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2020 Mini Cooper S Sport Auto
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yeap! Cooper and Cooper S sharing the same 7 speed gearbox (Getrag 7DCT300) which is capable to handle up to 300nm of torque. JCW and GP 8 speed is torque converter.

...but why you're telling this? i assume that Cooper S due to +50hp offers a little more joy over to Cooper :) 3cyl engine noise i pretty good though...it sounds like a mini-chopped-v6 :p
The Cooper S is honestly great. It鈥檚 just too easy to drive too fast and the cold starts are embarrassingly loud 馃槀

I鈥檇 definitely go back to a Cooper if it has the same DCT :)
 

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yes, thanks, am intending to buy the Cooper/3 cylinder version in manual or DCT (uncertain which!) and I have read that their fuel economy is much improved and can be, on average, 35mpg plus?

Tyre pressure monitoring system faults and things like I could countenance; it was worries about their past track record with bigger issues that really made me concerned...
I certainly get better mpg than you have read, I get 45mpg regularly & have got 58mpg on a long motorway journey and i wouldn't say i am a slow driver
 

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Interesting as I thought the sport mode in the transmission only affects the gear change and holds the gear more
From my point of view (8AT on F56 JCW), flipping gearbox into sport mode does NOT affect throttle response by itself, but just because the gearbox allows for sitting at higher RPM (2-3K), engine response improves as well compared to regular 1.5K RPM which is barely above boost threshold.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
What about heavy steering and clunky gear changes? People on You Tube report this as a problem with all iterations of the Cooper....
 

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鈥淗eavy steering鈥 - I dunno, maybe in comparison. In my personal opinion, it is reasonably tight, just the right amount. A Toyota Corolla or Mercedes A-class have significantly lighter steering but to be honest I don鈥檛 like it when steering wheel is too light. So it鈥檚 up to personal preference. For me, MINI hit the sweet spot with steering setup. On top of that, I鈥檇 prefer an even tighter steering in sport mode when hooning at highway speed.

Clunky gear changes - no idea. My 8 speed auto is always spot on (far more snappy than 9AT on Mercedes C-class when you suddenly need to floor it, but not that seamless when you鈥檙e taking it nice and slow, although the Merc is very good at comfy gear changes and feels almost like a CVT at like 25% throttle), but you obviously want an opinion about the 7 speed DCT. While I was driving a dealer鈥檚 Cooper S, I never noticed anything out of the ordinary.
 

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Heavy steering? Mini? Nope, you need a test drive.
 
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in comparison with the majority of small cars, steering is pretty "heavy" but precise and solid.
Actually it has a really good feeling. MINI does not feel like a small lightweight car on the road.
yes this is what I totally agree with. Considering it is a super mini, on highway speeds you never feel like it鈥檚 a small car.
 

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Yes agree it weights up nicely as it's speed sensitive plus of course it's heavier in sport mode so you have a choice.
 

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Hi,
Here is my two cents.

Have/had a R60 with 160k miles and $25k in repairs ($9k before 100k miles), a '12 coupe S from 64k miles to 81k we dropped serious cash into, an '11 R55S that had repairs too (common things) after adding up expenses for the others, I advise DO read the message boards and heed the advice. They would not be writing if it was not a problem.

I read tons of F56 boards and honestly there were few problems of any volume except motor mounts, control arms, and occasional other things. I spoke to a couple mechanics that would know and they said reliable too. Almost TOO reliable.

Last year bought a use base barely speced '17 F56 stick with the 3 cylinder motor and 30k miles. It was great! I loved that motor, the performance, mileage (hit over 50/mpg on a 40 miles stretch of highway more than once), and sound. Low end torque was fun. It ran out of gas at higher revs, but was just more fun to drive in many ways. I upgraded to used 17" wheels. The MINI repair history was pretty much brakes and oil. It did need a motor mount at that low mileage.

I traded for a 2021 Paddy Hopkirk F56 S with full spec. One of only 60 sticks in the US. I expect it to be mostly trouble free too.

Keep in mind 2014 and 2015 might have crank walk motors. These had bearing shell half replaced, or whole motor replaced if detected. I'd do 16 or later. 18 is a facelift. I think LED headlights (necessary) came standard in 21, maybe 20.

Good luck!!
 

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I thought i'd follow up on the latest questions and summarize my experience with the MINI in general, although it would be based of a 3-door JCW (231 hp, 8-speed auto).

From the perspective of driving experience i don't see any shortcomings. We don't have many of the competitors on sale here like Megane RS or Civic Type R, but MINI is at least ONE OF the best options available if you value driving experience first.
  • Steering is tight enough to balance comfort and response\handling, it is very sharp and snappy. Car sticks to the road nicely and is easy to control and throw around.
  • Throttle response and pedal-engine-transmission collaboration is well configured, especially with "driving modes" option installed. The pedal is well balanced in "mid" mode, sharp enough for spirited driving in "sport" mode and is perfect for hooning if you additionally flip gearbox into "sport". "Green" i just dont use :D
  • Brakes are durable, have a strong bite (keep in mind i have JCW brakes tho) and pedal has a nice balance between travel and pressure - it's easy to control braking intensity.
  • Engine is great (although i'm talking the 231 hp one), it provides a wide torque band making it easy to drive around the city enjoying nice pick ups from low RPMs and it has a punch at mid-high RPM should you need it. Turbo lag is almost absent which benefits to throttle response.
  • 8-speed automatic gearbox is great, it shifts quickly, has solid and well though-out shifting logic and throttle response, even better with driving modes. I can complain a little bit that it could hold the gear in "mid" for a little bit longer but generally it's ok because we have a great "sport" mode specifically for the gearbox. Also, it's not the most comfortable one in the industry for smooth rides but does the job well.
  • Visibility is nice in a 3 door hatch. A-pillars are placed farther from your head and aligned more vertically than on majority of other cars and with this they are less likely to hide a pedestrian (but they still can, be wary!) and huge coupe-door windows allow to see more when turning on intersections. The only downside would the low roof that makes it hard to see traffic lights if you stopped first on a red light.
  • Mirrors are good in my opinion - OK size, decent shape, dont have those stupid curvy areas that eat up to 20-25% of mirror width. By no means those are mirrors of a Ford truck, but they get the job done.
  • LED headlights are great. Not industry best, but great overall - solid visibility at night outside of city. For a signigicant improvement you will need matrix LED.
  • Ergonomics are good in most cases (not without some hiccups though like when you reach for media control knob, handbrake gets in the way). What i like about my MINI is that unlike many latest gen cars, i still have easy to reach physical toggles for things like DSC on\off.
  • Durability-wise there are no serious common issues with new\fresh cars (unless you get a used one that was abused in the past).
Now to what's lacking
  • Noise insulation - average at best. It's totally OK for me, but overall it's not a car to enjoy long rides in silence.
  • Space - obviously, a 3 door hatch is small. Cabin space is a something that can be debated a lot and while i'm 185 cm tall and 95 kilo "wide", i'm feeling comforable in my MINI. However, objectively it's not a family or utility car. Rear seats can fit a child at best. However, you won't believe how many things you can squeeze in a 3 door hatch if a strong need arises.
  • Ride comfort - i have a sport suspension on my JCW without DDC so my experience might differ from other guys with regular suspension and smaller wheels, but overall ride comfort is lacking. I'd say the suspension is firm, not hard and shaky - somewhat rubbery instead. But overall it translates bumps into the cabin well enough instead of absorbing them.
  • Highway stability - while the Hatch sticks to the road nicely and is a great hadling car, it doesn't handle bumpy highways well due to it's small size and short wheelbase. It becomes jumpy over bumps going 100+ km\h.
  • Multimedia is OK but leaves something to be desired. It gets the job done but lacks many of the bells and whistles you can get in newer cars like the latest Mercedes. EDIT: This is based on 2019 model with 6.5 touchscreen. Newer ones seem to have improved significantly.

Summary - if you are fully into spirited driving, i doubt you'll find anything that feels bad in MINI, unless you had experience with more powerful dedicated sports cars like Mercedes AMG, BMW M, Porsche etc.
If you are looking for a comfy everyday A-to-B car, consider the above.
Also, i don't see any reason to choose ONE over COOPER except for budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I thought i'd follow up on the latest questions and summarize my experience with the MINI in general, although it would be based of a 3-door JCW (231 hp, 8-speed auto).

