By Paula MacPherson
I drove the 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe; Jim got to drive the more powerful John Cooper Works version. But we both agree the Cooper S should be plenty powerful. The one I drove was lots of fun. The manual transmission shifted nicely and the clutch was as smooth as butter. Performance was exhilarating.
I’m not sure I like the location of the large central speedometer. The tachometer, which measures engine speed, is right in front of the driver. And I know I don’t like the spoiler. The view behind is partially blocked by the styling as it is. I don’t need a spoiler rising at 50 miles per hour to further compromise my view to the rear. It then stays up until you drop below 37 miles per hour. In the name of aerodynamic stability, it can’t be disabled.
There is a sport mode that stiffens the steering. I could pass on that, too, and the toggle switch controls for many functions are not my cup of tea. Finally, noise levels are also higher than average, especially when the price point of the Mini Cooper Coupe is considered. But all of this pales when you remember how much fun this car is to drive.
I did like the comfortable seats and the trunk is quite large considering the size of the car. There is more than enough room for several weeks worth of groceries for an average family. The luggage compartment even has a pass through to the passenger cabin and loading is easy. This coupe is actually a three-door hatchback.
As for fuel economy, it should be very good. I suspect that most drivers will be able to go about 30 miles per gallon. Some report that with careful driving on the highway, they approach the 40 mile per gallon mark.
When it comes to the Mini Cooper Coupe, less is more – more fun, more style and more fuel efficiency.