Only Mini faithfuls would be able to pick a new Mini out of a field of older models. It’s a tad longer, with a slightly higher bonnet – for added pedestrian safety and engine packaging – and the indicators are now integrated into the headlamps. But anyone driving it, as we did in Spain’s Catalonia province, will notice the ride is less harsh than before, though the handling is not at all compromised. Now the Mini rides like a car, while still driving like a go-kart. Both the regular Mini Cooper and turbocharged Cooper S have more power, and torque steer is all but nonexistent. Inside, there’s a trifle more front legroom, thanks to a redesigned console. Aficionados of the original will appreciate the new Mini’s larger speedometer and plethora of toggle switches. But the rear seat is still no place for an adult.
– Jon Gromer