2007 Mini Cooper S: Now with 98% Fewer Rattles!!!
April 16, 2008
I had the Mini Cooper S this past weekend (I didn't notice the A/C stink) and I once again realized the vast improvements made to this car over the original new Mini. In fact, I'd venture to say that this one went down in only three areas: center stack ergonomics, styling and steering. Even the last one is a mixed reaction since the two-mode electric set-up is far friendlier in parking situations.
My girlfriend owned a 2005 Mini Cooper S and I subsequently logged quite a few miles behind the wheel in it -- including the same route I took this week to Moorpark, Calif...
Over the craptacular pavement that covers the journey, the old Mini's ride was punishing and its seats would make my lower back numb. New Mini's seating position is much better (thank you telescoping wheel), the seats are far more comfortable and the ride is much friendlier -- although certainly on the firm side.
The best improvement, though, is build quality. Every interior trim panel on the last-generation Mini seemed to rattle and shake like crazy over the slightest imperfection. The blue dash panel on my GF's Mini would squeak so much, I would press down on it to prevent myself from going bonkers. This was virtually from the beginning of ownership. The new one after 13,000 miles? Nothing, absolutely quiet. Say what you will about the Playskool look of the dash, but they at least screwed it together well.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 13,692 miles