Our friends at Cars.com had the chance to test the R56 Cooper S for a week and came away impressed with many aspects of the car.

>As expected, the Cooper S has an understeer bias, but perhaps the most noticeable change, and improvement, is that it doesn’t plow wide as readily in sharp turns as the previous generation did. I found it easier to rotate the car on its axis and drift my way around the bends. With its nearly telepathic responses, the Cooper is one of the most controllable front-drive cars you’ll find. The steering is impressive; aside from being precise, its feedback is excellent — especially for electric power steering. (In theory, electric assist gives engineers much more flexibility to pattern the response for any speed or rotation of the steering wheel, yet for some reason many other electric systems I’ve driven have disappointed.)

The ability of the R56 to rotate in corners is addicting. Where the R53 could be coaxed into it (especially with a larger rear sway bar) the R56 feel much more eager and playful.

The entire review is one of the better written pieces I’ve seen in a consumer geared publication. You can read more below:

[ 2007 MINI Cooper S ] Cars.com