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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 Reviews The New Cooper And Cooper S

Jay Ramey of AutoWeek looks at new MINI Cooper and Cooper S. His answer to the question "Do You Want One?":
Mini is no longer alone in the premium compact segment, though the Fiat 500 is perhaps just a bit too small to present direct competition to what is in effect a very small and very fun hatch. This new version stays true to the first-gen (BMW-produced) model that premiered over a decade ago, adding power and improving fuel efficiency while remaining distinct in a range that now includes seven cars.

Nicely equipped three-door hardtops will really be found in the $24,000 range, keeping it out of Mercedes-Benz CLA price territory; there is plenty of fun to be had even if you only have around $20,000 to spend. The Cooper S model is almost too much of a good thing -- the base three-cylinder offers plenty of entertainment on short and long trips.

If you still need more room but don't want to spring for the Countryman, wait for the five-door hardtop -- that's coming later this summer.