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Front and rear velour floor mats, Electric front+rear windows, Heated rear window, Heated windscreen washer jets, Rear window wiper, Sun/heat protection glass, Rain sensor window wipers, DSC - Dynamic Stability Control...
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Mpg stands for miles per gallon, and is used to show how far your car is able to travel for every gallon (or 4.55 litres) of fuel it uses. The combined WLTP fuel economy figure provides a general overview of a car's fuel consumption over a variety of speeds and road types.
Insurance groups range from 1 to 50 and dictates the cost of the vehicles insurance. The higher the group, the higher the insurance will be for the vehicle.
BHP rates the engine performance of vehicles and stands for the brake horsepower.
CO2 is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle in grams per kilometre travelled, the lower the CO2 emissions the cleaner the vehicle is for the environment.
Number Of Seats
The total number of seats in the vehicle.
Road Tax is based upon the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and is split into 13 bands from A to M. The higher the letter the greater the cost of tax paid to drive the vehicle on public roads. In addition to the road tax detailed below, any vehicle that had a manufacturers retail price in excess of £40,000 when first sold, attracts a road tax supplement of an additional £320 per year. This is charged until the vehicle is 6 years old.
The improved MINI Cooper S is still one of the market's most engaging small hot hatches thanks to its hard-hitting 2.0-litre engine, its talented chassis and the fact that a big helping of fun inbuilt from the ground up. It'll get to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, has an exhaust note that's pure naughtiness and is sure to continue to win plenty of fans. It's even reasonably priced, as long as you don't get too carried away with options.
The MINI Cooper S has long been an exercise in artful compromise, looking to occupy that sweet spot between the warmish Cooper and the incandescent Cooper S JCW. As a result, it's often been the best pick for those who aren't likely to subject their car to a race circuit and instead just want a MINI that's entertainingly quick without incurring huge running costs in the process. The third generation MINI range launched in 2014 saw this Cooper S derivative gain an all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and become a bigger, better finished car than before. That's helped this MINI to make a case for itself against talent like the Peugeot 208 GTI, the Renaultsport Clio 200 and the Ford Fiesta ST. Now, this variant's been subtly improved.
Since this third generation Cooper S variant was launched in 2015, this hot hatch MINI derivaive has stepped up its game. Of course it needed to given that even a humble MINI Cooper these days has a perky 1.5-litre turbo engine that can spirit it from rest to 62mph in around 8 seconds. Hence the requirement for the 2.0-litre 192hp four cylinder turbo unit that was inserted into MK3 model versions of his variant and which can now drive through a more sophisticated 7-speed Steptronic auto gearbox with paddleshifters if you don't want to swap cogs yourself with the usual 6-speed manual stick shift. The manual features a rev-matching mode on downshifts so it'll sound like you have the most flawless heel and toe technique. As before, this powerplant certainly shifts a bit, thanks to the MINI's light weight and the fact that this unit develops 280Nm of torque from just 1,250rpm. This engine loves to be revved and, in its 'Sport' mode, it even puts a few crackles into the exhaust note on the over-run. This Cooper S dispatches the sprint to 62mph in 6.8 seconds and runs on to 146 mph. This 2.0-litre lump is much the same as that we've seen in the BMW 1, 3 and 5-series, although here it's mounted crossways in the car.
There have been one or two grouses about this MK3 MINI Hatch's styling, with some saying as it's got bigger, this generation MINI has become a bit ungainly, especially around the front end. The styling of this revised model doesn't look all that different - as before there's a choice of three and five-door body styles. Close inspection will reveal the addition of standard-fit LED front and rear lights, plus there's now extra scope for all-important personalisation. Get out the tape measure and you'll find that this MK3 design is actually larger than you might think, thanks to a wheelbase exension of 28mm over its post-2014-era predecessor. These proportions give it quite a squat, purposeful look, helped by the tapered glasshouse. The interior features sports seats and black chequered interior surfaces, with piano black and dark silver highlights. The plectrum-shaped starter is a very nice touch and while I love the fact that the speedometer is these days positioned properly in front of the driver, there are other ergonomic glitches such as the fact that you can hardly move the infotainment controller when you're parked with the handbrake on. It's a touch larger than you might expect inside too - or at last it is provided you haven't been consigned to a rather cramped seat in the back: if that's an issue, you ought to be considering the alternative five-door version of this model - or perhaps the MINI Countryman SUV. Still, access to the rear isn't too bad and the rear bench seat splits 60:40. Boot volume is a supermini-like 211-litres. There's also decent interior stowage space, with cupholders and storage cubbies. Various fresh trimming options are available and a 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen and a multi-function steering wheel are both fitted as standard.
