I've had a Mini JCW for the afternoon.

Dtwm1

Registered User
Yes, yes, yes I know its not an Audi but sometimes its nice to see what else is out there and get out of the Audi bubble.

Firstly, I had a quick test drive in one yesterday and liked it and luckily at work we work closely with a local BMW dealer and managed to get my hands on a F56 JCW for a few hours this afternoon. The car itself was one of the first dealer demonstrators so had every option box ticked except pan roof.

So pro's.

The noise is just amazing, not everyones cup of tea and annoyed a fair few pedestrians with it but oh well. That was with the car in sports mode, 'mid-mode' sounds similar minus the pops and bangs.

The interior is a nice place to be, it feel quality and far from cheap. The driving position is good and although low down, the seats aren't too bad.

I really like the 3rd generation Mini shape, yes I know its not 'mini' but is a decent size, the front feels light and spacious.

Good steering, not too heavy round town but feel good at speed. Handling isn't too bad either.

5 years or 50,000miles servicing is only £350.

The gearbox isn't double clutch but it's quick and able to shift off the line or junction very quickly even when not launched unlike a s-tronic/dsg.

Cons.

Firm, sports suspension combined with run-flat tyres do not make for an uber comfortable ride but I'm pretty sure you can spec standard tyres as a no cost option.

The hand break is a traditional one that hits the centre arm rest (same as the 8p).

Some of the options are a bit of a joke e.g. £110 for an armrest.

The entertainment system isn't as quick as the 8V mmi, it takes a good few seconds from selecting a song on your phone before it starts playing, also after a phone call it again takes a good few seconds to start playing music again. Spotify/Soundcloud works well with album artwork.

The price, it's around £29/30K with average options and residuals don't seem great £10,500 ish after 48 months.

Overall.

I really liked it and will consider it for my next car for sure. Its point and shoot ability is great round town, mpg isn't too bad I averaged 26mpg and it put a huge smile on my face.
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steeve

Registered User
If you do make sure you bin the runflats, try it on a bumpy road and it feels as if its in the air more than on the road, and some of you think the S3 is bad.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
l think BMW should adopt some of the interior style they apply to the new Mini...they may sell more Beemers..lol cracking car for all ages,real go cart like
 

Simon L

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Fun little car for sure but got to disagree about the interior quality. Those plastics look very cheap to me and the whole retro look isn't my cuppa at all ;)
 

fastfield

Registered User
Yes, one look at that dashboard says it is a very different style to the A3.

.. Do they do mono.pur?
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
Fun little car for sure but got to disagree about the interior quality. Those plastics look very cheap to me and the whole retro look isn't my cuppa at all ;)

It's not for everyone but the materials feel quality. I like my a3 but can't help think it's a bit 'grey' inside. It's a lot better than 1st and 2nd gen minis imo
 
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jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Fun little car for sure but got to disagree about the interior quality. Those plastics look very cheap to me and the whole retro look isn't my cuppa at all ;)


Was referring to BMW's lack of interior style rather than quality
 

Simon L

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Was referring to BMW's lack of interior style rather than quality

Certainly don't disagree there mate, Beemers def don't do it for me inside or out!

I was really referring to the OP though who said the interior felt quality and far from cheap. Sorry to say that cheap is exactly what that interior shot looks IMO!
 

Vins

Sepang S3
Always loved MINI's and loved my Supercharged Cooper S.

The new F56 has a very 'rally' type sound which is nice.

I just hate the plastic interior and that fugly bottom lip!

latest
 

Scottyg

Registered User
My wife has the new Mini One. 1.2 3 cylinder twin turbo 100bhp. For a tiny amount of hp it goes like stink. Interiors are all the same up the range apart from some decals. The old mini was horrendous for plastic interior rattles and squeaks. My old Countryman was a nightmare. However, the new one is leaps and bounds ahead in quality of materials used. Not much hard plastic more soft touch and absolutely no squeaks or rattles. The new interior will appear across the entire Mini range over the coming years. Will be interesting to see how they develop the CM. Paceman is going, Clubman is being redesigned and the roadster/coupe is going as well.
The JWC is very nice and if the pops and bangs on the Cooper S are anything to go buy then the JCW will sound tremendous.
 

Simon L

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
My wife has the new Mini One. 1.2 3 cylinder twin turbo 100bhp. For a tiny amount of hp it goes like stink. Interiors are all the same up the range apart from some decals. The old mini was horrendous for plastic interior rattles and squeaks. My old Countryman was a nightmare. However, the new one is leaps and bounds ahead in quality of materials used. Not much hard plastic more soft touch and absolutely no squeaks or rattles. The new interior will appear across the entire Mini range over the coming years. Will be interesting to see how they develop the CM. Paceman is going, Clubman is being redesigned and the roadster/coupe is going as well.
The JWC is very nice and if the pops and bangs on the Cooper S are anything to go buy then the JCW will sound tremendous.


Sure, I can buy all that, maybe it feels better than it looks..................but man, it does look really bad! :)

My old man's Skoda feels decent quality and the 1.4 pulls pretty hard with the DSG in sport but I'm not looking to buy one just yet ;)

(and as for his cream coloured upholstery, oh dear I could slap him sometimes!!) Lol
 

buz

Flat out
I test drove a new F56 Cooper S DSG a few months ago and it was a big step up in quality compared to my old R55 Clubman S. The cabin is not really comparable to an A/S3 as aimed mainly at different markets with it's more fun/funky feel but appeared very well screwed together.

As with the Audi the options soon mount up but as already said the final residuals are pretty poor!.................hell that JCW sounds good though and would be a hoot!!
 

Scottyg

Registered User
I understand your concerns with the new F56 but having had older gen MINI's the new one is a quantum leap in quality. Yes, the interior will not be to everyone's taste, I know people who feel the Audi's is now too bland (disagree) but for MINI enthusiasts it can be too far a step as well. Will be interested to hear Bristle Hound views.
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
I test drove a new F56 Cooper S DSG a few months ago and it was a big step up in quality compared to my old R55 Clubman S. The cabin is not really comparable to an A/S3 as aimed mainly at different markets with it's more fun/funky feel but appeared very well screwed together.

As with the Audi the options soon mount up but as already said the final residuals are pretty poor!.................hell that JCW sounds good though and would be a hoot!!

Defiantly agree, Mini have always been bold and out there with their interiors unlike the A3. Its tough comparing the a3 to the Mini, the Mini isn't designed for the mass market/old/young/family/single person/company car driver/weekend toy owner so isn't as conservative/generic as the current A3.

I know its down on power (70bhp) but I'm sat thinking how much of that power is useable on a daily bases in town for example especially. Is that 70 bhp going to be obvious on a daily basis? Also the mini is also a few hundred kilos lighter according to a quick google and has a twin turbo so little turbo lag.
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
I understand your concerns with the new F56 but having had older gen MINI's the new one is a quantum leap in quality. Yes, the interior will not be to everyone's taste, I know people who feel the Audi's is now too bland (disagree) but for MINI enthusiasts it can be too far a step as well. Will be interested to hear Bristle Hound views.
@Bristle Hound
 

Daveotto

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
My wife has the new Mini One. 1.2 3 cylinder twin turbo 100bhp. For a tiny amount of hp it goes like stink. Interiors are all the same up the range apart from some decals.

My wife has the same and agree that for the engine size the thing can move, very impressed with the interior, only downside is ride in the back is very hard.
 

Scottyg

Registered User
^^^^ I don't find that. Is it on the 16 inch wheels? I find it soaks the bumps up extremely well. I do find the weight of the steering is heavy moving from the A3 into the mini.
 

Bristle Hound

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I understand your concerns with the new F56 but having had older gen MINI's the new one is a quantum leap in quality. Yes, the interior will not be to everyone's taste, I know people who feel the Audi's is now too bland (disagree) but for MINI enthusiasts it can be too far a step as well. Will be interested to hear Bristle Hound views.
@Scottyg - For me the new F56 MINI's are just too 'BMW' for me (& I'm no BMW fan). I think MINI have gone step to far and lost the MINI's 'identity' TBH
The F56 is too refined and I personally think they lost the 'rawness' of the R56's & R53's

I have no doubt the F56 is a good car, but I STILL can't get used to the long nose and huge rear lights

Having had 3 MINI's, sadly I won't be getting another

As always, just my opinion of course ... :hi:
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
@Scottyg - For me the new F56 MINI's are just too 'BMW' for me (& I'm no BMW fan). I think MINI have gone step to far and lost the MINI's 'identity' TBH
The F56 is too refined and I personally think they lost the 'rawness' of the R56's & R53's

I have no doubt the F56 is a good car, but I STILL can't get used to the long nose and huge rear lights

Having had 3 MINI's, sadly I won't be getting another

As always, just my opinion of course ... :hi:

Take a JCW work a spin, listen to the exhaust pop and scare pedestrians and you'll soon change your tune :racer:
 

Scottyg

Registered User
:hubbahubba:Still goes like stink for a 1.2! Many a Range Rover Sport will testify to that on the A69!!
 

