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The blokes over at Fifth Gear got their hands on the new MINI Cooper S and gave it the thorough once over. Contrary to other reports, Tom Ford maintains that the 'go-cart' handling characteristics that made the last model so popular among drivers are still alive and well.

Styling-wise, Ford agrees that upon first inspection the new Cooper looks much larger. That perception is, in fact true, but mainly due to the hood's height increase that meets stricter pedestrian impact laws. The newly revised front end causes the beltline to move northwards, giving the new MINI a taller stance.

The three models mentioned in the video are the Cooper, Cooper S and the 1.4-liter One model that has been available across the pond, but hasn't made its way to the States.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The whole point of having a MINI is the fact it is small...er was small. If they make it bigger they need to make a smaller car to take its place.
      • 8 Years Ago
      UGLY all day long

      I guess once UGLY always a UGLY

      • 8 Years Ago
      The "Fifth Gear" show is unbearable to watch now, They basically turned a manly auto enthusiast car show in to Martha Stewart and friends talk show.......

      ...and that Lovejoy dude.....I cannot find another person on this earth that is more annoying.
      • 8 Years Ago
      1# You're undecided between a mini or an used Boxster? :p The Boxster is from a completely different galaxy from the mini! I, personally, wouldn't have any doubt! :)

      I guess this is a major restyling, not a new car as BMW states... and I was very interested in a new car.. the concepts were so promising!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have an 03 Cooper S and it's been a near perfect car except for the classic BMW problem with the window motor on the driver's side. I finally saw the "new" Mini when I took my 03 to the for my second oil service.

      It's perfectly a fine looking car inside and out. There was no point in changing it dramatically. If you listened to the story the styling changes were largely forced by changes in UK law relating to bonnet height. You really have to know what to look for - the different S badges and the turn indicators set in with the headlights.

      I'm curious to see how the turbo drives, but I'm going to wait until they R56 the Convertible. I have no problems with it. The Mini is its look. You can't deviate too far from it. You add to the line or you discontinue the name but Mini's look like Minis.

      For the record, I can appreciate the the debate between a Mini and a used Boxster. Both are perfectly reasonable options if you're looking for a fast, fun second car to supplement your daily work car.

      I've kicked around trading the Mini for an XK or used Boxster just because I live in FL and I'm dying for a droptop. The Mini is just more functional (I have a dog who rides in the back with the rear seats down.) but the Porsche is faster. It's still a good debate. And if you get a Porsche with the main seal fix, you can't go wrong.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #1- You are the reason I never let my customers drive without me riding along. Don't waste a salesman's time if you're not really interested. We make our living from SELLING cars, not showing them. Have some respect for other people's property (OPP?).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks good. Better performance, better quality, same handling. Plus it's only about 3 inches longer, so still mini-sized!
      • 8 Years Ago
      tj: While I certainly agree with you about respecting other people's property, if you're not willing to SHOW me your product, you are absolutely not going to SELL it to me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Now, tj and gwballin, don't make me separate you too. Keep your distances!

      I never restrain myself when I test drive a car. With or without salesperson. It's a test drive, not a sunday drive.

      Also, regarding the Mini, go-kart handling it is. FWD go-kart that is.

      I haven't read much praise about interior quality and reliability of the Mini. Hopw it improves with this model. Then again, it can easily sell on styling (awww it's so cute) and name, it's a BMW after all...
      • 8 Years Ago
      BMW pays its design staff millions for this? No surprise since BMWs now look the same as BMWs ten years ago. Could a new John Cooper Works package be in the works?
      • 8 Years Ago

      You're right, I was laying it on a little think. My apologies to all. I just couldn't let the comment about wasting a salesman's time go without saying something.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would have liked them to at least have changed the styling a bit more. I know 'don't fix what's not broken' and all that, but you need it to stand out as a new model, not a seemingly facelifted one. Of course if you put them side by side, the difference between the old and new mini would be more obvious but it should already be obvious on its own.
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