Autoblog Reviews the 2014 MINI Cooper S

MINI owner and self-described MINI enthusiast, Brandon Turkus, has penned a comprehensive review of the 2014 MINI Cooper S for Autoblog. Brandon’s is an interesting perspective, since he’s both part of the automotive press, and also a MINI fan. As such, he’s asking a lot of the same questions I’ve had on my mind:

Before the third-generation of the reborn Mini Cooper S landed in my driveway, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the model would continue its slide towards mass appeal, or if it would re-embrace the enthusiast realm with a stronger driver-focused mission. As I found out during my week with the car, it was a bit of both.

His review is a great perspective, with praise and criticism alike for the new MCS. Read it for yourself, over on Autoblog.

  • robble

    Seems like a fair review.

    • Bob Hayhurst

      Nice article and I agree with Robbie. Given Brandon’s predilection for R53 he easily could have took the path of bashing everything MINI has manufactured since ’06 and panned F56. To his credit he didn’t. He’s wrote a straight forward, candid review which touch’s on most of the issues with F56 but doesn’t shred it at every opportunity. I did sense a of lack of passion for F56 but maybe that’s something MINI/BMW need to address in their design and marketing. Clearly, there was no lack of enthusiasm for Superleggera…

      • I really appreciate how he’s not at all cynical in this review. He likes what he likes and doesn’t like what doesn’t work for him.

  • Kevin Bartlett

    I wish more reviews were written like that one is. Really well done, and a take from the real world. I don’t care about numbers so much, or track day info. This guy got the right info in there for my tastes but wasn’t dry about it either.

  • XxJessicaxX

    What a crappy new generation after the R53 and R56. I am disappointed that this is the best MINI could do.

    • J B

      it’s not the best they could do, it’s just a compromise, and like so many before has compromised too much to be anything special. when i bought my R53 it was the best “hot” hatch on the american market, not that there were a plethora of choices. today the GTI and fords STs would get my money first.

      • Kurtster

        The fit and finish isn’t even close in the Ford. They cut a lot of corners IMO.

        • walk0080

          True but the Fiesta ST is a fantastic car for the money. We need more hot hatches in North America like they do in Europe!

    • walk0080

      Every time I see an F56 on the road I think it is much closer to a mainstream car and not meant for me and will never replace my R56 JCW. Biggest thing I just cannot stand is the longer front overhang. Totally ruins it for me. Edit: And those damn huge taillights. Ugh.

  • fishbert

    Another tester fitted with all-season tires?! What on earth is MINI thinking?

    • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

      In the real world, most people actually drive their own cars with all seasons.

      • walk0080

        Possibly true but a lot of review comparisons seem to be MINI with A/S tires and the competitors with performance.

      • fishbert

        If you’re trying to show off how well a car handles and how peppy it is, all seasons are definitely not the way to go. Also, all seasons are an option aren’t they? Isn’t the “as standard” a performance runflat?

        • ImprovisedFishmouthDevice

          Even on performance rubber it posted less than applaudable numbers. It’s just the new-BMW way. Less actual performance and feel, more tech garbage that nobody actually needs to have in a car.

  • r.burns

    At last, a reviewer expresses the deception that was the R56. It seems the new one is the rebirth of R53 spirit.

    • walk0080

      Did we read the same review?

      • r.burns

        last paragraph. read again.

        • walk0080

          I did and I still don’t see a “rebirth” of the R53. It is neither an R53 or R56 – but rather a more mainstream hatchback that is somewhat sporty.

        • R56Splz

          He said it doesn’t drive nearly as well as either previous models. First 200 paragraphs. Read again.

  • lawrothegreat

    My 2014 F56 MCS with VDC in sport running on 17″s is sharper and has tons more front end grip than my old 2007 R56 MCS with standard suspension running on 17″s. Neither have the visceral feel of my old 2004 Cooper with sports suspension plus running on 16″s however. In terms of feel that was MINI perfection. The looks understandably divide but underneath the F56 is a better car than the R56. A hot hatch is not supposed to be a bare bones track day Elise but an everyday car that also goes quickly; you can buy an Elise to have a dedicated track day car. The F56 is great everyday car and it is fun to drive. It’s not perfect but there’s not a single hot hatch out there that is. One thing this review does back up though is my view that VDC is worth the money.

    • R56Splz

      It’s funny, since the R56 was actually just a modified R53 underneath it’s slightly modified body.