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Davenport Run - Saturday July 13, 2024

Join the Norcal Minis club for an epic drive from San Jose through the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains! Enjoy stunning vistas and wine tasting a...

Autoweek's Review Notes On The 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe

Autoweek posts the notes of three of its editors that had the opportunity to drive the 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe. One found it fun, but "not practical"; one found it to have a harsh ride and "rattling plastic bits"; and our favorite assessment is from News Editor Greg Migliore:
This red pocket rocket is a riot to drive. I carved up traffic during my morning commute, savoring the inputs and reactions the Cooper S Coupe offers.

The feel of this thing is truly engaging. I love the tight steering that returns immediate weight and feel on-center. It's excellent for making hard, direct turns. As an enthusiast, that's exactly what you seek—the ability to command a car and get a response. The lithe curb weight and rock-solid chassis make for one of the most tossable machines on the road. Plus, it helps makes the most of this 181-hp mill. The automatic gearbox was aggressive in its shifting, which is fine, but I'd rather have a manual in a Mini.

I love the way this thing is optioned out. The colors, the stripes, the wheels . . . Wow, it's a unique look that I appreciate, though not everyone will. The extras on this thing really add flair.

The downside? Don't get the Mini Coupe unless you're a true enthusiast of this brand. This isn't a mainstream car. The chassis will beat the snot out of you, which is fine for hard-core drivers, but not livable for most. I could drive and enjoy this every day, but I'm not normal. It's a niche, fun two-seater that I enjoyed the hell out of.