2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
There are 2 user reviews for the John Cooper Works trim shown below
- Fuel Economy, Sports Car Handling, 6-Speed Transmission, HK Sound System
- Visibiliy, Stiff Ride with Run Flats, Premium Gas,
Purchased As Used
This is my 2nd MINI, moving from a Clubman "S". If you have ever driven a MINI before, sitting in the Coupe will feel right at home. Interior is identical to other models minus the Countryman/Paceman.
The JCW trim is definitely eye catching. The exterior & interior are slightly modified from other trims and the engine is upgraded with some slight modifications. I immediately noticed the difference in power from my heavier Clubman "S". I think the 6-speed manual tranny is probably one of, if not the best manual transmission I have driven. Easy to shift and smooth clutch. There is plenty of HP in this little car and the MINI handles it all nicely. While the run-flats allow for tight turn-ins and immediate steering response, it also adds a harsher ride on rough surfaces. Upgrading to the "sport" or JCW suspension multiplies that as well. Remember though, you have no spare tire, hence the run flats.
My coupe is fully loaded with upgraded leather seating. When configuring your MINI, it's one of those options I would highly recommend. The standard cloth seating just makes the feel while driving less comfortable. The cloth JCW might be better than the base seats though. Driving position via the manual seat is easy enough and comfortable, but unless you drop the seat to the floor, drive low, and are small to begin with, you will have limited visibility from your rear-view mirror. Once the automatic rear spoiler deploys, it is cut off even more. The coupe has "grooves" cut in the headliner and can accommodate tall people just fine. The seat slides back enough as well.
MINI Connect and the Harmon Kardon sound system is worth every penny, but skip the Nav. I wouldn't jump on Nav until MINI does a full overhaul on it (I hear maybe 2014?). It isn't worth the extra cost. Other options I think are worth spending on are Xenon Headlights, Center Armrest, HK Audio System, Comfort Access, Auto Climate Controls. All of which can be included in packages to save $$. Some things not worth the money IMO (unless part of a package) are 18" wheels, any dealer installed JCW parts, alarm system, sport suspension.
This is the most fun I have had in a car. I enjoy every minute driving it. It gets more looks than any corvette or porsche that drives by. It is not that incredibly popular and sales have been limited. So if you want a car that has sports car performance, handling, and looks, while getting commuter friendly fuel economy and trouble-free maintenance for 3yr/36K, and no one else has....THIS is your car!...read morehide
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- Good power, great gearbox, clutch, trunk space, interior, solid body, tight steering
- Steering too tight, color options, seats, standard shift knob
Purchased As New
It has taken me quite some time in adjusting to the steering characteristics of this car. If you have to shift gears in a turn with a bump, even a small one, you better have a good grip on the wheel. It's like there's a return spring in the steering that wants to rip the wheel back to center when the sport button is pushed. I would very much like to get the benefits of the added power and throttle response of the sport button without the stiffer steering. Really, that's my only complaint with this car. I own a 2003 Cooper S and feel much more confident at the same speeds with the older steering system.
On the plus side I LOVE this Works engine! Third gear is a fantastic place for this car to live. When you pass, and you only have a tiny window on a narrow twisty road, BOOM! You're around and gone, just be very steady with the steering wheel! On a track day, the steering is gobs of fun. Let of the gas, turn the wheel and instantly feel the rear unweight and slide around.
The bottom line is, i can't stop smiling when I get in this car. Especially now that I've better learned how to handle it!...read morehide
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