take me a few more points than others... Eager to see if the Park Assist can do better. It's pretty easy to use once you know how it works. You toggle the Park Assist switch and the MINI will begin scanning for a space big enough. The screen will show its status while it's doing this. Once it finds a spot big enough, you'll see a giant "P" to let you know - you have to pull forward far enough ahead of the spot to back in and you have to have your signal on to initiate the sequence. Once these are done, it will instruct you to stop, then shift into reverse. It handles the steering and you handle the throttle/brake. Parking sensors will beep to let you know if you're too close and it tells you when to stop and drive forward as many times as you need to until you're parked. On my quiet side street, a 3-point park was cake.

JCW Interior: Steering wheel has a nice grip to it and the red stitching is pretty sweet. The shifter looks nice too with the brushed metal.
Leather Cross Punch Black: Love moving to leather from leatherette - breathes much better and it's a little softer. Bolstering is just right for me. Plus, that smell of leather...mmm....leather...

JCW Exterior: The body kit looks AWESOME in Pepper White (not biased at all.. ) I was worried how it would look on the 4-door, but it looks just as badass as the 2-door.

17" JCW Track Spoke Black: Coming from white wheels, I'm really happy I don't have to clean my wheels so much now lol
Cold Weather: For my wife and I, heated seats are a must. They are not as toasty as my CMs (not a bad thing...I don’t think I ever went past low, it was so hot), but they're pretty warm. Powerfold mirrors also come with this package and are also a must, especially when I park in Seattle. Less chance of getting them clipped.

-- Premium Package --

Comfort Access: a must IMO, especially since there is no key slot inside anymore. Without CA, you would have to take your key out to unlock then either put it back or leave it out and end up putting it in the cupholder or something. Lame. Key stays in my pocket - I have no reason to take it out now. I do like the firmer buttons on the door handles now too. The Rxx MINIs' buttons were always too squishy for me - these feel more high-end
Panoramic moonroof: Better sun shades = yay! Will be very welcome in the summer! Don't miss the back window tilting. Also, the switch is finally automatic! No more having to hold it down to open/close. I had rectified this by coding in my CM, but I'm glad it's standard now.

Storage Package: Also a must - The flat load floor lets me throw all my junk in the boot like jumper cables, emergency kits, etc without taking up space above. It's like a closet for your car. Also makes loading bigger items 100x easier.
harmon/kardon Sound: As a listener of music, another must. The stock stereo is pretty weak IMO. The h/k stereo is noticably crisper and I can crank it up to my desired rocking out level without distorting. Better than the h/k system I had in my CM, which I always thought was too bassy. The center channel speaker is great for podcasts too.

-- Wired Pack --

Navigation: Didn't have it on my CM - probably won't use it too much on my F55. I usually know where I'm going. BUT, it is a much nicer system though. Honestly, the only reason I have it is because it came with the XL screen, which I really wanted. The "Take me home" command will be useful though.

Connected XL: A worthwhile upgrade for me. The built in hard drive will be used, the video support is cool, the extra screen real estate is not only more functional, but looks nicer in the dash too. When playing music, I can have album art AND the song info shown at once or I can use split screen to see two different sets of info at once. The split screen is really nice in that I can always have my music info displayed at all times. The touchpad makes text input ridiculously easy and I found out it works for making adjustments in the Settings also.

Real Time Traffic: Useful for nav, but I haven't tested it yet. It's Seattle though...if there's traffic (which there usually is), there's usually not a way around it. Helps for ETAs so you know HOW late you're going to be, I guess...

Center Armrest: Not as ergonomic as on my CM, but welcome anyway. Angling it down makes it much more comfortable and makes using the iDrive controller much easier without having to do the "eagle claw" method.

-- Wired Upgrade --

Rear View Camera: Still not used to using it. I'm so used to looking back with my eyes, like a caveman. Time to be a futureperson... Joking aside, it makes backing into a parking spot a touch easier, without the guess work and if I'm really close to something behind me I can now see HOW close I am.

Head Up Display: OMG, I will never get a car without this again! I like having my speed in front my line of sight (mostly because it's harder now to gauge how fast I'm going), I do use my phone and it's nice to have my phone numbers pop up in my HUD. Same for changing songs via my HD or BT Audio. No more having to look over and see what's playing or who's calling me. REALLY useful for navigation as all the info is right in front of me.

Dynamic Damper Control: So the DDC makes the suspension 10% softer than stock in MID/GREEN, which is nice for when I'm commuting or if I have my wife in the car, but being able to flick it into SPORT mode and have it go 10% stiffer than stock and have that tautness on demand is EXCELLENT! No compromises - softer ride when I want and I can just as easily go for MINI handling for those times when the road is clear! LOVE IT.

Sport Automatic Transmission : so the new F5x has three transmissions and the Sport auto gives you paddle shifters (which I like better than the old ones), as well as sportier shifting (supposedly it shifts a bit faster than the standard auto.) Launch Control is also new, but the car has to be broken in first before it will let you use it and then it's only 100 launches it will allow you to do. You can bet at Mile #1 201 on my odometer, I'm testing it! Shifts in general are much smoother and faster and of course fuel economy is improved by the new gearing as well.

