It's bigger, but is it better? That's been the big (pardon the size pun, they're hard to avoid) question about the new Mini Cooper S. I think it's better in most ways, but the size increase and that face are kind of bummers. Turns out that even with two more doors, it's still one of the best hot hatches out there.
So says the UK's Evo magazine in this test on both street and track. On the former the new 5-door Cooper S is about what you'd expect: quick, sharp-handling, practical and fun, even if the new all-electric steering rack is a bit on the numb side.
But it's on the track that this car's inherent gifts really start to show themselves. Reviewer Dan Prosser says it's more suited to track work than many other performance-oriented street cars, and "much more fun on circuit than you might imagine it is just by looking at the thing." No brake fade, direct handling, great gearbox, and a fun spirit.
I agree that the five-door proportions are awkward, but in terms of driving dynamics, it deserves a seat at the table.