Mini Cooper S Works 210: PH Fleet


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?

 

 

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Comments (24) Join the discussion on the forum

  • British Beef 27 Feb 2018

    £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 27 Feb 2018

    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 27 Feb 2018

    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 27 Feb 2018

    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 27 Feb 2018

    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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