Bristle Hound

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Take a JCW work a spin, listen to the exhaust pop and scare pedestrians and you'll soon change your tune :racer:
@Dtwm1 - Had a R56 JCW from new for 18 months & changed it (or the wife did as it was her car ;)) for various reasons recently

Loved it, especially the noise!



But sadly for reasons in my post #19 above the new F56 JCW doesn't do it for me I'm afarid
 

Pulp84

Registered User
I'm going to a JCW test drive event later today so will report back. Have had it confirmed that the gearbox is not a DSG variant (actually the salesman wasn't sure what type of auto gearbox is fitted to the JCW - maybe a CVT?).

I'll take some pics of course too :) The MINI salesman believes I'll be very disappointed with the JCW compared to the S3. Interesting comment that.......

My mum has just got the F56 Cooper S 5-door and been quite impressed with that so far. The ride is firm on that so will be interested to see how much harder the JCW will be.
 

Sharkey

Registered User
Yes, yes, yes I know its not an Audi but sometimes its nice to see what else is out there and get out of the Audi bubble.

Firstly, I had a quick test drive in one yesterday and liked it and luckily at work we work closely with a local BMW dealer and managed to get my hands on a F56 JCW for a few hours this afternoon. The car itself was one of the first dealer demonstrators so had every option box ticked except pan roof.

So pro's.

The noise is just amazing, not everyones cup of tea and annoyed a fair few pedestrians with it but oh well. That was with the car in sports mode, 'mid-mode' sounds similar minus the pops and bangs.

The interior is a nice place to be, it feel quality and far from cheap. The driving position is good and although low down, the seats aren't too bad.

I really like the 3rd generation Mini shape, yes I know its not 'mini' but is a decent size, the front feels light and spacious.

Good steering, not too heavy round town but feel good at speed. Handling isn't too bad either.

5 years or 50,000miles servicing is only £350.

The gearbox isn't double clutch but it's quick and able to shift off the line or junction very quickly even when not launched unlike a s-tronic/dsg.

Cons.

Firm, sports suspension combined with run-flat tyres do not make for an uber comfortable ride but I'm pretty sure you can spec standard tyres as a no cost option.

The hand break is a traditional one that hits the centre arm rest (same as the 8p).

Some of the options are a bit of a joke e.g. £110 for an armrest.

The entertainment system isn't as quick as the 8V mmi, it takes a good few seconds from selecting a song on your phone before it starts playing, also after a phone call it again takes a good few seconds to start playing music again. Spotify/Soundcloud works well with album artwork.

The price, it's around £29/30K with average options and residuals don't seem great £10,500 ish after 48 months.

Overall.

I really liked it and will consider it for my next car for sure. Its point and shoot ability is great round town, mpg isn't too bad I averaged 26mpg and it put a huge smile on my face.
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I have just ordered a new S3, currently have an 8p s3, I like but but at times it just feels boring, strange to say that about a car with 264bhp! I had the cooper s before it, 1st generation facelift model supercharged. It was by far the best car I've had. So much fun to drive all the time, specially on country roads. They are great fun cars. Went with the s3 again mainly because the new one seems to have more of a fun factor to drive I think. First time with stronic box too, really impressed by it.
 

Scottyg

Registered User
This is my second s-tronic/DSG box. I've had 9 autos from different brand Landrover to BMW to VX and more and it is by far the best box on the mass market.
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
I'm going to a JCW test drive event later today so will report back. Have had it confirmed that the gearbox is not a DSG variant (actually the salesman wasn't sure what type of auto gearbox is fitted to the JCW - maybe a CVT?).

I'll take some pics of course too :) The MINI salesman believes I'll be very disappointed with the JCW compared to the S3. Interesting comment that.......

My mum has just got the F56 Cooper S 5-door and been quite impressed with that so far. The ride is firm on that so will be interested to see how much harder the JCW will be.

I look forward to hearing you're views on it. I haven't driven an s3 so can't compare but working for enterprise I get my hands on all sorts. To me it just felt really fun and put a huge smile on my face - mainly when popping the exhaust in the centre of Cheltenham.
 

PrancingPanda

Registered User
Here's my R56 JCW which I owned for 9 months:



The car was well spec'd with sports seats, panoramic roof, H/K sound. I ditched the runflats and replaced the springs but ultimately the car was a pain in the **** to drive over a long distance. The steering had no feel. I've never owned a car that tramlined as much as the MINI. The exhaust is fun when hooning it, what with the burbles and pops but the drone on a motorway run is overbearing after a while. Build quality is suspect too. Needed a new gearbox replaced under warranty after just 6 months. Sold it soon afterwards.

