Monday, August 27, 2012

"It's Still Cool To Skim A Little Off The Top"

That is how Michael Banovsky subtitles his review of the 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe for Autos.  Banovsky likes the vehicle but is taken back by its price:
If you're still reading and don't work for MINI, think the Coupe is cool, and have the money to buy one, please do so. MINI says they're not expecting to sell many, for what it's worth.

I'm not paid to buy cars (and would get fired anyway for spending company money on Citroƫns, Tatras, and Matras), I'm paid to, among other things, review cars.

And so I must place the MINI Cooper S Coupe among its competition.

$22,000-odd gets you a 300-horsepower Ford Mustang, a 3-ish-door Hyundai Veloster Turbo will cost $25,000 when it goes on sale shortly, and Mazda's 263 horsepower Mazdaspeed3 is $29,000 and change.

A 200-horsepower Scion FR-S rear-drive sports car—the current darling of sporting types—is $26,000.

I realize it's not exactly fair comparing a new car to a used one, but if you want a stylish coupe, you can find a lightly used certified pre-owned Audi TT with full financing available and extended warranty in the low to mid-$30s. Even a rear-drive, certified pre-owned BMW 1-Series Coupe will run you in the mid to high $20s.

The Mini Cooper S Coupe starts at $31,500.

I'm treating the Coupe as an anomaly in the sparkling MINI lineup. The hatchback is fantastic, and really does deserve all of the praise lobbed its way. The convertible and cabrio offer open-air fun, for a premium. Clubman and Countryman models are for those who need more space.

Like I said in the opening: nobody really knows what's cool. If you like it, buy it. I'll respect you for being a little different, even if it doesn't make sense on paper.

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