Starting what will be the first of many upcoming US spec R56 reviews.

>The Bottom Line: Like its original BMC predecessor and the BMW reincarnation, this new Mini has phenomenal power for its size, go-kart handling, and surprising comfort. However, it is also quirky (try to tune the radio) and has one of the most poorly designed interiors I have ever seen.

You might tell the reviewer isn’t a huge fan of the interior. But first, what he does like.

>For one, no matter which variation you choose, you will have serious problems keeping it below the speed limit. We drove on highways with speed limits as 65 mph, and still had trouble keeping the car below 80. Cruise control is a definite asset. Likewise, on more winding roads, the excellent handling of the Mini almost encourages breaking the law. It’s easier to behave in town, but the driver still must keep on his or her toes.

About the interior.

>I understand that true Mini cognoscenti love the quirkiness of the i.p., much in the same way Saab owners like their transmission-mounted ignition switches, but this is ridiculous. Maybe I’m complaining too much, but I feel the dash layout is horrible.

[ 2007 MINI Cooper S Review ]