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Advice: put one in storage for your kids (in case they don't make them anymore in a few years.I test drove both models. Settled for the regular Cooper. Found it powerfull enough for the speed limits we have to abide to. I lived in Europe for 16 years till 1973 and remember well (nostalgically) the early versions. Some uninformed and younger people that have never been exposed to the ultimate Mini experience of back then can just look at this new version that I consider outstanding and totally miss the excitement. Fine. But I get the impression that lots of others will get it and will not miss the opportunity to again enjoy this wonderfull car. The quality and price are in sinc. It is that evident.
Pros: Driving position. And I am 6'3
Cons: No electronic compass.
Advice: You can buy themThis car is amazing! I had a 'S' on order and instead chose the base car. It has plenty of pep and revs freely. The ride is really great, solid feeling. And it really absorbs the uneven streets of downtown Chicago. I was on a waiting list for over a year and was about to get my 'S' when I found my base car, on the show room floor, unsold, not accounted for! I paid sticker. My girlfriend just bought one. Coming in 6 weeks. She's paying sticker and was not on any list. I can't say enough about this car. Really featured packed for the price, and more noticable than Porsches. All this fun for $22,000.
Cons: performance mediocre at best with base engine- dealer price gouging
Advice: either wait 6months to a year for price to come down- or buy a Subaru, Civic Si or Acura RSXQuite an attention getter and reasonably well equipped IF you can get it at MSRP. Underpowered with the base engine, have to plan passes and merges. Somewhat choppy ride on grooved and rutted pavement. Besides the attention factor, not really that much to offer over other cars in this price range. Lack of room, the seat adjuster, somewhat fragile body panels and the anemic base engine combined with dealer gouging make this expensive eye candy. At MSRP worth a look for a kids car- high school or college, or an around town errand car. But it does nothing better than many other cars and some worse.
Advice: This car is way over priced (even without markups).Looks appealing at first sight. Handling is very good, but ride is bumpy. Acceleration is decent but could use more power, especially in passing. The small wheels could be dangerous in back roads. The outdated pump-action front seat adjustment is a nuisance and should be discarded. Front and rear ends (including fenders) are flimsy and could collapse in a minor fender bender mishap. Drivers might feel unsafe at moderate speed in less than ideal driving conditions. The worst feature is the dealership whose greedy salesman asked for a $5,000 markup over the suggested retail price on the sticker. This practice will turn potential buyers off in droves, I believe. I walked away when I learned about the markup. Maybe Mini Copper should be notified about this short-sighted ripoff.