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Photos: 2007 Mini Cooper S

Good-looking and one of the most fun cars on the road, the 2007 Mini Cooper S is well-engineered throughout. While we were impressed by the audio and handling, the car can be made even better with an optional premium speaker system and a limited slip differential.

CNET Reviews staff

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Although it has some minor cosmetic changes for the 2007 model year, there's no mistaking a Mini.
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The hood comes down at a more abrupt angle over the previous generation, and it gets increased grille space to feed its turbocharger.
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The Mini increases its length by 2.5 inches for the 2007 model year, but this extra length doesn't adversely affect handling.
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As one minor detail, the Cooper S loses its engine vent and gets this chunky S emblem mounted just aft of the hood.
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Cargo space remains minimal. You could crush a couple of grocery bags behind the rear seats, or fold down the rear seats for substantially more room.
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Mini didn't mess with successful elements, like the big speedometer in the center of the dashboard, complemented by the tachometer mounted to the steering wheel column.
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The Mini gets a unique, disc-shaped electronic key. It fits into a dashboard slot, next to the engine start button.
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There are a pleasing number of audio sources available in the Mini's stereo system, including a standard auxiliary jack.
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The HD tuner is an interesting option, although we didn't find it that compelling.
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Although it only has a two-line radio display, it's easy to navigate folders and tracks on a WMA or MP3 CD.
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The trip computer shows the usual data, which can also be displayed on the tachometer.
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The toggles below the stack work the windows and fog lights. We like the retro look, but would prefer if they were metal instead of plastic.
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The Mini gets another bank of toggle switches on the rear-view mirror mount for controlling map lights.
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Paddles on the spokes of the wheel let you select gears for the six-speed automatic transmission.
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We were impressed by the automatic transmission on the Mini, which shifted smoothly, got us quickly up to speed, and downshifted appropriately.
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The engine gets major changes for 2007, including turning in its supercharger for a turbo.

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