From the perspective of driving experience i don't see any shortcomings. We don't have many of the competitors on sale here like Megane RS or Civic Type R, but MINI is at least ONE OF the best options available if you value driving experience first.
  • Steering is tight enough to balance comfort and response\handling, it is very sharp and snappy. Car sticks to the road nicely and is easy to control and throw around.
  • Throttle response and pedal-engine-transmission collaboration is well configured, especially with "driving modes" option installed. The pedal is well balanced in "mid" mode, sharp enough for spirited driving in "sport" mode and is perfect for hooning if you additionally flip gearbox into "sport". "Green" i just dont use :D
  • Brakes are durable, have a strong bite (keep in mind i have JCW brakes tho) and pedal has a nice balance between travel and pressure - it's easy to control braking intensity.
  • Engine is great (although i'm talking the 231 hp one), it provides a wide torque band making it easy to drive around the city enjoying nice pick ups from low RPMs and it has a punch at mid-high RPM should you need it. Turbo lag is almost absent which benefits to throttle response.
  • 8-speed automatic gearbox is great, it shifts quickly, has solid and well though-out shifting logic and throttle response, even better with driving modes. I can complain a little bit that it could hold the gear in "mid" for a little bit longer but generally it's ok because we have a great "sport" mode specifically for the gearbox. Also, it's not the most comfortable one in the industry for smooth rides but does the job well.
  • Visibility is nice in a 3 door hatch. A-pillars are placed farther from your head and aligned more vertically than on majority of other cars and with this they are less likely to hide a pedestrian (but they still can, be wary!) and huge coupe-door windows allow to see more when turning on intersections. The only downside would the low roof that makes it hard to see traffic lights if you stopped first on a red light.
  • Mirrors are good in my opinion - OK size, decent shape, dont have those stupid curvy areas that eat up to 20-25% of mirror width. By no means those are mirrors of a Ford truck, but they get the job done.
  • LED headlights are great. Not industry best, but great overall - solid visibility at night outside of city. For a signigicant improvement you will need matrix LED.
  • Ergonomics are good in most cases (not without some hiccups though like when you reach for media control knob, handbrake gets in the way). What i like about my MINI is that unlike many latest gen cars, i still have easy to reach physical toggles for things like DSC on\off.
  • Durability-wise there are no serious common issues with new\fresh cars (unless you get a used one that was abused in the past).
Now to what's lacking
  • Noise insulation - average at best. It's totally OK for me, but overall it's not a car to enjoy long rides in silence.
  • Space - obviously, a 3 door hatch is small. Cabin space is a something that can be debated a lot and while i'm 185 cm tall and 95 kilo "wide", i'm feeling comforable in my MINI. However, objectively it's not a family or utility car. Rear seats can fit a child at best. However, you won't believe how many things you can squeeze in a 3 door hatch if a strong need arises.
  • Ride comfort - i have a sport suspension on my JCW with DDC so my experience might differ from other guys with regular suspension and smaller wheels, but overall ride comfort is lacking. I'd say the suspension is firm, not hard and shaky - somewhat rubbery instead. But overall it translates bumps into the cabin well enough instead of hiding them.
  • Highway stability - while the Hatch sticks to the road nicely and is a great hadling car, it doesn't handle bumpy highways well due to it's small size and short wheelbase. It becomes jumpy over bumps going 100+ km\h.
  • Multimedia is OK but leaves something to be desired. It gets the job done but lacks many of the bells and whistles you can get in newer cars like the latest Mercedes.

Summary - if you are fully into spirited driving, i doubt you'll find anything that feels bad in MINI, unless you had experience with more powerful dedicated sports cars like Mercedes AMG, BMW M, Porsche etc.
If you are looking for a comfy everyday A-to-B car, consider the above.
Also, i don't see any reason to choose ONE over COOPER except for budget.
This is very helpful and chimes with what most say, albeit your experience of the suspension is based on the far more powerful, and tweaked, JCW whereas I am considering the base Cooper and, yes, would agree, to rule out the One.

I have sat in Mini Coopers and experienced that jumpiness over bumps that you describe which I found annoying but, again, that was a 2014 model and I am told that the 2016 iteration onwards allows for a softer suspension. Having said this, the thrills of the Mini drive are probably offset by that over-responsive suspension to bumps.

The lag will not be a problem if I consider the manual gearbox which is my ideal preference.

I keep hearing good things from everybody about brakes, steering precision but yours is the first post to cite shortcomings with the multimedia system which I thought was supposed to be one of the best in its class?!

As my idea of entertainment system has been singing to myself (bear in mind my current car, which I have owned since 2005, is a Nissan Micra K, with a six-cd player), and certainly not au fait with Mercedes or other cars' multi-media systems, I suspect that the Mini's will do rather nicely!

