|Reviewed By||Chad Tyson|
|Price as Tested||$37,395; 189-hp, 207-lb-ft, 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo I4, 6-speed automatic w/paddle shifters|
Zippy little car around town. Love the BRG Metallic paint and white roof, even if the large wheels make the whole car appear a little cartoonish. No rattles or squeaks going over speed bumps at 30 mph or hillclimbing a washboard dirt road. Sport mode has an excited exhaust note and decent steering feedback. Green mode, where the screen encouraged me to “MINImalize” something, is not pointless. I spent an entire morning hopping around town and barely saw movement of the fuel gauge. That’s efficiency.
Nearly 37% of this car’s price was for options ($13,795 of $37,395). The heads-up display is for people much shorter than 5’10”. Turbo lag. Sport mode only improves the throttle response somewhat. $1,500 for the auto? Sure, it shifts quickly, but it had better. $250 John Cooper Works steering wheel was the cheapest price for any option on this car. Two colleagues thought the car was a legit JCW model based on the one (and only) JCW emblem at the base of the wheel.
Carving lines through wine country, south and west of Portland, wasn’t as enjoyable as I was expecting. I was hoping for a spastic, hyper puppy, but instead got an adult dog that really enjoyed fetch. It’s a moderately fun car, but that total price is hard to swallow. The Mini’s base price is less than, but comparable to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ — but neither of those cars cost this much when fully loaded. In the hot hatch segment, compared to the Fiesta ST or the Fiat 500 Abarth, the MINI falls behind in terms of promise and what is ultimately delivered. I’d keep the MINI in mind when looking for a city commuter with some hill-carving handling, but watch out for the quickly escalating cost with options. And don’t let it be the only car you test drive before you buy.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
|Zero to Sixty Time||6.4 seconds|
|EPA Mileage||27/38 = 31 combined|
Mar 09, 2015