2007 MINI Cooper Long Term Road Test

2007 Mini Cooper S: Road Trip Buddy

November 13, 2007

This weekend, I put some serious miles on our long-term 2007 Mini Cooper S. Great little car. Spunky as hell, quick, a blast to drive. And despite its relative ubiquity in Southern California, people look at it...

I zipped up the Central Coast via highway 101, past Santa Barbara and out to Route 1 as soon as I could. The Mini was a rocket on the highway and handled side roads with aplomb, even out by the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Reserve, where sand covered parts of the road.

We covered all kinds of territory, and the Mini impressed with its very direct steering and excellent power. High-speed highway cruising was a blast, and on tight roads through state parks, it gripped the road tightly. And whether appearing every bit its mini self against Morro Rock...

or happily surveying the magnificent dunes of Montana de Oro State Park...

it felt right at home. A couple minor quibbles surfaced, though. It's got a bit of torque steer. Which is not a bad thing. When you shift up from 1st to 2nd gear with your foot in it, it kicks a little, so you need a good grip on the wheel. Kinda like a horse feeling that you're just about to romp, it's letting you know it's eager and ready.

And for you music lovers, the stereo resets to the beginning of the CD when you restart the engine. Which frankly drove me nuts. In fact, the whole car seems to reset, because if you hit the "S" (Sport) button or disable the stability control, those immediately reset at restart.

And maybe it's me, but the car seems to fog up quickly. I realize I was wearing a heavy fleece and leaving a Central Coast beach at sunset in November, but several times I had to open the windows to defog the inside of the car.

Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 6,874 miles

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