Car reviews - Mini - Hatch - Cooper
Performance fans rejected the previous Mini Cooper, but that's no longer necessary
15 Jun 2007
By CHRIS HARRIS
IF YOU can imagine it, the Mini becomes even more desirable in its second iteration. With a sharper definition of all it previously stood for, a classier interior and even better road performance, the new R56 Mini shows that improvements can be wrought even on a car so tightly locked in to a revered past. The big change is that the Cooper version, once a little disappointing in terms of engine performance, now has a raspy edge that at least makes it sound the part even - if the figures don’t indicate any accelerative advances. The reality is that the Cooper actually feels quicker on the road, and so it should because the all-new engine includes a lot of BMW technology to improve general and mid-range response. It’s quite a bit more economical and cleaner too, which counts for a lot.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Model release date: 1 February 2007 to 1 March 2014
All car reviews
R50 Mini CooperReleased: March 2002
Ended: February 2007
Family Tree: Hatch
It's a little difficult to believe there was some scepticism when BMW introduced the R50 Mini in 2002. The company’s dalliance with British brands was producing doubtful results at the time and the Mini could have ended up going the same way as Rover and Land Rover. As it turned out, the Mini has been an unmitigated success and has earned plenty of respect around the globe.
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