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      11-10-2019, 12:07 PM   #1
wjones14
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F56 Mini Cooper - BMW in disguise

Haven't posted here in awhile since I traded my 2015 M235i for a 2018 Camaro 2SS 1LE. The BMW and Camaro are both "fun" cars for me - in 3 years I only put 10,000 miles on the BMW and the Camaro now has 5,000 miles after almost 2 years. For the past 6 years my daily driver was a first generation 2003 R50 Mini Cooper 5-speed manual. I just replaced that with a 2015 F56 base model Mini 2-door hatchback with a 6-speed manual.

Picked up the 2015 Mini yesterday so it's only been a day, but my biggest surprise/takeaway is how similar it is to my BMW. On the outside, it's the same Pepper White paint and looks similar to the old Mini, but almost everything else is more like my BMW than the old Mini.

The 2015 has the Fully Loaded package with Navigation, which is the same iDrive system that was in my BMW, though it's called MINI Connected. Same start/stop functionality. