A review of the R56 that is not quite like the others from a writing standpoint.

>But then, why fiddle for the sake of fiddling? If Mini sales have dipped over the past twelve months, it’s because people became aware of a revised model on the horizon. Of Mini’s half-million customers, I wonder how many would question the styling of their beloved car? Perhaps a handful.

This is some of the first negative comments I have seen about the steering.

>The Mini isn’t intended to be an especially relaxing cruiser, and this 172-hp Cooper S is true to form. It has a slightly confusing set of ambling attributes, most notably a chassis and steering mechanism a bit at odds with the character of the powertrain. The new Mini, just like its predecessor, has a very fast steering rack–but it makes for an irritatingly responsive multilane tool.

Or the speedometer.

>It’s still too dark to enjoy any scenery, so we aim southwest on the C25, cursing the colossal, centrally mounted speedometer that, even with its lighting dimmed, still looks like a 1970s electric fire at night and proves to be an unwanted distraction.

It would appear the reviewer is also not a fan of the new center stack.

>Then there’s the new center console: the heater controls work well enough, but the remaining switchgear appears to have been placed in a small bag, attached to a small incendiary device, detonated, and then glued in place where the pieces landed. There are fiddly little buttons everywhere. I found a few more each time I looked. The volume control for the radio is nowhere near the tuning knob.

At least they end on a high note.

>Outside the eatery, among all this fiscal madness, the Mini still looks relaxed and confident. It has universal appeal. It is a better car than its predecessor, even if the differences are incremental.

[ 2007 MINI Cooper S ] Automobilemag.com