When BMW returned Mini zu our shores zum the 2002 model year, having lastly dispensed with Sir Alec Issigonis’s original design after auch many years bei production, ns result, frankly, was revelatory. Ours beloved Volkswagen GTI was going through in awkward phase, while ns Honda public Si endured from sparse availability and wasn’t quite as inspiring as it had actually been an years past—in fact, Ford’s svt Focus winner a compare among die trio. Together we listed at the time, we would oase included the Cooper S an our test, had Mini to be able kommen sie make one available. In hindsight, us think that would’ve fared admirably, in spite of being a size-class reduced than those other machines. Because then, ns hot-hatch market has heated up an earnest, with Ford and VW at ns top von their games. Meanwhile, ns Mini us tend to recommend most ist the bog-standard, three-cylinder Cooper Hardtop, notfall the an ext powerful yet less-pleasant S. Might die even zestier john Cooper Works model overcome our aversion und power its method into our hearts?

In a word, no. True, it has actually 228 horsepower und scoots to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds. At least one manual-equipped GTI us tested did die deed in 5.8, despite weighing 241 pounds more und suffering bei 8-hp deficit. That details VW so returned 1 mpg much better fuel economy. And, together tested, cost $12,745 much less than ns JCW. That price difference is big enough that if freundin dug 70 bucks out of the couch, sie could buy ns Volkswagen and then a Nissan Versa sedan. (We’re notfall sure what you’d execute with ns Nissan, but we imagine you could find a purpose for it. A pretty planter, maybe?) If we make ns comparison on basic prices, ns 2016 GTI only undercuts the JCW von $5635. That would nab freundin a supplied Suzuki Hayabusa—another automobile that posts much better numbers than ns Mini.

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To give die JCW the due, that does turn bei nicely und managed to post 0.92 g on ns skidpad, i m sorry ever deshalb slightly edges the GTI von .01 and puts it on par with die best number we’ve traction from die excellent Ford Fiesta ST. Die Ford may be 1.0 second slower to 60 than die Mini, but the wenig ST zu sein one des the ideal cars in terms von ride-and-handling balance available hinweisen any price. The JCW, conversely, tends to crash its means through bumps, its habits evocative von a brick ~ above casters. Sure, its hard structure und stiff suspension telegraph ns road to you, but die noise-to-signal ratio ist exceptionally high on the noise end. We kann only imagine the it’d be even more von a harsh kingdom inside ns JCW’s cutesy cabin with die optional 18-inch roll stock. Ns shorter sidewalls likely would exacerbate die squeaks and rattles the seem to be endemic to die modern Minis. We won’t speak it’s have to worse in that for than the Cooper S, but the more softly sprung base Cooper zu sein the just one von the three existing Hardtops that saw united state return unruffled indigenous a trip around our local managing loop.

Not the we’re morally opposed zu being ruffled, mental you. It’s just that the JCW leaves you feeling like sie paid auch much weil das the privilege.

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door hatchback

PRICE as TESTED: $41,050 (base price: $31,450)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged und intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block und head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 ccPower: 228 hp

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1250 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 98.2 inLength: 152.5 inWidth: 68.0 bei Height: 55.7 inPassenger volume: 80 cu ftCargo volume: 9 cu ftCurb weight: 2864 lb

C/D prüfung RESULTS:Zero zu 60 mph: 6.0 secZero zu 100 mph: 13.7 secZero kommen sie 130 mph: 25.5 secRolling start, 5-60 mph: 6.1 secTop gear, 30-50 mph: 6.2 secTop gear, 50-70 mph: 5.5 secStanding ¼-mile: 14.3 sec
102 mphTop speed (mfr"s est): 153 mphBraking, 70-0 mph: 158 ftRoadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.92 g

FUEL ECONOMY:EPA city/highway driving: 23/31 mpgC/D observed: 25 mpg

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