Prices start at around £21,000 for the Cooper S three-door hatch with the five-door version bumping that up by £700. There's a £1,360 premium for the Steptronic auto gearbox. That's for base 'Classic' trim which hardly an Cooper S buyers will want. Most will find the extra for either 'Sport' or 'Exclusive'-spec. At first glance, all this seems like a touch more than you'd pay for rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTI but when these competitors are properly specced-up, there's not a lot in it. Equipment includes full-LED lighting, hip-hugging black cloth sports seats, a DAB stereo, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, air conditioning, Bluetooth and keyless start. This being MINI, there's a huge amount of personalisation options, so you might well indulge in body stripes, a John Cooper Works spoiler and contrasting mirrors. You can also choose from technology such as a head-up display, MINI Navigation System, MINI Connect and traffic sign recognition. Standard safety fittings include front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, automatic passenger airbag deactivation and front and rear ISOFIX child seat mounts.
As you might expect with BMW pulling the strings in the background, this MINI Cooper S features some faintly otherworldly efficiency measures. The quoted combined fuel economy figure is up to 41.5mpg and up to 145g/km of CO2 for the 3-door version. And 40.9mpg and 148g/km for the 5-Door variant. An innovation lies with the MINI Driving Modes set-up, an optional extra. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gearstick or selector lever, drivers can swap from the default MID mode to either SPORT or GREEN. The three choices offer a set-up which is either performance-oriented, comfort-biased or geared towards fuel efficiency. The latter includes a coasting mode when the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal.
By Jonathan Crouch
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|Electric front+rear windows|
|Heated rear window|
|Heated windscreen washer jets|
|Rear window wiper|
|Sun/heat protection glass|
|Rain sensor window wipers|
|DSC - Dynamic Stability Control|
|Hill start assist|
|Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)|
|Front and rear disc brakes|
|Compatible mobile phone bluetooth with audio streaming|
|Flexible car sharing preparation|
|Electro-mechanical speed dependant steering assistance|
|Automatic start/stop function with brake energy recuperation|
|On board computer|
|Service interval indicator|
|High precision injection|
|Digital dashboard display|
|Fully variable valve control|
|Double Vanos system|
|FM tuner and DAB digital radio|
|8.8" touchscreen with LED ring|
|6 speakers in front door trims and underneath front seats|
|Side scuttle panel with integrated indicator|
|Model logo Cooper S on right of tailgate|
|Metal door sill strips with Cooper S|
|Rear side wing doors|
|White indicator lenses|
|Dynamic brake lights|
|Rear fog lights|
|Automatic headlight activation switch|
|Rear LED lights with union jack design|
|LED headlight with closed ring and daytime driving lights|
|3rd brake light|
|Storage compartments in doors|
|Multifunction steering wheel|
|12V Accessory socket in centre console|
|4 lashing eyes in luggage compartment|
|Height and length steering column adjustment|
|Chrome interior highlights|
|Leatherette gearshift lever and handbrake gaiters|
|Anthracite headliner including grab handles and clothes hooks|
|Chrome line interior - air vents, gear lever base, door handles and speakers in doors|
|MINI yours badge on exterior pillar|
|LED reading lights, vanity mirror lights, front foot well light and spotlight on front seats|
|Interior lighting with 12 different colours across the dashboard, underneath door bezel with illuminated laser-engraved design on central display|
|Premium pack - Hatchback Cooper S|
|Driving assistant pack - Mini Hatchback|
|Two tone horn|
|Tyre pressure monitoring system|
|Child locks on rear doors|
|6 Airbags - front, side, head and seat belt tensioners|
|3 point seatbelts on all five seats|
|Front and rear head restraints|
|60/40 split folding rear seat|
|3 seat bench in 2nd row|
|Front and rear isofix with front passenger airbag deactivation|
|Storage pocket on back of front seats|
|Mechanical seat adjustment - forward/back & backrest for front seats and driver seat height adjust|
|Single front passenger seat|
|Alarm system with tilt sensor, monitoring doors, bonnet interior and tailgate|
|Start/stop toggle with keyless go|
|Electronic vehicle immobiliser|
|Steptronic sport transmission with double clutch and steering wheel paddles|
|Gear change indicator display|
|Sunvisors with vanity mirrors|
|0 to 62 mph (secs)||6.7|
|Engine Power - BHP||178|
|Engine Power - KW||131|
|Engine Power - PS||True|
|Engine Power - RPM||4750|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT||207|
|Engine Torque - NM||280|
|Engine Torque - RPM||1350|
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*Vehicle reviews are conducted by an independent reviewer, information, images and specifications included may not be correct.