Monday, January 9, 2012

Who says size matters? A review of the 2010 Mini Cooper S

Since 1959 Mini has built fun to drive, fuel efficient, little vehicles with the spirit of sports cars. Over time I have driven plenty of Minis and have always quite enjoyed their ability to weave in and out of traffic and handle corners at break neck speeds. When the chance arose to drive the new 2010 Mini Cooper S, I was well studied and ready to have a little bit of fun. The 2010 Mini Cooper S we have in stock is dressed in a light greenish silver metallic paint job and is accented inside with sporty dark black leather seating surfaces. At first glance Minis look very cramped and small, but once inside the cockpit there seems to be plenty of room for two people to travel comfortably. Why they pretend that you can use a backseat I don't really know, but we've seen this for years in our industry as a way to list the car as a 2 + 2 for insurance cost purposes. In 2000 BMW broke apart the Rover Group which owned Mini, but BMW decided to hang on to the Mini brand, and I'm sure plenty of people were thrilled with that decision. put it best by saying Mini is "A marvelous marriage of British character and German know-how" All of the above being said it's time to get down to the actual testing of the car. I apporached our Mini Cooper S with it's circular key fob, (No metal Key Involved) and pressed the unlock button. I slowly slid in the driver's seat and positioned all of my mirrors and adjusted the tight fitting sport seat to my specifications. I slowly pressed the keyfob in it's designated spot, pushed the brake, and the start button at the same time to awaken the little 1.6 Litre 4 cylinder engine. There wasn't much of a growl, but more or less a purr from underneath the hood. As I slowly slide off the lot and onto the main thoroughfare, I can tell that this drive is going to be alot of fun. I swerve from left to right like an Indy car driver before their first lap, and I can already see that corners, and curves are going to be straight devoured by this little car. I'm sure flying down the highway would be plenty of fun in this Mini, but I believe that it's the day to day whipping in and out of traffic that keeps the loyalists coming back for more every year. I can't go into too much detail about the movements I made in this Mini, but I can tell you, that there wasn't a place a good driver couldn't fit this little car into, no matter how fast you or the traffic might be going. I couldn't wait to do some cornenring in this Mini so I took it down to River Rd in Louisville and had the time of my life. As far as cornering, speed, braking, and comfort go, these Mini Coopers are absolutely awesome. If you have kids, dogs, or anything other than one more passenger, I would say that this is probably the wrong car for you. There is little to no room in the backseats and the trunk is very limited as well. If you can get away with just enough space for two, than this would make the perfect car for commuting back and forth from work. The Mini Cooper S gets an astounding 34 mpg on the highway, which leaves plenty of money for all of the speeding tickets I would accumulte if I owned the vehicle and I would imagine that even so much as a drive to pick up the dry cleaning could be an adventure in one of these little cars. The braking was far superior to anything I had driven lately, and the weight proportions were right on point to keep the car grounded and steady going in and out of hard corners. The acceleration wasn't scary, but wasn't lackluster by any means either. The styling is gorgeous, but not intended for everyone and the small size of the vehicle sort of takes the masculinity out of the body, but the drive brings all of that right back. I'm never easy to impress when it comes to vehicles, but this Mini Cooper S, was exactly what it was supposed to be, FUN!!!!!!!!The Mini Cooper S is a blast to drive and would be an absolute pleasure to drive on a day to day basis. BMW gives an excellent warranty as well as some free maintenance and there are now Mini dealers in almost every state in the Country. If the interaction between car and driver is something that's big on your list when car shopping, take the time to test drive a Mini Cooper S. You will not be disappointed and if you get out of a Mini Cooper S after a drive without a smile on your face, then that's totally your own fault. Although I could never own one as a first car, I think a Mini Cooper S, would be a great car to have on the side for weekends or short trips to the store. All in all, for what it is, the Mini Cooper S is an awesome little car and should be driven at least once if you're out car shopping.

2010 Mini Cooper S Specs:

Engine & Performance
  • Base engine size: 1.6 L
  • Cam type: Double overhead cam (DOHC)
  • Cylinders: inline 4
  • Valves: 16
  • Valve timing: Variable
  • Direct injection
  • Torque: 177 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
  • Horsepower: 172 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Turning circle: 35.1 ft.
  • Base engine type: gas
  • Drive type: front wheel drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Brake hill holder
  • MacPherson strut front suspension
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Four-wheel independent suspension
  • Front and rear stabilizer bar
  • Fuel type: gas
  • Fuel type: premium unleaded (required)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 13.2 gal.
  • Range in miles (cty/hwy): 343.2/448.8 mi.
  • EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 26/34 mpg
Mechanical Options
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Sport Suspension

  • Basic: 4 yr./ 50000 mi.

  • Drivetrain: 4 yr./ 50000 mi.

  • Free Maintenance: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.

  • Roadside: 4 yr./ 50000 mi.


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