2012-2013 MINI Coupe Review

this is the 2012 mini John Cooper Works Cooper coop now well that’s a whole mouthful if you already thought that the regular Cooper was a coop apparently according to mini you’re wrong because this is actually the mini coop and what they have done to create a coop aside from adding the sort of backwards baseball cap looking air splitter here on top as well as a trunk spoiler is they’ve completely removed the normal vertical hatchback instead installing this slanted hatchback was sort of a small funk here at the end since this is the

John Cooper Works coop there of course have been some significant changes versus the regular coop those include bigger brakes bigger tires bigger wheels we have some significant suspension upgrades we have this optional red top with some funky black and red stripes these optional chrome mirror caps and of course some very significant changes under the hood and slight interior tweaks so let’s dive under the hood let’s dive inside and see what makes the John Cooper Works mini coop so special I didn’t get that right either it’s the mini John Cooper Works Cooper coop there we go that’s right let’s get inside under the hood of the JCW coop we have a 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine this one’s turbocharged and produces 208 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque that’s a significant difference over both the base coupe as well as the Cooper S and the competition which would be the Fiat 500 Abarth now much like the Fiat 500 Abarth to help reduce interior cabin noise the turbo is actually here on the front of the engine

with the intake back behind and it’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission let’s talk about the interior in pricing the interior for the most part is definitely befitting of a $31,000 car we have you know panel gaps that are very nice we have a nice soft touch – the instruments are all very nicely done steering wheel is great to hold you know the airbag cover even is quite nice the seats are nicely done we have these interesting floor mats of piping here in the JCW model pricing is where it gets a little bit tricky because although the Don Cooper Works Cooper coop if I can get that right again starts at $31,000 our models almost 39 thousand dollars and here’s why we pull out our handy window sticker here you can see that our midnight black paint job which you know is a metallic paint and this is actually fairly common with European cars is five hundred

dollars extra for the metallic paint so we’ll give them that one leathers $1,500 this mini connected nav system 1750 the sport suspension which basically replaces your Springs with bricks nearest we can tell is five hundred dollars the chrome wine interior trim that’s this a nice interior trim right here that’s 250 black headlight housings a hundred bucks red sport stripes on the outside 250 door caps and mirror caps in chrome $100 this center armrest here which i think is essential 250 xenon headlights $500 this uplevel Harman Kardon sound system 750 white turn signals $100 and of course a $700 destination charge which again is fairly common on most vehicles brings us to 38,000 $450 has tempted

now for those of you that are paying attention that is about $13,000 more expensive than the Abarth we just had last week and that was the Abarth as equipped for $25,000 as we had it honestly for the price I think I would probably take the Abarth and fix those little things that I didn’t like about the Abarth you know the slightly less than comfortable seats and in the exhaust note which really wasn’t my cup of tea but you might like oops aren’t really known for their cargo carrying capability and of course the Mini Cooper Coupe is no different this is the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight you can actually fit about two or three of them in here in the trunk or one average-sized

American journalist now there’s also a ski pass through here should you for some reason decide you want to take your sporty Mini Cooper coupe skiing with you you could jam those in here although judging by the length of the car and the distance from here to the shifter in there I actually would have to think that anything other than children’s skis would probably interfere with your shifting on your trip so don’t drive very far if you’re gonna do that get back here in the cargo area there’s also a nice 12-volt outlet which is a nice touch not quite sure why I’d need that in a coupe again because this plug is really close to the plug in there and while I like 12 volt outlets in the back for camping again

I don’t really think I’d take my cooper coop camping let’s take a look at the mini connected system this is both a navigation and infotainment system that’s essentially just minis version of BMWs iDrive since of course minis owned by BMW that has sort of borrowed a version of I Drive it’s an interesting combination of the latest version of I Drive with a smaller screen and and the functionality set that’s somewhere between an older version and the absolute current version of I Drive we have our mini connected app here on my iPhone 4s and just like our drive you need this if you want to use mini apps like Twitter Facebook the Google send a car as well as some of these more interesting mini specific things like Mission Control dynamic music and driving excitement which we’ll take a look at so this is the homescreen on the mini connected system I’m gonna go ahead and plug my iPhone in so that way it’ll be ready when we look at those features we have our stereotypical CD Multimedia Interface here this is just like

