RE: Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

RE: Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

Monday 26th February

Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet

The characterful hot hatch is proving that the best things come in (not particularly) small packages...



The Mini’s been with us for over a month now, and it’s been plenty busy in that time. Having acted as tracking car for our GT3 head-to-head in the New Forest, it then travelled to Surrey for a date with a hot hatch hero -  the long shadow of which continues to eclipse cars like the 210 to this day. It’s seen the length of the M4 for a weekend in Wales - carrying four adults and a weekend’s worth of luggage in relative comfort, thanks in part to the drop down boot floor - visited deepest Kent for an upcoming feature, and been back and forth around the South Circular on the regular office commute.

So, what’ve we learnt in that time? Well, having spent a day with the 182 Trophy during that PH Heroes shoot, the strengths and weaknesses of the Works 210 were thrown into sharp relief. Coming out of the Clio, it’s simple interior, analogue steering and naturally aspirated responsiveness stood in stark contrast to the Mini’s optioned-out excess, insulated feel and turbo’d boostiness. The fantastic 8.8-inch widescreen nav screen, heated seats and DAB radio are very nice to have on a winter’s journey, though... not all progress is bad.


And that’s not to say that the Mini doesn’t deliver dynamically. When looking for a little more extraversion the Works 210 willingly plays along, capable, if motivated childishly enough, of spinning its front wheels all the way through first and second gears before gripping and going like little else in the segment. The steering - despite a slight lack of communication - is weighty and direct, the handling agile and the damping superb. A lovely tactile gear shift adds to the enjoyment, and it's hard to argue with the combative burble of the bluetooth-adjustable exhaust.

Part of the brand’s appeal to loyal customers, of which there are many (and one of the biggest turn-offs to its detractors) has often been the imbuing of its products with a faux sense of personality and playfulness - kitschiness to the rest of us. In the Works, though, the genuine character of the car shines through, making touches like the Sport mode’s "maximum go-kart feel" graphic seem considerably less tacky.

The lumpen styling is still nowhere near as attractive as the comparatively slender previous generation, but the comfort - and safety - it facilitates is probably a worthwhile trade-off. In short, the Works 210 is so far winning us over, not just as the sweet spot in the Mini range, but as the ambassador to a brand which - limited run cars aside - hasn’t done a whole lot to cater to ‘genuine’ enthusiasts for a while. We’re looking forward to further experiencing its unique brand of diplomacy as the weather improves.


FACT SHEET
Car
: 2017 Mini Cooper S Works 210
On fleet since: January 2018
Run by: Everyone!
Mileage: 2,745
List price new: £19,994.40 (As tested £28,344.40 comprising £475 for Melting Silver metallic paint, £300 for Mini active from 12/06/17 to 11/06/20, £1,695 for Works enhanced kit, £75 for John Cooper Works sport leather steering wheel, £375 for variable damper control, £80 for black bonnet stripes, £120 for Anthracite roof lining, £220 for sun protection glass, £215 for front seat heating, £2,710 for Mini hatch tech pack, £2,000 for Chili pack for JCW sports pack and £85 for LED headlights with extended contents) 
Last month at a glance: Playing with older hot hatches, the genuine character of the car shines through

Previous updates:
Is this the Mini Mk3 we've been waiting for?

 

 

Author
Discussion

British Beef

Original Poster:

1,127 posts

98 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
£2000 for Chill pack !!

I bought a Mazda RX8 With new engine, 230 hp, great driving dynamics AND Heated seats for a little bit more than that.

£28k with some good options is nuts for a Hatch With 210hp.


GTEYE

1,197 posts

143 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
British Beef said:
£2000 for Chill pack !!

I bought a Mazda RX8 With new engine, 230 hp, great driving dynamics AND Heated seats for a little bit more than that.

£28k with some good options is nuts for a Hatch With 210hp.
What a ridiculous comment.....hard to believe you are actually being serious.

£28k is a lot of money, but that's what "new" cars cost these days - and like it or not the Mini is a premium product.

Used cars (and ones with a rather dubious reliability record) are available in all shapes and sizes for a lot less.




Challo

4,301 posts

88 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
British Beef said:
£2000 for Chill pack !!

I bought a Mazda RX8 With new engine, 230 hp, great driving dynamics AND Heated seats for a little bit more than that.

£28k with some good options is nuts for a Hatch With 210hp.
Pointless comparison.

PixelpeepS3

5,245 posts

75 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
i notice none of the '£32k for a Golf R' gang here today...

Interesting.

£4k more gets you AWD, more practicality and 100 more BHP ?

Either the Golf is good value, or this isn't.

TheAlastair34

119 posts

61 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
PixelpeepS3 said:
i notice none of the '£32k for a Golf R' gang here today...

Interesting.

£4k more gets you AWD, more practicality and 100 more BHP ?

