Friday, October 30, 2015

2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop Tested: More Isn’t Always Better

-When BMW returned Mini to our shores for the 2002 model year, having finally dispensed with Sir Alec Issigonis’s original design after too many years in production, the result, frankly, was revelatory. Our beloved Volkswagen GTI was going through an awkward phase, while the Honda Civic Si suffered from sporadic availability and wasn’t quite as inspiring as it had been in years past—in fact, Ford’s SVT Focus won a comparison among the trio. As we noted at the time, we would have included the Cooper S in our test, had Mini been able to make one available. In hindsight, we think it would’ve fared admirably, despite being a size-class lower than those other machines. Since then, the hot-hatch market has heated up in earnest, with Ford and VW at the top of their games. Meanwhile, the Mini we tend to recommend most is the bog-standard, three-cylinder Cooper Hardtop, not the more powerful but less-pleasant S. Might the even zestier John Cooper Works model overcome our aversion and power its way into our hearts? READ MORE ››

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