"2010 Mini Cooper S"
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Roadshow Video Reviews
Roadshow Video Reviews
2010 Mini Cooper S
>> Molly: The 2010 Mini Cooper S, it's classically Mini adorable, makes you feel hot driving it, it's fast and has BMW handling, so why do I hate it so much? I'm Molly Wood let's get inside and check the tech.
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>> Molly: See, the problem with the Mini is that it's like an HGTV makeover, it's over designed. You've got your classic Mini giant dial in the center here. And because they've taken up so much space making it look quirky and adorable it's almost impossible to figure out how to do anything. You've got this sort of system of buttons to press and a dial to turn and a dial to press. Now, if you want to play a funny joke on someone get in this car before they've ever seen it and turn the volume all the way down on the radio and then see if they can figure out how to get sound to come out of the speakers that one happened to me. 'Cause the thing is you've got this dial here for adjusting all kinds of things related to the radio but then the volume is this almost hidden knob down here. The whole thing just gets annoying. If you want to say change one of your preset stations you can turn this knob to select one and that's cool, but if you want to select say one of the ones on the second screen 'cause it's compressed into 2 screens you have to literally select all of the stations to get to that point. It's kind of an annoying mess. Pairing your phone over Bluetooth involves pressing the Menu button, choosing phone, then you've got to pair the thing and it's like a 3 menu system and you can only pair up to 5 devices so you have to erase them and get rid of them. Now down here you've got the cute little toggle switches that let you operate the window, change some of the lighting, power lock your doors. You've also got an auxiliary jack hidden way under here and then an optional USB port that let's you plug in the iPod connector. Now, our car came equipped with Bluetooth Hands-free, which is a nice touch, and we also had this 6 speed hybrid automatic transmission. Now, there is a sport button here which I found really reduced the turbo lag, that's probably one you're gonna want to enable pretty often. Now, there are all kinds of other upgrade options on this car including HD radio, a smartphone charger, the iPod USB connector and a Harman Kardon stereo system, which, trust me, you're gonna want because the base audio in this car is not great. Now, as far as the Mini's kind of mininess goes I'm about a 6 footer so if anybody is gonna feel cramped in this car it's me, and I really don't. You're not ever gonna haul more than 2 people at a time and not very much stuff. Luckily you can configure this thing like crazy. For $2,000 you can add a DVD-based navigation system that takes up this space here, and I kind of like that 'cause it makes this big dial potentially useful. Or for just $400 you can upgrade to a Garmin-based DVD nav system. The DVD one does offer live traffic and voice control so you get a little extra there but The Garmin is a much cheaper choice. Under the hood the Mini's powered by a 1.4 liter turbo charged 4 cylinder. It makes 172 horsepower and the 6 speed Steptronic transmission definitely suffers a little bit of turbo lag. Driving the Mini Cooper S is not unlike riding in a horse and buggy. The ride in car speak is stiff, it's sporty; it's got a lot of road feel. What that really means is that it's so rough and loud and unforgiving that when you drive over a pothole you feel like you've broke the car. It's much better on the freeway or at higher speeds but since this is such a good little city car it turns out that it's the kind of fun that gets kind of annoying after a day or 2. Steering is a little on the heavy side. You really have to drive this car you're not just gonna nudge it into the next lane. From the $23,000 base you can add not just all the different ala carte tech options but body kits, decals, different roof colors and all kinds of packages. Our tested Mini had a $500 hot chocolate paint job plus the $4,500 Mayfair package that gave our test car the toffee interior, fog lights, chrome and alloy wheels. All told our test car came in at $30,250. Gas mileage is estimated at 24/32 which you'll only get if you stay out of sport mode. Bottom line on the Mini still annoying but it's cute enough that it's hard to keep hating it. Have fun, hold on to your hat and go find yourself a small parking spot. Now all fussiness aside there is one thing the Mini is great at and that is city parking.
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