King of the Hill Holder - 2007 Mini Cooper S Long-Term Road Test

2007 MINI Cooper Long Term Road Test

2007 Mini Cooper S: King of the Hill Holder

January 08, 2008

2007 Mini Cooper S Hill Assist -- Photo by James Riswick

When learning how to drive stick, I recall viewing an upcoming hill -- and the subsequent stop -- as if 10,000 frothy-mouthed huns were rampaging towards me. To prevent rolling back, I'd usually rev the hell out of the engine and wait with nostrils primed for the aroma of smoking clutch. Sometimes I'd resort to the old e-brake pull, which is what I witnessed drivers routinely doing on the damp, cobblestone streets of Edinburgh.

Today, I don't have that problem, but starting a manual-equipped car on a hill is still hardly a treat. Except of course in our Mini Cooper S and other cars equipped with Hill Assist (I recall Subaru being the first to offer it, but I could be wrong)...

With the clutch in and the car in gear, the Mini automatically locks the brakes for a few seconds until the car starts forward. It basically gives you a third leg and every car with a manual transmission should have one. New and Scotish drivers would certainly appreciate it.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 9,259 miles

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