MotorTrend takes a short drive in that lightening rod of opinions, the Cooper S Automatic.

>Sad but true: Less than 10 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada have manual transmissions. Yet Mini’s performance-oriented S model has always bucked the trend. While the standard Cooper or Convertible offer a choice of CVT or five-speed manual transmissions, until now the only way to row the S’s spirited supercharged four has been with a six-speed stick.

>The trade-offs to this shifting ease are the automatic’s $1350 tab, 143 added pounds, and significantly decreased performance. The auto takes 1.3 second longer to get to 60 and is 6.5 mph slower in the quarter mile than our last manual S, which had a 6.4-second run to 60 and nailed the quarter in 14.8 seconds at 95.2 mph.

You can read the entire article below:

[ First Look: 2005 Mini Cooper S Automatic ] Motor Trend

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[ MotoringFile MCSa Review ] MotoringFile

Thanks to Daanesh from the Carcounsel.com for the tip!