. . . Despite its stuck-in-treacle urgency, decapitating the Mini doesn’t hurt its playfulness. The wheelbase feels short and the whole car agile, so it responds keenly to mid-corner inputs, if you fancy cocking about a bit. The driving position is more sorted than the cramped Mazda’s too, and we prefer its heftier, more accurate steering.
Initially, it’s actually the Mazda that feels less sporty. Not just in how light ’n’ twirly the steering is, but the softness. The angles it adopts as it rolls into bends are downright alarming at first, but trust grip is there and it turns dull mini-roundabouts into an autotest treat. You drive the Mini hard once, just to see how it copes (and end up fairly impressed). The Mazda, on the other hand, is something you’ll delight in provoking every single day you drive it.
WHAT'S COMING UP?
August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...
MINI Convertible Vs. Mazda MX-5
Top Gear holds a shoot-out and concludes:
Posted by NorCal MINIs