BMW Mini Coupe S Review

By on December 22, 2011
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Appropriately sized proportions.

Good: Tight handling; Sporty little engine; Low profile roof; New control panel with iDrive; Active spoiler; Pleasant interior
Bad: Controversial looks; Expensive for it's class
Price: AED 160,000
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

On the inside not much has changed from the Cooper to the Coupe, with the same circular design cues in the every facet of the compartment. One thing to notice, though, is the new central console system. While the huge speedometer dial remains in the center, you’ll notice that the needle itself rolls around the dial. The entire center of the speedometer is now a 6.5” HD LCD panel where you get the BMW iDrive control panel.

While not as advanced or easy to control as the iDrive system, the one in the Mini Coupe serves its purpose well. Going back and forth inbetween the menus is easy, albeit a bit clunky as the transitions are a bit jerky. The main navigation map itself is sprinkled with bright colors, keeping in line with the Mini’s colorful design, and doesn’t look depressingly boring like other GPS systems.  My only gripe is that when scrolling through a list of options, you have to turn the joystick clockwise or counter-clockwise to scroll up or down respectively. Given that the joystick is actually capable of moving up and down I thought that would have been more intuitive.

Next to it the gearbox is placed nicely, but I wish the Sports Mode button, along with the Traction Control switch, was placed below the gearbox rather than above it as it makes it difficult to hunch forward.

The armrest itself can is retractable to the top, with its own phone charger. The rest of the compartment is minimalist, but provides you everything you’d need in a modern sports car. The Harman/Kardon sound system is sweet on the ears, especially with the rear parking sensors making a cool wavy sound effect depending on the position of the object behind you.

On the top panel you’ll see that apart from the reading lights, there’s one switch for retracting the rear spoiler manually (a cool but ultimately useless feature) and one for changing the interior light scheme. These lights come around the foot area and the side panels on the door. Unfortunately I didn’t get much night time driving in our Mini Coupe S, so I only remember seeing Maroon, Green and Blue.

The central console, under the climate control area, provides all the switches usually reserved for the driver’s side door panel. The power windows, central locking and front & rear fog lamp controls are all down there. This looks more of a passenger friendly design rather than one targeted towards the comfortable reach of the driver.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Mufaddal Fakhruddin

    I see what you did there. :p

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