As for the new model: Rear light clusters are huwge. Front bumper and detailing is over complicated. Interior is garish. They've really made it OTT!
 
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Dtwm1

Registered User
Here's my R56 JCW which I owned for 9 months:



The car was well spec'd with sports seats, panoramic roof, H/K sound. I ditched the runflats and replaced the springs but ultimately the car was a pain in the **** to drive over a long distance. The steering had no feel. I've never owned a car that tramlined as much as the MINI. The exhaust is when hooning it, what with the burbles and pops but the drone on a motorway run is overbearing after a while. Build quality is suspect too. Needed a new gearbox replaced under warranty after just 6 months. Sold it soon afterwards.

Really interesting to hear that, luckily if I decide to get one I don't really go any long distance. Did you take a huge hit when you got rid?? I was quoted a GVF of £10,500 ish after 4 years which I thought was very low.
 

PrancingPanda

Registered User
Shortly after I bought the mini I got a new job which meant a 66-mile round trip every day. MPG was good though. I averaged 42mpg during the time I owned it. I didn't lose out too much on the MINI because I paid cash for a pre-registered model (yes, used, but only 3,000 miles on the clock) for it and was able to use the car as a deposit for an M135i thereafter (of course the Bimmer was in another league!).
 

Dtwm1

Registered User
Shortly after I bought the mini I got a new job which meant a 66-mile round trip every day. MPG was good though. I averaged 42mpg during the time I owned it. I didn't lose out too much on the MINI because I paid cash for a pre-registered model (yes, used, but only 3,000 miles on the clock) for it and was able to use the car as a deposit for an M135i thereafter (of course the Bimmer was in another league!).

Interesting. I got a quote for an S3 off Carwow. S3 SB s-tronic with black pack, ***, ILP, comfort pack + reversing camera and adaptive cruise is similar per month but £500 less deposit based on the quote from MINI. I think MINI may have priced it a bit high compared with the Cooper S and competition around the £30k mark.
 

PrancingPanda

Registered User
Given the choice between an S3 and a JCW MINI, the S3 wins every time! Yes, the MINI is 'involving' but really for the wrong reasons, as you're fighting to keep the car in a straight line, you'll have forearms like Popeye before too long...

To be fair, they're vastly different cars and they're meant to be in different price classes. As you suggest, £30-plus K for a MINI JCW is ludicrous.
 

Pulp84

Registered User
So....went to a JCW event day at **** Lovett in a Swindon yesterday to see what all the fuss is about. The "event" consisted of some JCW flags outside the dealership and a couple of JCW's parked out front. I took out a Black version with red accents (it looked horrible - not a great start) for a couple of hours so was able to give it a good thrashing. The noise on start up etc and pulling away is very, very nice.

Firstly, I forgot how claustrophobic MINI interiors are. The ergonomics and quality are much improved over the R56 but felt the packaging is a bit tight (hand brake location / iDrive) but otherwise a nice place to sit. A lot more road and wind noise compared the S3 however.

On the road, my overall impression was the ride was extremely firm. Even with the dampers in comfort I found the ride pretty bad. That a side the handling is extremely good. Steering accuracy and weighting was night and day in comparison to the S3. The rural roads outside of Swindon (which I know very well) allowed me to compare against the S3. The firm suspension is firm for a reason - cornering and stability is great. You can push on a bit more where as the S3 does not give me the confidence.

I wasn't impressed by straight line speed. It's very smooth and clinical when you get your foot down. The S3 is the winner on that front of course. Maybe the manual might have been a bit more fun. The MINI gearbox is much slower to find gears, shift up etc compared to S-tronic. The weakest part of the whole car.

So after parking up, I spoke numbers with the sales guy. £5k deposit = £387 a month over 48 months based on a £31k JCW in my dream spec. My S3 was £3.7k down and is £405 a month over 36 months for a £33.5k car. The JCW spec would be better however (full nav, various assistance systems, adaptive dampers & LED headlights etc).

So.......good enough to replace the S3? Nope. Living with the JCW would be a challenge I think - the ride and size would be an issue for me and although there is a lot of fun to be had in the twisty bits, the straight line speed is not intoxicating enough. I like the noise but think it might get annoying in time. It's also stupidly expensive for what it is.

Got back in the S3 and didn't miss the JCW. Didn't think that would be the case!
 

S32B

Registered User
Always had a soft spot for Mini's, was my first car at 17 :) Still remember the plate HDS 461T went everywhere on £5 a week...think it was about £1.75 per gallon then!!!
 
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