The Mini Coupe JCW is extremely quick and responsive. Like all front-drive cars it struggles with grip off the line, but once moving it's powertrain snaps the little car around with authority.
This car simply handles well. It's sharp, responsive, grippy, nimble and anxious. A fun machine for shooting gaps in traffic and absolutely murdering on-ramps. Sport mode increases steering weight to be quite heavy.
This is not a comfortable car. Its stiff suspension in combination with its short wheelbase makes it quite busy on anything but a smooth surface. It hops, jiggles and bobs down most freeways.
Forget about peace and quiet in the JCW Coupe. There's gear howl, road noise and at full throttle the engine booms. It's a good sound, but it's also loud.
Like all Mini products, the Coupe trades good ergonomics for style. Even basic controls only marginally follow industry standards. Pairing a phone is difficult and the navigation interface is hard to decipher.
Upright seating and large glass areas help forward visibility but the coupe's body hurts the rear quarter view.
Seat Access & Space
Seat access is reasonable in the Coupe, but this is a small car inside and it's obvious. Seat travel is adequate for most, but headroom suffers. Drivers larger than 6-foot-2 might have trouble. There are no back seats.
Cargo & Storage
Forget about hauling much more than a load of groceries in the Coupe. The cargo area will be adequate for than job and there's a small pass-through to the front seats, but there's no small-items tray and door pockets are small.
Build quality is s strongpoint for the Mini Coupe. Remember, this is a premium small car built by BMW and it shows in the execution. Materials are high quality, assembly is solid and switchgear operates with precision.