The Cooper S has won another magazine comparo. This time from the highly respected Automobile Magazine and the cars are the new Mistubishi Eclipse, Mustang and Acrua RSX Type S. Certainly an interesting comparison. Here’s an excerpt:

Driving these cars reinforces the fact that the talk of a decline in enthusiasm for small, sporty coupes is so much hype, because there’s always room for lots of style in a personal package. The Mitsubishi Eclipse GT makes a big statement in a car that’s just right for everyday driving, but it’s a little too big for real driving excitement. The Ford Mustang V-6 is the best ride yet for a trip to the ice cream store on Saturday night, but it’s better if you don’t want to get there quickly. The Acura RSX Type-S is a pure driver’s car, but you have to drive it so hard that it can wear you out.

For us, the Mini Cooper S is the best of these cars. Completely utilitarian yet utterly stylish, the Mini Cooper S is the most personal expression you can buy for twenty-five grand, especially because its broad range of accessories ensures that no two cars are alike. Meanwhile, it drives like sports cars that are three times more expensive and turns every trip into an adventure.

The design guys have reminded us with these sporty cars that it’s possible to make big-time style available to everyone, and the Mini Cooper S proves how great the result can be.

[ 2006 Eclipse meets the RSX, Mustang, and MCS ] Automobile Magazine

MF Analysis: Automobile did the right thing by focusing a bit more on the RSX type S and the MCS. Having driven both I can say that there really isn’t a bad choice to be made. That said, for me the MCS is a more entertaining car on every level. It would seem the Automobile staff feel the same. The other two cars were simply out of their league when it came to the kind of performance most of us would be interested in. Sure the the ‘Stang and the Eclipse have respectable straightline numbers, but neither can attain the all-around performance that the RSX or MINI have in abundance.