MINI Cooper S Convertible

 

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MINI Cooper S Convertible

I loved driving this MINI with the top down. It had character. The Cooper S engine was awesome as well, and even though it was an auto box it was still extremely sporty. I called her Vicky for the week I had her. I don’t name many of the test cars I get but this car was a bit different and a lot of fun. When the top was up it felt a little bit small inside, but it really came alive with the top down. R340,000.00 is quite a lot for a  small car but Mini is a statement, even a lifestyle. The car is beautifully finished and there is real attention to detail inside.

 

I especially liked the big speedo that fitted around the radio and sat-nav system. It gave the MINI a very retro feel. The interior in general was neat, it really felt comfortable and luxurious. I am not the biggest fan of a pale interior but that was just what I got in the test car. I have also been in a MINI Cooper S with a dark interior, and I preferred that. I really felt at home and wanted to just drive and drive the MINI.

 

The consumption was okay, it wasn’t fantastic but for a nippy, sporty car it wasn’t bad at all. The roof came down nice and easily. I quite liked that it came down in stages. It made it more dynamic and versatile as a convertible, and it really was best with the roof down. There was quite a lot of road noise as is the case with most Convertibles but when you have Harman Kardon sound in the MINI you don’t notice it as much.

 

There are parking sensors on the MINI as well, making a car that was already quite easy to park, even better. It’s a proper Jozi town drive and it would fit in from Sandton to Soweto. The Sat-Nav worked well and the sound was excellent. I found the drive in general comfortable and the automatic gearbox added to this, although changing over to the paddle shift definitely made the drive more fun. It did take a while to get used to the paddle shift being top up shift and bottom down shift. I prefer the right hand paddle being up shift and left hand being down shift, but the paddles worked well once I got used to them.

 

The normal and sport modes are spaced nicely so that the normal mode doesn’t feel sluggish but there is a noticeable difference when you are in sports mode. The Cooper S was surprisingly quick. I knew the Cooper S was sporty but I was extremely impressed by how responsive and smooth the car was. I really enjoyed driving it, and it felt like a real drivers car. I was annoyed that like BMW, the iPod connection is a BMW product that you must buy, but when it works it does work well.

Specs Worth Noting:

  • Price: R341,480.00
  • Engine: 1,6 litre Transverse Inline 4.
  • Acceleration 0-100kmph: 7.4 seconds.
  • Power Output: [email protected]
  • Torque: [email protected]
  • Auto Headlamps
  • Auto Windscreen Wipers
  • Park Distance Control: Yes (Rear)
  • Breaks: ABS, EBD, CDC, ASC+T, DTC and DSC.

Competitors:

  • Alfa Romeo MiTo 1,4 MultiAir Quadrifoglio Verde: R265,625.00
  • Citroen DS3 1,6 THP Sport: R261,900.00
  • Honda CR-Z 3-dr: R299,900.00
  • Volkswagen Beetle 1,8T: R313,030.00
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