Mixed Emotions - 2007 Mini Cooper S Long-Term Road Test

2007 MINI Cooper Long Term Road Test

2007 Mini Cooper S: Mixed Emotions

February 25, 2008

I've not spent a lot of quality time in our Mini Cooper so I opted to take it home for the weekend. I think my expectations were too high — the car is disappointing to me. I suspect the optional Sport Package is to blame.

On the freeway, the car darts around like a nesting sparrow and the ride is so bumpy that even normal conversation sounds as if both participants are pounding their chests...

If it were my money, I'd skip the $1,900 Sport Package (17in wheels, HID headlights, stability control) and the $500 sport suspension. Instead of paying close to $2,500 extra for a car I would dread driving, maybe I could save some money by paying a neighbor $100 to slap me around a little.

I could also do without the faux carbon fiber trim. It looks OK but seems very flimsy when you start poking around — makes a similarly priced Malibu seem luxurious by comparison.

On the plus side — my wife managed to get quite a bit of birthday party junk in the cargo area (rear seats folded down) including a small kiddy slide and a tricycle. The tall roof is another bonus. Installing a rear baby seat is easier than in many other small cars with only a fraction of the Mini's character — not that it's going to come up for most Mini owners.

Finally, If you're looking to buy one of these, get the S. This thing goes like stink and the six speed manual's gear spacing is nearly perfect.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 11,970 miles.

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