From the Autoblog Garage: R56 MCS

The lads at Autoblog finally got their chance to spend a week with the R56 MCS. Or course, they weren’t big fans of some of the interior treatments.

While fit and finish is par for the BMW course, our only gripe with the materials was the water bottle-grade plastic used for the automated air-con controls and CD slot surround.

But, other than the normal interior gripes, I think it’s a very fair and overall a good review.

Above 2,500 RPM, the turbo spools up quickly, huffing sacrificial air molecules into the 1.6-liter BMW-PSA four pot. While 175 hp (it’s actually 172hp as rated in the US but who’s counting) is nothing particularly noteworthy, the way the turbo’d Cooper delivers its peak torque is. Normally, 177 pounds of the stuff twists the front wheels through equal-length half shafts, but when the MINI’s brain detects your wanton desire to hoon, an “Overboost “function, fueled by the mill’s direct injection and variably geometry turbo, produces 192 lb.-ft. of twist pummeling the pavement with prejudice. Shocking for a mill that has less displacement than a beer boot at Suppenküche.

[ In the Autoblog Garage: 2007 MINI Cooper S ]


[ MCS Long Term Review ] Motoringfile
  • lavardera

    It was a decent review – but the comments about “water bottle-grade plastic” for the air con controls and CD slot surround were completely lame. I don’t have auto air in my R56, but the CD slot is common. This stuff is as well molded as any plastic product I’ve ever seen, and I really see no basis for this comment. I’m quite sure all of these bits are injection molded into a metal die form, where as a soda bottle is blow molded – a process in which much less detail can be molded onto the product. He was looking for something to criticize, and it does not stand up to the most casual scrutiny. Lame.

  • Brian

    It’s more of how it looks to the eye than how its made. I agree it looks pretty cheap compared to the rest of the interior.

  • greg

    I have had my car one week. I like the interior much better than my ’05. The materials on the center stack are identicle to that of my ’03 Z-4. No one every called that cheap. It’s a “cheap” shot at excellent design.

  • Brian

    OK, maybe people are taking things too personal. But since the first day that journalists have been reviewing the R56, it’s pretty been much a known that the center stack materials “LOOK” cheaper than the rest of the interior. I don’t think this is up for much discussion. I mean for over a year everyone has seen these comments; don’t know why people still act surprised when they read them again.

  • Brian

    Gabe, Edit function please.

  • gokartride

    It seems to me that every MINI interior (regardless of R-number) has drawn puzzled looks from the press, both on finish, materials, and overall design. It’s just not your normal, run-of-the-mill interior. For those who motor in MINIs everyday, though, it’s a part of the whole…a prefect compliment to the quirky, fun and interactive nature of the car itself.

  • Luke K

    I like water bottles =(

  • lavardera

    You might not like the design. I see no connection to cheap.

    At this point I think a DIN slot is what looks cheap.

  • I think people are confusing the issue between cheap materials and a design (without the optional Nav) that is probably a little ill-conceived.

  • Mark (Ohio)

    Wow if that’s all the guys at Autoblog had to say that was negative that’s a huge endorsement. I listen to their podcasts and occasionally visit their website they tend to be very pro GM and I honestly got the impression they have some sort of a personal grudge against the MINI based on other comments and such they’ve made. I was starting to question their objectivity actually…perhaps there’s hope.

  • Dan C.

    Have to disagree, Gabe. The new center stack screams “Playskool” and it does look cheap.

  • msh441

    I had the same reaction, too. After reading previous AutoBlog MINI reviews my exact reaction was “that’s it!?!”.

    That was a shining review for them. With the equally bright review of the R56 JCW in EVO (another one very critical of the new, new MINI) maybe the R56 has turned a corner in the hearts of the auto journalists.

    That or they’re saving up there collective ire for the MINI SAV…

  • Dan – I’m not saying a few of the materials don’t look cheap – specifically on the manual HVAC controls. The previous car’s were pretty bad too. I’m saying that the real problem is the design and what those materials are forced to try to accomplish.