MINI responds to the will of the driver
with everything in it. Another heritage design cue is the toggle switches found overhead and on the centre stack.
But this is 2017 and behind the retro styling JT B DFOUSBM JODI TDSFFO lUUFE JO UIF DFOUSBM
instrument cluster, as well as the MINI Controller with touch-sensitive surface. It’s as quirky as it is compelling. One thing you also expect from any MINI is the “go kart” handling that made the original such fun.
As much as I hated the original Mini with the plastic sliding side windows and the constant smell of gasoline in the cabin, the Cooper S 5 Door tested here is comparable to a near luxury car.
But the big thing, its raison-d’etre, is the way it responds to the will of the driver.
Steering inputs are acted on instantly, while the throttle results in a solid rush of power to the front wheels that really adds the “squirtable” when making that lane change or merging from an on-ramp. Adding to the handling is the Dynamic Damper Control system, part of the $1,200 Loaded Package.
And another plus is its small size makes it ideal for in-city driving and parking, although the lack of a backup camera seems odd in 2017.
This is not a car for long-distance cruising, but it’s great for just about everything else.
If you’re like me and notice that technology and electricity seem to be taking over the simple fun of driving, take a MINI, any MINI, for a spin and just enjoy yourself.
There’s nothing in the auto industry quite like the interior of a MINI (Cooper S 5 Door model shown) with its retro mix of round gauges and toggle switches.