An excerpt of the article in Motor Trend:

Despite flaws that emerged throughout the year, our passion for the Mini hadn’t wavered after 12 months and 25,000 miles. The car’s limitations are obvious, though one editor noted, “At one time, I bought small cars out of necessity. The Mini is one to buy out of desire.” This sentiment held true for the staff, as proven by the 2005 Mini Cooper S taking first place in a February 2005 five-way comparison test. The second-generation Mini demonstrates that rich driving experiences needn’t be expensive.

[ Long-Term Test Verdict: 2003 Mini Cooper S ] Motor Trend

All things said the MT staff seemed to absolutely love their MINI In fact it would seem that MT’s biggest complaint about their 2003 MCS (off the line power) was solved with the 2005’s revised gearing. Unfortunately they don’t make a mention of this change to new models. They also sell the MC short yet again.

Thanks Tim!