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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am very familiar with journalist complaints about Mini's harsh ride, cramped interior, etc. Having recently driven a JCW with sports suspension and 18" wheels, I was very impressed with ride quality (stiff but controlled), performance and overall quality. I also have a 2009 Clubman S so my opinion is not limited to that test drive.


This week, I have been fortunate enough to have rented a 2016 Camaro with the 275 HP 4 cyl Turbo and 8-speed automatic. According to the pundits, this is a much better buy than the MCS or JCW, handles better, is faster, etc. I am not an expert after almost 300 miles, but first impressions are important and I certainly do not agree.


Steering and handling are excellent. Ride is firm on good roads, but among the worst I have ever experienced on rough roads. It is very harsh over bumps, even at very low speeds ... I could feel my luggage bounce going over speed bumps. Minis are stiff, but never this harsh in my experience. Visibility is awful ... not bad, but truly awful. Seats are good ... no issues there. I think the transmission is good, but could never find a setting that was fun ... even in Sports mode shifting seemed to have a mind of its own and it was never where I wanted it to be. And BTW ... it has a rear view camera standard. That is good; however, the resolution and the guidelines are awful ... the resolution on the Mini camera is in a totally different class. Interior space is awful and fit and finish is spotty at best.


Bottom line, it is fast, it handles well; however, it rides worse than awful, shifts when it wants to, and in general I really did not like it. It looks hot, but since you can't see out, parking is a nightmare. No ... I did not like it nor did I find it fun to drive. At $27K+, it is nowhere near the car that a MCS is. I am really amazed at the ratings it gets ... not impressed at all. I can easily live with and enjoy a Mini ... the Camaro not nearly so much.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After another day or so, it seemed a little less awful. However, the ride really is harsh and I could never figure out what the transmission was trying to do. Bottom line, it just isn't fun like a Mini even though the price point is pretty close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fuel consumption not bad ... I really didn't keep detailed notes on that. The first day was in heavy city traffic, so that would impact any car.

Brakes were OK for road driving

Noise was good. Cabin was relatively quiet. Exhaust note was good outside of the car, but very quiet inside.

People that see you? No one can see you through the tiny windows.
 

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Backup cameras are no substitution for designing a car that has good visibility "all the time"! Our company Ford Escape SUV has so many blind spots I hate backing it up, even with the camera...very uncomfortable. My MINI doesn't have a backup camera or sensors, and I am absolutely fine with it that way! :)
 
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