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The Cooper S might be small in size when compared to other luxury automobiles, but the place it scores big is in terms of style it offers. The hatchback also continues to be agile just like its predecessors.
We were quickly reminded of this when we came to an empty twisty section of road somewhere in north Mallorca. The road was curvy and had twists just like uncooked spaghetti. The further we went on this road, the tighter the road got. There were areas which were really narrow and some where one could make use of all of the 190hp motor in the car.
Like before, the New Mini felt comfortable taking on corners and powering out at the straights. We found it easy to keep increasing the speed and the car was happy pacing around as well. As we got some good seat time in the car we began noticing the changes on this new model. While this car turns in just as quickly it doesn’t have the same level of balance. Even the rear isn’t as sporty as the older model. But, this model does handle rougher roads better.
As the day went on, we also found this new model to offer more comfort at higher speed. But, we aren’t very fond of the recalibrated steering; it is a bit too quick. We feel this could have been done in order to make the car feel more agile. The Cooper also seemed to move around quite a bit more than the previous model and making it special is its driving feel.
The regular gearbox on this car in international markets is a six-speed manual, which is exactly what we were driving. It took us some time getting used to being on the opposite side of the car. But as soon we got a hang of it, we realised that we in India were missing something by getting only the automatic option. When you drive the Cooper S with a manual box you are considerably more involved and the new retuned motor also works in its favour. The updated model also has high-pressure injectors and more power at lower revs. However, the new car that will go on sale in India will have a twin-clutch transmission that should be a lot quicker than the old unit.
The new model also gets a slight facelift. The headlight and taillights are now redesigned and the latter has a Union Jack engraving. Interestingly, one can also option accessories on the dash, fenders and running board with anything they want etched into it. The overall quality levels have also improved dramatically and the new car offers a touchscreen along with wireless cell phone charging.
Should I buy one?
Mini has priced this new model at Rs 33.20 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and at this price; the Cooper S is not far off the older model. However, the new model does come with additional features and a better overall driving experience.
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