Thanks, again, for the thorough and thoroughly helpful response..Appreciated
 

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yours is the first post to cite shortcomings with the multimedia system which I thought was supposed to be one of the best in its class?!
I'm not really saying it's bad. It just "lacks bells and whistles" as i said above. After all, the current MINI Hatch is a 2014 base model even despite two refresh cycles.
Touch-screen responsiveness is OK at best but by no means close to what you'd expect from modern smartphones.
It can't do "Hi Mercedes, do something for me".
It does not have wireless apple carplay \ android auto (unless i missed something in LCI2)
It has a comparatively basic menu and does not offer "widgets" or quick controls like in a Merc
Basically, it's behind this in user experience: Revolution in the Cockpit: Mercedes-Benz User Experience | Daimler

But anyway it's by no means bad. It's not top notch but gets the job done well. It has all the major functions one would expect today. It connects to a phone, it plays music, it shows maps (with navi), it has a sharp screen, it is quick enough, it has carplay\android.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I'm not really saying it's bad. It just "lacks bells and whistles" as i said above. After all, the current MINI Hatch is a 2014 base model even despite two refresh cycles.
Touch-screen responsiveness is OK at best but by no means close to what you'd expect from modern smartphones.
It can't do "Hi Mercedes, do something for me".
It does not have wireless apple carplay \ android auto (unless i missed something in LCI2)
It has a comparatively basic menu and does not offer "widgets" or quick controls like in a Merc
Basically, it's behind this in user experience: Revolution in the Cockpit: Mercedes-Benz User Experience | Daimler

But anyway it's by no means bad. It's not top notch but gets the job done.
From what I have read the 2021 refresh is swipe-controlled, fast and responsive as well as having Apple Car Play and Android capability as well as being much more dynamic and intuitive (which perhaps can be seen as a basic menu). From what owners of Mercedes cars tell me, the systems in there are over-priced, plasticky and unattractive.
 

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From what owners of Mercedes cars tell me, the systems in there are over-priced, plasticky and unattractive.
Well, i happen to own a 2020 C-class (W205) in parallel with the MINI. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the full MBUX system but I can somewhat reflect.
I agree that depending on one's tastes the whole setup with huge tablets instead of a regular dashboard may look unattractive. And this whole thing in A-class feels plasticky to some extent.
But what i'm talking about is the UX design of the multimedia.
What i really like in the Merc multimedia is how it allows to switch between functions and access subfunctions with less hassle - for example, in the article above you can notice the main menu carousel that has control buttons for stereo, small infoblocks for navigation (next turn, distance to next turn) and quick access to phone functions at the same time. Which is convenient because it reduces the amount of clicks you need to reach something.

In pre-LCI2 MINI 6.5 screen system I had to click through menus and buttons to get to each of these. However, i know that infotaiment has been revised in LCI2 so it may be better now.
 

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2020 Mini Cooper S Sport Auto
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My LCI has wireless apple car play. To be honest I prefer the iDrive controller to the touch screen. Also we have the latest Mercedes A Class. The haptic buttons on the steering wheel are not user friendly and the multitude of screens, menus and swiping is bewildering. Less is more when it comes to entertainment and i much prefer the Mini over the Merc. Also you still have the buttons near the iDrive controller to get to phone, nav, media etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Well, i happen to own a 2020 C-class (W205) in parallel with the MINI. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the full MBUX system but I can somewhat reflect.
I agree that depending on one's tastes the whole setup with huge tablets instead of a regular dashboard may look unattractive. And this whole thing in A-class feels plasticky to some extent.
But what i'm talking about is the UX design of the multimedia.
What i really like in the Merc multimedia is how it allows to switch between functions and access subfunctions with less hassle - for example, in the article above you can notice the main menu carousel that has control buttons for stereo, small infoblocks for navigation (next turn, distance to next turn) and quick access to phone functions at the same time. Which is convenient because it reduces the amount of clicks you need to reach something.

In pre-LCI2 MINI 6.5 screen system I had to click through menus and buttons to get to each of these. However, i know that infotaiment has been revised in LCI2 so it may be better now.
Perhaps you should drive the Mercs more then? I love the look and circular aesthetics of the infotainment system on the Mini and not one person on here, nor in my dealings with people stopped at random on the streets, with their 2016ff Mini vehicles have cited the system as a bone of contention. I suspect this is a subjective matter...
 

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Perhaps you should drive the Mercs more then?
Nah, the only thing i'd consider swapping my JCW to is an A-class AMG and these things cost almost 200% of a MINI here :)
I love my MINI for driving experience it provides and a non-AMG C-class is just nowhere near.

I suspect this is a subjective matter...
Definitely, it's an apples and oranges thing.
 

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P.S. I researched more about the new MINI infotaiment system and i admit i was too harsh with my evaluation above, mostly because i based it on my 6.5-with-touchscreen 2019 model experience.
 
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