Alarm System : Didn't have it on my R60, but I do like having the beeping now lol It's really the only reason I ordered it this time.. I was like, "$250?....sure..."

Universal Garage Door Opener: It opens my garage...yay. Less clutter in my car! Also, I was unaware it now includes the digital compass too. Not that it's terribly useful - I have nav and streets here are seldom straight, much less follow compass points...

Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror : I'm lazy - if I had to twist that stupid knob anytime an SUV pulled up behind me at night... I just can't even....

Interior Surface Piano Black : My only regret... too plain for me and impossible to keep clean. You just have to look at it and BAM! Fingerprint... I wanted the Fiber Alloy, but thought the extra lighting was too distracting. I may end up wrapping it in carbon fiber...

LED Headlights w/ Cornering : My last 3 cars have had HIDs, so LEDs were a must. My R60 had adaptive lights, which I liked and didn't want to lose. I knew the cornering lights were different, but I didn't know how they actually performed, so I opted for them anyway. THEY. ARE. AWESOME. They project light out at 90 degrees which is much farther than the adaptive lights did and they work great for turning corners at night so you can make sure there are no pedestrians or debris in the way. They come on at speeds below 40mph when driving though curves, putting your turn signal on will activate them at intersections (which I've noticed weirds some people out), and they both turn on while reversing. Very cool.

Rear Fog Light : I'll never use this, but I have no self control....had to have it lol

DRIVING: So much smoother then my CM, and the power is aplenty! So much pep and I feel like I can always push it more! It's like it WANTS me to! Definitely makes the commute to work a little nicer and my wife appreciates it the smoother ride when she's the passenger. I have the run flats of course, but they are much more tolerable than the RFs I had on my R60. I was always worried I was going to chip a tooth with those... Handles like it's on rails with much less lean than my R60 (hardly surprising). I do miss having my AWD though - accelerating around corners, my tires will skip a bit. I don't think my CM ever had a tire skip...I could take a ramp at 50+ and it would laugh.

- Blackline headlight/tail light rings: The front ones are easy to install, since you can see the clips once the hood is raised. There are separate clip pieces though that attach to the clips molded into the rings and they can fly off, so if you do yourself, don't lose them! The tail lights were trickier, but ended up being easy since I had a pry tool (a must have for anyone who likes to do even the most basic of modding.) Open up the boot, I used my plastic crowbar to undo the top clip (at the 11:55 position) then worked my way around undoing the small clips around both sides until I reached the bottom where two bigger clips sat. Once you reach those, just pull from the top - they are kind of like hinges. Reverse order for installing - bottom hinges first, push the clips on the sides and the top clip is pushed last. Took less than a minutes once I figured it out.

- LED bulbs: While most of the bulbs on the car are already LEDs, the brake lights, turn signals (F/R), side scuttles, reverse lights, boot light, and glove box lights are all incandescent. While all the exterior lights are easy to access, regular LED bulbs will throw up warning lights and even CANBUS lights will strobe when turning on the car and occasionally while driving. Unfortunately, there's no way to code that out that I've found yet, so I've switched back to the stock bulbs. Honestly, they're fine as is.

The interior lights however, are not tied into the computer and can be replaced pretty easy. The glove box light prys out (again using my plastic tool set) and the bulb twists out. My LED bulb I took from my CM worked and now I get a nicer, bright white light in the glove box. The boot light is too dim for my taste, so I definitely wanted to replace that too. The assembly is easily pried off - there's a notch that makes it easy - but the bulb is enclosed in a metal housing that probably works as a heat sink because that bulb is HOT! After carefully prying off the housing (which is a little tricky without bending the metal to the point of deformity) I also replaced this with an LED. Result: brighter, whiter lighting!
My thread on LED replacement:

TINT: Ceramic tint at legal limits - 30%

I painted over all my chrome – the grill, beltline and gas cap got painted black and I color matched the door handles. I also decided to add a little flair and painted the grill lip red, like the fJCW. I love the way it all turned out.

What is coding? There are plenty of threads on this, including one I've linked to here. Read.
I did a lot of coding on my R60 using NCS Expert which fixed a lot of small irritations I had with the car, so I was eager to do the same on my F55. Check out my post below on what I've accomplished by coding.

My post on the coding thread:
the TL;DR version: ESYS is much easier to code with, did all I wanted and more. Shared BMW components let you do fun things like have the BMWi interface and Rolls Royce sounds instead of the MINI ones.


2,082 Posts
WOW! All I gotta say is for a 4-Door that's about as cool as it gets!!! Nicely done indeed. :)



1,189 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sirus the Car looks great them Mods are cool. I like it a lot. Good you got the black Roof otherwise you could not find the Car during a Snow Storm.:laugh
Good thing a "snow storm" in Seattle is only an inch or two lol

WOW! All I gotta say is for a 4-Door that's about as cool as it gets!!! Nicely done indeed. :)


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