Mini Cooper S review: Straps you in for a peppy city ride

Mini Cooper S review: This legend keeps arriving in new avatars every now and then. In its latest iteration, the Mini Cooper S brings the Anglo-German excellence in a 3-door hatchback configuration and for the trained eye, it is quite a delight

mini coopers

The Mini Cooper has been through the annals of automotive history with much incident and acclaim. From being a movie star to a nostalgic, dusty ornament in your dad’s old garage, this legend keeps arriving in new avatars. The 2021 Mini Cooper S brings the Anglo-German excellence in a 3-door hatchback configuration and for the trained eye, it’s quite a delight. 

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mini cooper red

The new Mini Cooper S is quite recognisable, with the 3-door configuration for starts, as well the tastefully applied sportiness in every nook and corner. It has LED headlights and endearing Union Jack taillights. The new 17-inch alloys add to the nimble persona of the car. 

The bonnet sports flag stripes, the kind that Minis are known to show off with effortless grace. On either side of the grille, you will see the prominent presence of two air intakes. For those who aren’t ardent car-lovers, the 2021 version may look like any other Mini Cooper S because it keeps up with consistently borrowing the finer aspects from its classic design.

Stepping into the cabin makes you feel you’re entering a sports car. Everything is comfortable and sporty and with only two large seats in the entire ensemble, you pretty much know your place. 

mini cooper wheels

The rear seats aren’t practical unless you’re headed out with a really small kid or a pet. Accessing it is quite cumbersome too. The interiors are black and beautiful with some cool features such as ambient lighting, Union Jacks galore on the upholstery, a mash-up of digital and analog controls upfront (albeit with a definite bias towards digital), and more.

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The newer all-digital speedometer and instrument control don’t bear the charm of the former analog and digital configuration. The digital console is underwhelming and has an annoying plainness to it. The steering feels sporty, but the buttons felt rickety and weren’t up to the standards that Mini often delivers. 

mini cooper dashboard

The pop-up HUD is a nice touch as is the circular 8.8-inch infotainment screen that has received an illumination around the bezel. 

And finally, the boot is quite small and good enough for two small duffle bags at best.

Driving the Mini is pure pleasure. That’s what you get it for. It’s perfect for the city since it is easy to control and does extremely well in tight situations. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is sufficient to send this little buggy from 0 to 100kmph in just 6.7 seconds if you pick the SPORT mode. You have a fun 7-speed dual-clutch to play around with and some rather attractive driving modes. The MID and GREEN Modes make up the other two. While the SPORT mode feels gritty and highly responsive, the suspension felt much softer than what one would expect from a car this nimble. 

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The new Mini Cooper S also offers dual airbags as a safety feature as well as Brake Assist, which is more than handy in city commute. 

If you’re really into a long solo drive, you could opt for the Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system that sets the cabin alight with the ambient lighting for company. The more adventurous kind can also go for the convertible option. 

Should you buy the new Mini Cooper S? No, if you aren’t an admirer of the lineage and seek practicality in your purchase. Yes, if you have wanted to parallel park beside Mr. Bean in your childhood fantasies and seek power and control in equal measures without the need for space. It’s the car you take out on your own or with your favourite person and pet. It isn’t for the grand Indian outing by any stretch of the imagination.

mini cooper steering

Engine:  1998cc, turbocharged petrol 

Transmission: 7-Speed automatic 

Power: 189.08bhp@4700-6000pm/ 280Nm@1250rpm

Top speed: 233kmph

0- 100 kmph: 6.7 seconds

Price: Rs38.00 Lakh

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