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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a 3 dr F56 new from dealer but I just can't decide between the Cooper/Justa and the MCS. Money is definitely a factor, but I'm hoping to treat it gently and don't commute very far, and get 8+ years out of it if possible, so I'd really like to get something I enjoy. I definitely don't want to give up options like the sunroof and console screen.

How much more reliable / cheaper to run is the 1.5L likely to be over the 2L long term? The S is about 4k (Canadian) more at the dealer.

Also, is there much reason to wait for the 2017 models? I'd rather not, but I can if there is. In Canada the warranty won't be changing AFAIK as its already more limited than the USA one.
 

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Tough question. Getting 8 plus years out of the mini will be a walk in the park so no problems there.

Some of the deciding factors is of course money, enjoyment factor, re-sale and additional items in the MCS.

You mentioned you wont commute very far but what else will you use the car for? If it's purely to be used as a work commuter and nothing else, go for the 1.5, if you want some weekend drives or other, for me, go with the 2.0lt but i'm coming from a JCW perspective.
Either way, the mini is a great car to drive in any manner.
Don't know about the 2017 model but don't think there will be much of an upgrade.
 

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I tested the Cooper & MCS. Both automatics. I was surprised by how quick the Cooper is, & by its glorious noise, which is much more pleasing than the 4 banger MCS.

Factoring in the lower purchase price, better mpg, cheaper road tax, cheaper tyres, cheaper insurance, etc, the choice was obvious for me & I bought the Cooper. I've saved thousands, & any performance shortfall would be missed only at a track day.

I don't listen to much music in the car now, as the sound of that fabulous 3 pot engine is so entertaining. It's very torquey, has superb throttle response, & frequently gets off the line much quicker than I actually intended.

Having owned a BMW M3, GMC Syclone (0-60mph in 4.6), etc, I'm familiar with powerful cars, & I don't think you'll be disappointed with the 1.5 Cooper.
 

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For me the smoothness of the MCS over the Cooper is the clincher. Our Cooper was nice, and I can understand why people like the 3 pot, but the smoothness of the 4 pot makes the car feel more premium in my opinion.
 

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And lots of optionals you'd order in Cooper...are present by default in Cooper S.
that's a good point - put your spec together on a Cooper & then check how many of your options are standard build on the S. the price differential might not be as much as you think
 

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If you are only commuting you won't notice it, but the lighter engine in the Cooper gives better balanced handling, so some testers say but I didn't try the S as I do not like the look of the front.

Purchase price wasn't an issue for me but most reviews said the Cooper was the car of choice so I tried one and that engine, and it's sound, sold it to me. Plus the ongoing lower running costs.
 

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What equipment (other than 16" wheels rather than 15" wheels) does an S have as standard over an S?

Perhaps market specific, but in the UK I am not aware of anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At least in my scenario, I'm looking at two orange F56 3 DR, already on the lot, one is justa, one is S, exact same options, trims and rims. Difference in the price is $3900 CDN dollars extra for the S.

Is the long term reliability of the justa likely to be better than the S?
 

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What equipment (other than 16" wheels rather than 15" wheels) does an S have as standard over an S?

Perhaps market specific, but in the UK I am not aware of anything.
White indicators
Sports seats
Sports leather steering wheel
Performance control
16" wheels
Different spoiler
Different front & rear & exhaust
500cc / 56BHP / 60nm
Thunder grey option
-£3,400

;)
 

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Hmmm... It's a tricky one, and there isn't really a right or wrong answer.

Personally speaking, because after I entered Mini-dom from previously having straight six BMs, when I got my R53, I felt a Cooper S was the absolute lowest I could go. But then again, the Cooper of that vintage was a dog.

Continuing the lineage, and by now I was proud of being a Mini owner rather than seeing it as a status drop, when I got my R56 I also felt that the Cooper was just too slow.

The F56 Cooper, however, is far from a dog. It doesn't just have an atmospheric version of the lump in the S, but it's own fizzy little powerplant, arguably better handling (although this was the case on the R53 actually, I think), and is no slouch.

Back when I had my R56 (which up to three and half weeks back was the case) my local dealer would always give me a F56 Cooper a a courtesy car since they came out. On your own on the road, and not locking horns with anyone, which let's face it is how it is 95% of the time, that three-cylinder is a marvel. It never feels slow, it's a joy. However, try to put any manners on anyone with a quick overtake when they're doing 50 in a 60 zone or something like that... It just requires a bit of work. And that's in comparison to my R56 with 90,000 on the clock.

Also, I can take or leave the front end of the F56 but the back end with it's most accentuated swerve yet over the central pipes is a lovely thing.

I also give myself this little tester when comparing two cars, and it usually settles anyone else's dilemma. My scenario is, I'm driving along in my Cooper, and I see a Cooper S drive past me. Am I going to wish I was in that Cooper S. The answer was always yes to me.

