Now, before everyone goes and fires up those nasty emails to the R&T editors let’s take a clear look at this. Having tested both the Civic Si and VW GTI recently I can completely understand R&T scoring both cars ahead of the JCW MCS. Both cars have less quirks, are more versatile due to being larger, and have a more mainstream appeal. All things I alluded to in my reviews of the cars.

Yet at the same time I very much stand by my reviews as comparisons to the MINI by an enthusiast driver. Both cars in stock form are clearly inferior in a number of performance related ways. R&T makes the same case by basically calling the MINI the car for the real enthusiast out of the group. It seems that they were taken with the MINI’s ability, just not all the details. In fact R&T Feature Editor Mike Monticello said this of the JCW MCS:

>If you plan to do an occasional track day, or some serious back-road bombing, the Mini Cooper S is the best choice. Though slightly twitchy, it’s the most responsive of the three and therefore the most fun; the harder you drive it the better it works. It would be my choice, despite its “too-cute” looks and ergonomically disastrous interior.

Of course the issue Mike has with the car is purely one that relies on an opinion. And an opinion that many other auto journalists I’ve read seem to generally not share. Yes there are a few areas of cheap plastic in the MINI (like both the Civic and GTI) and yes the US spec seats are clearly not as good as the GTI’s, but “disastrous”?

So what we have here is a very typical magazine comparison where the two new cars are the winners. No shock to the buying public and no shock to the advertisers of the magazine. R&T gets around this by calling MINI the drivers car of the group but slams it for essentially being small. Surely we could all go through the scores and test figures and challenge many of them as flat-out wrong, considerably worse than previous tests or purely based in opinions. But I say let’s take this comparison as what it is; a mainstream look at three cars, two of which probably appeal more to mainstream buyers.

You can read the entire article below:

[ JCW MCS vs Civic Si vs VW GTI ] Road and Track


[ MF Review: The MKV GTI ] MotoringFile

[ MF Review: The Civic Si ] MotoringFile

A big thanks to all those that have sent this in over the past month or so. We didn’t want to publish anything about the story until it finally went live on R&T’s website.