I Drove A New Diesel Mini Cooper SD For An Hour

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Okay, so we went out to the countryside to check out the new BMW X6, but luckily, there weren't enough for all of us, so I ended up in the hottest Mini diesel. Here's my very short verdict.

The Coooper SD has a 2 liter turbodiesel producing 143 horsepower, and more importantly, 225 pound feet of torque. So it goes like stink.


What I liked about it: Plenty of power, quick steering, good brakes and a manual gearbox that clicks the right way. All there. The head-up display is also handy since you really don't want to look at the central screen while driving.

Oh, but the best think about the new Mini's interior is the toggle switches. And while I would probably still prefer a starter button (since we can't have keys anymore), the roof-mounted switches got me sold.


What I did not like about it: While super solid, the cabin is a bit claustrophobic due to the high dashboard and beltline. Sometimes, it feels like you're driving a little bunker.


The premium hi-fi also makes the A-pillars even thicker, although the mirrors are brilliant, so at least you can see what's behind you.

But the biggest error I could find was how cheap the two multifunction buttons felt on the steering wheel. They are the sort of hard but hardly precise plastic buttons game controllers used in the nineties, which sucks because those are the things you'll press the most often. Some other materials also felt out of place in a premium interior, and as one colleague summed it up, it's no Audi.


And the X6?

I guess some of you must be interested since BMW managed to sell 260,000 X6s since 2008. Right. So, the new one looks like this:


Basically, they made the kidney and the headlamps bigger so that now, there's no metal between them. That's all you need to know.