The other thing was that, as far as list price was going, I had about £6,000 of options on my S. Mini's pricing structure is such that all of those options on a Cooper cost a little bit more, and by the end of it there's not a lot of difference.

I have Thunder Grey too, but to be honest I only decided I wanted that once I knew I was getting an S.

I also felt that because I had an R53 S, and R56 S, it would seem to sign things of nicely getting another S. So that's a purely nonsensical emotional decision!

I had also negotiated a deal that I didn't think possible on a kitted up S, and it just to the point where I didn't think getting a Cooper would actually be that much cheaper and for three years I might regret it. I suspect this may also be my last Mini as this is my first PCP, which meant I had £3,800 to trade-in against this one, and to replace my current F56 at the end of three years is going to cost the thick end of 400GBP a month rather than the £314 and when you multiply that out 35 times it's a fair old bit of bunse which I can't justify. And I can hear a Mazda MX-5 RF already calling my name (assuming it's cheaper - if not, it'll be another Mini)

I don't want anyone to think I'm down on the Cooper, as I'm not. I think that engine is great, and is probably the sweet spot in the range for someone with common sense. And four days into having the car, I said to a colleague "You know, I think I could have got by on the Cooper", for the simple reason I'm an old fart of 40 as of this week and I'm just not leathering it about the place as I used to. However, in a month's time, when I've kind of got a bit bored of it, I might start. And I've got that option. Plus I've got that overtaking ability. And performance wise, even though on paper it doesn't look that impressive, the F56 S really is quite a weapon relative to the R56 S.

My other party trick is revving up at lights next to kiddies in very old non-type R Civics with bean cans on the back or anything else that wouldn't stand a chance were I bothered, or for that matter things that would beat me. But getting that popping and banging off the over-run which when stationary is a lovely thing, and then the lights go green and they go tearing off leaving their clutch behind, and I just go on my way very slowly. Or even turn left!

But if it's an eight year plan, and you average it out over those years, the cost difference is negligible isn't it. I'd go for the S. But I don't think even the most hardened S driver would say you'd made the wrong decision going for a Cooper. In some aspects less is more, in others it's definitely less. I love my Mini and it's my third Cooper S, but I really wanted a JCW. But I decided I wasn't bothered enough by it to pay the extra. You may quite rightly feel the same about the S.

I would have saved people a lot of time I'd just said "I don't know" wouldn't I.
 

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One other very small point irrelevant to some, but important to me, is the ability of the Cooper to carry a spare wheel, albeit a space saver, while the S can not, due to the exhaust configuration.

The spare does not encroach on interior space as it is carried in a protective housing underneath at the back, and if there is an option to have a spare wheel I always go for it.

I had a bad experience with that sealant stuff some years ago and don't want to repeat it though I expect it has improved greatly since then.
 

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One other very small point irrelevant to some, but important to me, is the ability of the Cooper to carry a spare wheel, albeit a space saver, while the S can not, due to the exhaust configuration.

The spare does not encroach on interior space as it is carried in a protective housing underneath at the back, and if there is an option to have a spare wheel I always go for it.

I had a bad experience with that sealant stuff some years ago and don't want to repeat it though I expect it has improved greatly since then.
Good point but surely not a clincher?
 

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Although I knew I wanted the "S" I also made a testdrive in the Cooper (manual and auto) and I must say it teally impressed me and made the choice difficult...but that quickly diasappeared once I was in the "S" again. Yes the Cooper is also very quick and responsive, it sounds sporty though a bit raw and it sure is a good choice but the "S" gave me just that little more special feeling with that extra power and that glorious exhaust noises. And that was before I upgraded it with the JCW exhaust.

Don't get me wrong, not a bad word about the Cooper but it's all depending on what you find more important. I was affraid that choosing the Cooper while the "S" was on my mind would make me regret to change my choice.

Best I can think of is to make a proper test drive in both models. Not just a quick spin around the block but a combi of town, highway and some nice curvy roads.

Ues the "S" may be cheaper to run when you look at insurance and road tax (where applicable) but tyres and fuel consumption all depend on the way you drive it and the size of wheels you spec it with. Smaller engine doesn't always equal lower fuel consumption.

My version of saying 'I don't know'. :D
 

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So what I observed from your post is that you don't mention driving either one of them. If you haven't driven either one of them then in my opinion you should go with the Cooper. it sounds like there are many factors that you are considering that probably weigh heavier than the different level of performance. My advice is do not drive a Cooper S, drive a Cooper and if it makes you smile there's your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for your opinions. I had a very brief test drive in the S so far, but am going back in a couple days for a more extensive test drive of both and then hopefully making my choice and finalizing the payment then. Like I said it's a big purchase for me and hoping to keep it for a long time to get the most value out of buying new, so really trying to weigh the options carefully. My biggest concern is the long term reliability and running costs of the S version.
 
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