I Drive we have USB access to our iPhone or iPod this is allows you to search through playlists genres etc you can browse your playlists as well this is probably the faster way of interacting with your iPhone to be honest much like BMWs iDrive there’s also a quote unquote plug-in interface and that goes in the center console and that charges your phone docks it and gives it the ability to use your dock bone in there as well as another USB device that’s how you can use two devices in the system down here on radio we have our typical radio and satellite

radio a very typical Bluetooth phone interface we were a little bit concerned about the audio quality on the system it’s not as high as some systems we have BMW as usual navigation system and while this does give you the ability to do 3d view as well as traffic it doesn’t actually have the 3d perspective view with topographic information like some of the modern BMW products have essentially voice controls for entering addresses etc is exactly the same as I Drive fairly easy to use fairly intuitive the office application just really allows you to see your contacts in your phone not really quite clear why that’s separate if we scoot back up here to mini connected this is where the interesting things really

start happening with mini and with I Drive so right here we have driving excitement because you get standard driving excitement we get our horse power and torque gauge as well as an engine temperature gauge it’s actually kind of interesting rather than being integrated into the software on iDrive this is actually running off of my iPhone and so there is a decent amount of lag between throttle application and these gauges actually doing something because the car has to communicate that data to my iPhone my phone has to generate the data and then send

it back to the head unit we go back to Mission Control this is a very odd thing for many actually what this does and well it sounds more interesting that it might actually be for you what what it does is it makes the car talk to you in cute little British voices apparently this is how Americans and Germans see the British people and so if you floor the car it will have a little British guy come on and say full throttle in a quasi quasi British accent it sounds a little forced to me it will also occasionally spout out random mini fat just talk about the weather etc there are multiple different lane which packs that you can use there and you can download them from the mini connected app on your phone dynamic music is kind of interesting this basically plays a digitized tune to know if you can hear it here please plays digitized music from the iPhone

through this center screen however there’s a twist it actually has dynamic beat capability so the faster you go the faster the beat gets and it adds extra instruments if you do things like turn on your turn signals and and things like that more of a a whiz-bang feature I think that an actually useful feature to be perfectly honest vehicle infos where you get your trip computer as well as your vehicle stats as you can see driving this car fairly hard over the last 216 miles the parish twenty six point six miles per gallon which actually is fairly good considering this has more power than the Abarth I would have expected this number to be lower and in reality it is if you treat it gently however

you can get 33 to 35 miles per gallon on the highway and in our initial test driving home on my daily commute 50 miles one way I actually managed to average about 29 miles per gallon overall which included highway driving city driving and mountain highway driving [Music] now this winding Mountain Road this jcw coupe to sticks to the road like glue and that thanks as much to the light curve plate as the fairly sticky 205 with tires which are fairly wide for a car that’s this light texture jcw power upgrades are also instantly noticeable on this road with just over 200 horsepower on tap this vehicle is significantly faster than the Fiat 500 Abarth since they both have around the same curve weight everything

a hundred pounds or so of each other depending on the options you select and how heavy the driver is etc the weight difference is fairly negligible and with 160 horsepower on tap and the Fiat – over 200 in this you know the differences is night and day really out on the road this feels much more aggressive you know as far as the throttle response unfortunately the steering actually is better in the Abarth that it has a firmer feel slightly more communicative than the mini and this mini steering wheel just isn’t doing it for me actually out on the

road it’s it’s thinner than the Fiat 500 it’s not flat bottomed which you know is nice to have on a winding Mountain Road it just doesn’t have that same ultra sporty feel however just about everything else and the mini is more luxurious than in the Fiat and we have much nicer interior trappings have much nicer quality switchgear everything that your arm rests on is definitely that not you know a nicer in this vehicle is that worth the $12,000 difference between the Fiat 500 Abarth that we just tested yesterday and the Mini Cooper R these are the mini coop jcw that we’re testing today that I’m not quite sure the exhaust note however in this car is also the same story it’s more luxurious it’s definitely quieter

it’s more muted I actually think it sounds more refined than the Fiat 500 Abarth although our Facebook fans tell us that the the 500 is definitely the way to go as far as the exhaust and Symphony goes I would probably take this car however this jcw coupe has the optional sport suspension which includes stiffer springs among other things and that makes this particular vehicle a little bit less pleasant to drive on

this broken pavement that we have here in Northern California the rear end feels a little bit more unsettled both than the regular jcw coupe as well as the Fiat 500 Abarth so I would only select this particular option if you live in an area with perfect pavement I’m not quite sure where that is if you live there then drop a comment in the section down below and I will move there again I’m Alex dykes this has been our quick take at the 2012 Mini John Cooper Works Cooper coupe check out the truth about cars calm for news reviews and of course the full review on the 2012 Mini John Cooper Works Cooper coupe coming up soon

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