The 2019 Mini Cooper Oxford Edition is an interesting little model. It's available in both 2- and 4-door Hardtop configurations and aimed at and specifically for college students, recent grads, those in law or medical school as well as active duty or recently discharged or retired members of the military. No one else qualifies to buy one, which is a bummer, because the Oxford Edition is one smoking deal. Not only does it undercut the price of a bare-bones Cooper, it packs in nearly $7,000 worth of features at no additional cost. That includes stuff like heated seats, a panoramic moonroof, parking sensors and 17-inch wheels. Power still comes from a turbo inline-three, and while an automatic transmission is standard, a six-speed manual is a no-cost option. While the standard Cooper has questionable value given the small size and relatively high price tag, the Oxford Edition is a far more compelling offering. Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: This is such a joyful car to drive. It's quick, spritely and engaging. It feels great rowing through the gears, especially the way the car comes to life as you release the clutch in third gear. The car feels peppy in the low-to-mid rev range, but loses some steam as you climb to the top. The shifter is a little light, though, and it needs a firmer gate to keep you from accidentally shifting into reverse instead of first. There needs to be a more distinct feel from gear to gear in general. The clutch travel is long, but I don't mind it, and the high take-up point feels natural. The less-hot Minis of today feel much more refined than those of yore, while scorchers like the JCW remind me of the older, rawer Minis in their road-going manner, though with more contemporary design, tech and amenities. If I were to buy a Mini myself, it'd be a Hardtop like this — I don't need a lot of power to have fun, day to day, and this one is comfy. I wouldn't be eligible for the Oxford deal, which is a shame, because I really like this configuration, especially for the price. Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale: I almost completely agree with John, the regular Mini Cooper is exemplary of good, simple fun. It makes less than 140 horsepower and pound-feet of torque. That's not a lot of power, but it's enough that you can confidently floor it anywhere in public without breaking the law. And it feels nearly as eager and darty as the JCW, so you can keep your speed up as you rip it around corners. The manual transmission is much appreciated as you'll want to be shifting frequently to keep the power up. It's a shame the manual isn't any better, though. The throws are a little long and loose, and the clutch pedal is weirdly long and a bit stiff. I had to sit closer to the pedals than I normally would to make sure I could use …
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|MPG||28 City / 38 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||134 @ 4400 rpm|
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