Section: MotoringFile Garage

MF Garage: How Important Are The Right Wheels? This Important.

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage May 25th, 2015 71 Comments

What you’re looking at is the NM Engineering RSe12. An 18lbs 18″ wheel that has not only transformed the look of our long term Cooper S but improved steering response, feel and (along with the Continental Extreme Contact DW) performance. In short they have made us fall in love again with our F56. continued →

MF Garage: Summer Tires for Our 2015 Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage May 20th, 2015 16 Comments


We’ve bit the bullet and are upgrading our lowly 16″ tires and wheels that accidentally came with our 2015 long term test car to something much more aggressive. We’ll get to the wheels later this week. But first up is deciding on tires. This is normally an easy decision for us. Basically go to Tirerack and buy whatever Michelin’s latest max performance summer tire is. However we’ve done that plenty over the years. This time we wanted to go a slightly different route. continued →

Five Facts that Make the Five Door MINI

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Four-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage, Reviews Apr 28th, 2015 28 Comments


We recently spent a week with the new MINI 5 door after living with an F56 MINI three door hatch for the past five months. How does it compare? We’ve got five reasons it might be the MINI to get. continued →

Cross-Shopping the F56 JCW with the MkVII Golf R

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, JCW, MINI Competitors, MotoringFile Garage, Opinion Apr 15th, 2015 28 Comments

2015_golf_r_4411As discussed in the last episode of White Roof Radio, Todd spent most of last week driving a 2015 4-door Golf GTI. His impression was rather positive, so positive in fact, that we dedicated almost half of the show talking about his experience and how it compares to the F56. While Gabe has also praised the GTI in the past, this weekend was our turn to test-drive Volkswagen’s Hot Hatch. continued →

MF Garage: Snow & Ice vs the Cooper S (In Praise of Plastic)

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage, Reviews Apr 15th, 2015 9 Comments


There is nothing glorious about doing damage to your car. And there’s definitely no glory in doing it to someone else’s. Cue the crunching sound of ice breaking plastic. That was the sound I heard as I was parallel parking a few days after particular bad 24″ Chicago blizzard this winter. As anyone will tell you navigating the unplowed side streets of Chicago are bad enough. But trying to parallel park in them is even worse. Alas that was my mission and unfortunately I missed accounting for a rather large glacial like piece of icy snow. I rolled over it with my back and onto it with my right plastic side skirt. And that side skirt did exactly what its engineers have designed it to do. It broke. continued →

Opinion: Coupe Confessional

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, Opinion, R58 (Coupe) Mar 24th, 2015 18 Comments

Oswin side 1280x720Owning a MINI Coupe has been quite an experience so far, and the news that the Coupe and Roadster are finished this month leaves this Coupe owner looking back, and confessing that he is feeling good about the future.  continued →

MF Poll: Help Our Man Todd Choose The Right Car

MotoringFile Sections: MF Poll, MotoringFile Garage, Podcast Mar 18th, 2015 15 Comments

F55_ClubmanConcept (26) Friend of MotoringFile and White Roof Radio co-host Todd Pearson is possibly on the hunt for a new MINI. It took some time to get him there as he was originally seduced by the dark side, and the idea of owning a Range Rover Evoque. While he is coming to his senses, there’s still great hesitation in him in regards to the car or MINI he should buy next. Bear in mind that he owns a GP1 – a car he will most likely keep whatever happens – and that his better-half drives a 2014 F56 Cooper. To help our friend make up his mind, we’ve decided to crowdsource to the MotoringFile audience his choice of vehicle and options (e.g. Todd wonders if H/K is a must). Not that he will strictly follow the final results of this poll, but we believe it is still a fun exercise to go through. With that in mind, let’s get him into the right car! continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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MotoringFile Reviews

'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range