Either the Golf is good value, or this isn't.
i would think the Mini would be a more fun drive that a 4wd golf and i suppose you dont need to add 9k worth of extra's to the mini
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GTEYE

1,197 posts

143 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
PixelpeepS3 said:
i notice none of the '£32k for a Golf R' gang here today...

Interesting.

£4k more gets you AWD, more practicality and 100 more BHP ?

Either the Golf is good value, or this isn't.
But the list price of the Mini is less than £20k, you don't have to have all the options, and similarly the Golf can cost £40k+ if you are daft with the options.

Guvernator

8,623 posts

98 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
I do think the supermini segment is lagging behind a bit these days though. You can now buy the next class up like a Golf R for just over £30k or about £2-3k more than this mini wiht over 300bhp. These smaller cars seems to have been increasing in price but stuck at around the 200bhp power range for ages which dare I say it, seems a bit miserly in this day and age.

kambites

54,952 posts

154 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
For me, that's part of what appeals about this segment. I think manufacturers have intentionally left the numbers-chasing for the next segment up, leaving these smaller hot hatches to focus on being fun rather than chasing headline figures.

TheAlastair34

119 posts

61 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Guvernator said:
I do think the supermini segment is lagging behind a bit these days though. You can now buy the next class up like a Golf R for just over £30k or about £2-3k more than this mini wiht over 300bhp. These smaller cars seems to have been increasing in price but stuck at around the 200bhp power range for ages which dare I say it, seems a bit miserly in this day and age.
I have a 210bhp Mini JCW i think its more than fast enough for a daily road car, how much power do you think you need?

Guvernator

8,623 posts

98 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
TheAlastair34 said:
I have a 210bhp Mini JCW i think its more than fast enough for a daily road car, how much power do you think you need?
It's not about what I need, no one really NEEDS a 300bhp hatchback or a 500bhp saloon either. I just find it a bit odd that with all the horsepower wars, this segment seems to have been left behind a bit.

It also makes them look a bit poor value, purely in the bhp per pound stakes.

The test driver

905 posts

92 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
PixelpeepS3 said:
i notice none of the '£32k for a Golf R' gang here today...

Interesting.

£4k more gets you AWD, more practicality and 100 more BHP ?

Either the Golf is good value, or this isn't.
Top speed and Hp don't always equate to fun which I think the article is trying to express.

scenario8

4,999 posts

112 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
Is “extraversion” a word? One young people use, or something? Or just a typo / auto-correct?

I had an entirely standard R53 Cooper back in the day. I’m sure it would be considered ridiculously under powered on these pages but I thought it was a hoot. I’m sure this version would provide all the extraversion I would ever need.

anthonysjb

369 posts

69 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
But the list price of the Mini is less than £20k, you don't have to have all the options, and similarly the Golf can cost £40k+ if you are daft with the options.
Golf Rs are leased most of the time. Look to be similarly priced if lease.

Fire99

9,323 posts

162 months

Tuesday 27th February
quotequote all
No doubt that dynamically it's probably very good but the MINI (or BIGI as it now appears) does now tend to look like a boiled sweet that's had a straw inserted in it and been inflated.

It's a bit swollen looking..

ChrisTomlinson

3 posts

43 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
Well that article used a lot of words to say nothing at all. I think there was more about the way the 182 drove than the mini!

Hopefully in coming months, there will be some proper updates on this car and how it is to drive and live with.

culpz

3,893 posts

45 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
anthonysjb said:
GTEYE said:
But the list price of the Mini is less than £20k, you don't have to have all the options, and similarly the Golf can cost £40k+ if you are daft with the options.
Golf Rs are leased most of the time. Look to be similarly priced if lease.
Mini Cooper S lease prices are fairly high. I don't believe they've ever had much support thrown at them like the fast Golf's have. Not that i've ever seen, anyway.

PixelpeepS3

5,245 posts

75 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
ChrisTomlinson said:
Well that article used a lot of words to say nothing at all. I think there was more about the way the 182 drove than the mini!

Hopefully in coming months, there will be some proper updates on this car and how it is to drive and live with.
Wow... that must have been really important to you.

the only post in 36 months.... top lurking!

ChrisTomlinson

3 posts

43 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
Yeah, I’ve been waiting 3 years for pistonheads to write a review on it.


ChrisTomlinson

3 posts

43 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
On a less sarcastic note, it seems like the small hot hatch stuff doesn’t get the coverage it used to on pistonheads. I read a lot on here but as you rightly pointed out, don’t comment.

But if the feedback does get read, it would be great to see a head to head on small hot hatches. I don’t think there has been one since the Fiesta ST was new.

MRobbins1987

445 posts

63 months

Wednesday 28th February
quotequote all
I drove one of these but the 238 hp version, felt slow, the auto blip on downshifts was terrible, the steering was poor, the manual box was notchy, didn't feel like a hot hatch, the only thing that was memorable in a pleasant way was the crackles from the exhaust. Probably not fair on the jcw that I had earlier driven an m140i but I just couldn't find any fun in the mini. The final nail in the coffin was the price, the m140i was cheaper.