Dynamite comes in small packages. These words aptly describe the recently updated Mini Cooper S 2.0 litre turbocharged engine we recently had on review. The Cooper S may be small in size but it packs a lot of power and aesthetic appeal. The Cooper S competes in the hotly contested “hot hatch” market and certainly offers formidable competition to its competitors. We recently had the 3 door version of the Cooper S on review.
The first reaction we got from most friends we met up with when we had the Cooper S was that it is a beautiful car. Our Cooper S came in an Emerald Grey Metallic colour with black stripes. The Cooper S has big circular headlights which are circled by black linings and it makes the car stand out. The big high-gloss black front grille with the red “S” sign give the car much character and makes it stand out even more.
The Cooper S came with LED daytime driving lights and the panoramic sunroof. The rear-end lights of the Cooper S remind us of the Mini’s British heritage as they are shaped in the style of the Union Jack. The rear lights are also surrounded by black linings to make them stand out more. The Cooper S is a performance car so it obviously comes with double exhaust pipes which are nestled in the middle of the rear bumper. The Cooper S came with 18 inch black wheels with black rims.
The first to notice inside the Cooper S is the illumination on the side door panels and the dashboard. Keeping the British theme, the dashboard illumination bears the Union Jack on the passenger’s side. The screen of the Infotainment system (even though not touchscreen) is sufficiently big and it is hard to miss any information illuminated on the screen. The Infotainment system is also easy to understand and user-friendly. The Cooper S comes with Apple CarPlay, two USB charging ports and Bluetooth connectivity so there is no excuse for not having entertainment in the car.
Our Cooper S came with an on-board navigation system which was efficient and updated routes in a timely manner. We also had black leather seats and specifically sports leather seats for the driver and the front passenger. As already indicated above, the Cooper S is a small car so space is not its greatest strength, however, we did manage to comfortably sit 4 adults but this was for a short trip, and the back passengers did, however, state that they may consider their options for a trip from Johannesburg to Durban. Still on space and practicality, while the Cooper S has an armrest available, it is not convenient to use while driving as it fights for space with hand brake. The boot is decently sized and perhaps mostly aimed at a couple sharing the car. You will have to look at the 5 door option if you want to be on school run duties.
Technology and engine
The Cooper S is quite impressive on the technology front with features such as Real Time Traffic Information, the vehicle internet portal Mini Online with news, weather, Apple CarPlay and navigation. The Cooper S technology also has an emphasis on safety, as it came with active drive assist which constantly gives the driver warnings when the vehicle gets too close to a car in front of it. The Cooper S also came with active cruise control and park assist technology. Powering the Cooper S is a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which produces 141kW of power and 300Nm of torque that is paired with a 7-speed smooth and efficient dual clutch transmission.
We enjoyed driving the Cooper S, it is inviting and has a sweet grunt. Notwithstanding close to the ground due to the low design of the car, the Cooper S has a good driving position and the drive of the Cooper S feels smooth and refined in all driving modes of the car: Sport, Mid and Green. The Cooper S is quick off the mark with a rapid accelerator response (hence the grunt) on all drive modes, but particularly more responsive on the Sport mode. The driver can immediately tell when the Cooper S is on Sport mode, the suspension tightens and the steering wheel firms up for better handling. The Cooper S is a comfortable car to drive as a daily vehicle on short trips and a comfortable drive for the long trips. Mini claims that the Cooper S averages 6.6litres/100km in town driving, however, we could not manage to get the Cooper S to below 9.3litres/100km even on highway driving. This is understandable, however, as the Cooper S is a hot hatch and almost prompts you to behave in all sorts of ways that would see your fuel consumption going up.
The Cooper S is priced from R597,800.
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