Mini Cooper S Review

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  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

GoldenJoystick's review of Mini Cooper S

★★★★☆

“IMHO the Mini Cooper S is the most fun I've had in a...”

Written on: 08/01/2005 by GoldenJoystick (1 review written)

Good Points
Acceleration
Drivability
Looks

Bad Points
Noisy power steering at low speeds
Brakes are a bit funky on ice/snow (anyone else noticed this?)

General Comments
IMHO the Mini Cooper S is the most fun I've had in a hot hatch since the R5 Turbo.



Very solid build, brisk accleration from 0-90, u can almost get 50mph out of 1st gear if you ask it nicely!



I did a lot of research before buying this car and was confused at the varying perfomance stats from mags/websites claiming 0-60's from 7.8-6.9.

The mini drivers manual states 7.4 seconds & i'd have to say I agree when comparing it to other cars i've had the pleasure of racing - ibiza cupra 2.0T, focus st170, celica VVTi, sunny GTi, modded peugot 205 1.9 GTi - all fell victim to the wail of the supercharger!!



I've had my mini for over a year now and decided to take it down to the chaps at BBR in brackley (www.bbrgti.com) for an engine re-map. £350 was paid to take the mini from 163bhp to 181bhp. I had a grin-on all the way home! BBR claims it has knocked 0.5 of the 0-60 taking it down to 6.9. I intend to get the mini dyno tested to see if this is true.



The stock mini cooper s seems to lose a lot of its grunt from 90mph onwards but with the re-map it keeps on pulling up to 120mph! The increased throttle response is noticeable too, and the fact that you are constantly doing 5-10mph more than you thought you were will take some getting used to!



My mini's on 16s, many reviews have said that this set up affords the best handling so thats what I went for. The 17s look nice but if it makes the car slower & handle worse why bother? These cars are primarily about performance so go for the 16s, you wont be dissapointed when it comes to the crunch!



I'll be upgrading to the BBR Phase 1 conversion later this year & will let you peeps know how it goes. 220bhp & a claimed 0-60 of around 6 seconds. Bye bye clios ;)

  • 2003

    Year Manufactured

  • 1.5 Years

    Length of ownership

  • Performance

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  • Reliability

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Samm's Response to GoldenJoystick's Review

Written on: 15/01/2005

16's are definitley best- the MCS does lose a bit top end but thats because it's supercharged- connected directly to the crank, so what you gain at the bottom end- you lose at the top end although BBR are very good and can uprate the Supercharger with very good results. Still, if you are racing a modded 172/182 Cup you will need more power to beat it but a standard one you will beat with a 200+bhp MCS.

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London2005's Response to GoldenJoystick's Review

Written on: 05/07/2005

bbr are fantasic, i had a passenger ride in their top spec demo car, 260+ bhp if i remember..absolutely fantastic!

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Jazzrs360's Response to GoldenJoystick's Review

Written on: 29/03/2005

Great review, the Cooper S is a truly good car. I am an owner of a Skoda Octavia vRS Turbo and so I am always on the lookout for potenetial rivals which I love to compare to mine. Now the Cooper S is perhaps a car you buy with your heart, not your quite your head: other rivals offer more space, refinement, even performance etc... Fine, you'll appreciate the handling of the S more so than my Octavia vRS, but while both of them are in standard form, the S's 163 bhp is just not as effective as my 180 bhp (Autocar mag tested the vRS as 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds). And the vRS costs less brand new (no, I'm NOT boasting!). I've had many encounters with the S- and it is by no means an easy advesary, in fact it is a highly surprising and dangerous one, but I have emerged victorious each and every time on the motorway. In the city however, I bow down to the Mini's agility and nippy characteristics. When you do your conversion however to get it up to 220 bhp or so, I expect that it will become a true super pocket rocket. 6 seconds 0-60 mph is easily reachable and provided your gears are fettled with, your S should be capable of a potential 150 mph give or take a few mph. Couple that to the Mini's small body and then you will have an allround killer. After that, your little Mini will be practically unstoppable, no doubt you already know that...I'm now cursing under my breath with envy! Good luck with it and happy motoring. :)

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