After a spirited Mini Convertible, Rebecca Jackson takes the wheel of a retro-themed Mini Cooper S
Our car: Mini Cooper S Seven Edition List price when new: £21,785 Price as tested: £TBA Official fuel economy: 49.6mpg (EU Combined)
June 26th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 36.6MPG
Although previous generations of Mini Coopers had a reputation for a slightly uncomfortable ride on long journeys, the same cannot be said for the latest model. The Seven I am testing has Variable Damper Control at a cost of £375, which allows the driver to switch between Sport and Green modes.
In Sport mode, the ride is stiffer for better roadholding and Green is the more comfortable setting, perfect for long journeys and a more relaxed pace.
This, along with the supportive seats and onboard technology, make the Seven a very pleasant place to spend time.
June 16th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 36.6mpg
The Mini's "Connected Drive XL" system comes as standard on this model and has some really useful features. There is an app to download and once your phone is connected via the USB port you can send locations to the satellite navigation system and make calls to book a table at a restaurant, for instance.
You can also use the app to see where your Mini was last connected, and therefore parked, as well as check the remaining fuel level.
You can also plan an entire journey in advance, including any stop points on the way to your destination, as well as traffic en route.
The app also allows you to listen to music through Mini Connected and see how much time you have spent with/in your car - and it is even able to call for help if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.
Overall, it’s a really nifty piece of technology. Bits of it are a bit gimmicky, admittedly, but I don’t hold that against it - after all, a Mini should be fun and this set-up does not disappoint.
June 2nd, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 34.3mpg
The Mini Seven comes with a petrol or diesel engine. My test car has the same 192bhp, 2.0-litre petrol engine also used in the standard Cooper S, paired with a competent manual gearbox. Simply it is a Cooper S, but a Seven edition.
It accelerates from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds and has a confident pull from 50-75mph in 6.4 seconds, allowing comfortable overtaking on motorways and country roads alike. The automatic version boasts similar performance figures.
The torque figure of 280Nm won’t move the earth, although it feels plenty quick enough and has enough grunt for hills - and of course those aforementioned overtaking manoeuvres. This Mini has certainly not felt gutless in any situation I have found myself in.
However, it’s a long way off my little animal of a Mini JCW race car, although the Seven has sufficient power to suit most thrill-seekers during everyday use on the road.
May 24th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 35.1mpg
Mini has been smart to buyers’ requirements with its “Packs”. Customers are able to spec equipment individually from the options list or select packs containing a carefully chosen collection of items, from wheels and trim colours to sound system and driver-focused technology aids.
The Seven I am testing has the Chili Pack - costing £2,540 - which contains multi-function controls for steering wheel, 18in Vanity Spoke alloy wheels and steering wheel, roof and mirror caps in silver, interior trim in glossy piano black, slectable driving modes, LED fog lights, headlights and daytime running lights.
If you like your music then you can spec a Harman Kardon stereo for £590 or select the Tech Pack - costing £2,710 - which contains this and also a reversing camera, head-up display, parking sensors and a multi-function steering wheel. The last four item also come with the Chili Pack, which would normally be £255, £450, £250 and £260 respectively, as they are on this car.
The last few long-term Minis I have tried have all had Harman Kardon and you really notice the difference when you drive a car without. It might be a pricey option on its own, but a few weeks down the line you probably will not give that cost a second thought.
May 16th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 33.4mpg
Step inside the Seven and as with anything designer yielding a decent amount of class, this Mini reminds you it is special without being like an over-the-top designer copy.
In fact, many may not even notice the label and neat styling lines surrounding the large, retro central instrument housing. They are there, if you look hard enough, as is the “MINI Yours” logo stitched into the seats - a symbol that this Mini has some customised options.
Easier to spot is the tag on the sill plates and the Union Jack at the base of the leather-bound steering wheel.
There are also Malt Brown armrests and knee-rolls, combined with Piano Black elements, which all work rather well and maintain that retro feel.
May 9th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: 33.1mpg
The “Seven” is a special edition and comes in a choice of four colours; Lapisluxury Blue, Pepper White, Midnight Black or British Racing Green. The car I’m testing is the black version, which is rich and lustrous, and looks great set against the silver roof, door mirrors and wide bonnet stripes enhanced with red pinstripe borders.
The wheel choice is between 17-inch, seven-spoke items in Spectre Grey or the 18in Vanity Spoke fitted to our test car. Both wheel types are two-tone and look both smart and stylish.
And the swish designer badge on the scuttle reminds us that this is a special Mini.
April 26th, 2017
Fuel economy this week: n/a mpg
Just in time for the new racing season, my long-term Mini Cooper S has arrived.
It's an appropriate choice, as for the first time I will be doing the full season of Mini Challenge races, in the top JCW class.
My wheels to get to circuits throughout the UK is this new special “Seven” edition Cooper S. It produces the same power as a standard Cooper S; with 190bhp delivered to the front wheels, it's good for a 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds.
Although it’s a thoroughly modern hot hatch it is made at the original Mini factory in Oxford. It has a classy retro feel and many aesthetic touches to remind you that you’re in a “Seven”.
Over the following weeks I will share with you how easy it is to live with everyday, what you get for your money and how it compares with its rivals.
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