With all the attention being paid to the MINI JCW and Cooper S Convertible, there’s actually a lot to be said in favor of the humble Cooper.
We’re Americans. We like more power. Bigger engines. Larger wheels. More torque…
But let’s get real here. There is a case to be made for the humble Cooper, starting with economics. The Cooper is cheaper to buy, and the minor exterior enhancements of the Cooper S are easy to overlook; i.e. you’re getting the same go-kart good looks either way. The Cooper is cheaper to insure, too, and it uses less fuel. Your front tires will last you longer as well, because it eschews the torquey steering of its bigger siblings.
And who really needs all that power, anyway? Seriously, it’s the car's insanely light handling that really contributes to its fun-to-drive factor. The Cooper gives you everything you need to zip in and out of city traffic. Therein lies its strength; not the straight-away stuff you use (or not) on the highway. 116 hp is plenty… and if you do get passed on the freeway by a souped-up Cooper S you can laugh all the way to your next fuel fill-up.
So, before you put your car-buying gear in automatic, start by looking at the base MINI Cooper model. Give it a test run and have some fun with it. Just, whatever you do, don’t overlook it.
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