Motortrend’s European correspondent takes his turn with the R56.

>The most obvious change is the radiator grille. Rather than being made in two sections, as on the outgoing model, it’s now a single unit. The headlights are moved slightly outward and are in-unit with the directional indicators. Along the side, the door handles are chrome-plated. The beltline is raised a half inch and coupled with a more muted B-pillar.Around the rear hatch, the glass has a soft taper, and the rear light cluster is slightly larger and housed in separate chrome surrounds. More noticeable is the larger roof spoiler. The result is a design that retains the original’s let’s-have-fun flavor. It still looks compact, cute, and athletic, but now with a slightly more distinctive face.

>That linear power delivery and the standard six-speed manual gearbox make the car an absolute joy to run through the gears. The shifter is crowned by a beefy knob that fills up your hand, and the gearbox is much easier to use than the previous generation. Pedal placement is perfect for heel-and-toe downshifts.

Overall a very positive review. However there is the little problem with the car being mislabled a 2008. But what’s a little error like that between friends and subscribers?

[ 2007 Mini Cooper – First Drive and Review ]