Winding Road Ranks MINI Coupe #2 Affordable Car on Involvement Index

Winding Road is currently running a story about small, fun rides that offer driving excitement to rival larger, more expensive sports cars. They’re taking their “Involvement Index” and pulling out the fun cars that are actually affordable. Ranked at #2 is MINI’s new Coupe. They like it. They like it a lot.

Mini Cooper S Coupe: Involvement Score 78, Starting Price $25,300. So good we ended up booking a year-long loan in one. The Cooper S Coupe is the ultimate sub-$30,000 performer for the Mini brand, and goes toe-to-toe on our Index with Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and V-6-powered Porsche Panamera. It’s go-kart-like driving dynamics and zippy turbo make this two-seater an affordable Involvement alternative.

We’ve said from the get-go that the MINI Coupe has a unique driving dynamic that can only truly be appreciated from behind the wheel. If you think it’s just a re-roofed convertible without its back seats, you’re missing the real appeal of this car. The compromises made to make the MINI Coupe what it is are precisely the kinds of things that ought to land it on anybody’s Involvement Index. Short of the GP, the Coupe is the most performance-oriented model in the MINI lineup. That’s our POV, but we’ll keep in eye out for Winding Road‘s long-term review as well.

[Source: Winding Road]

Big thanks to Jason for sending this in.

  • goat

    Yup, this was a cool little metric they came up with. Nice to see the MINI do well. Second only to the top-ranked MX-5, that is some good company:

  • This vehicle is missing only two things: a sunroof (they don’t have to make it move, just give me the glass), and an electric motor. If not for those two things, I’d be shopping for one today. Will 2013 be my year?

    • chad

      no electric motor, but the roadster has one hell of a sunroof.

    • JbkONE

       If you’re really handy, you could probably put an electric motor in it for a little over what the factory premium would be… of course, you’d have to care less about the warranty too.  Maybe buy one off-lease in 3 years and have a glass panel installed with your electric motor!

  • Dr Obnxs

    Fun in cars is a very interesting metric. One of the most fun cars I ever had was a FIAT 124 spider. Only had a bit over 80 HP, but what a blast to drive!

    I think the MINI hatch came in with a score only a couple of points lower. There are a ton of cars that (this year) came with a mid 70s “involvement index”… What’s interesting is that a year or two ago, the MINI hatch scored about 10 points higher. Seems that this stuff is scored like figure skating! 😉

    • Bob Hayhurst

      +1 on the 124 spider. It was a super fun car to drive; proper size, handled well, nice exhaust note w/ top down and just enough power. I wonder how it would have scored using winding roads metric.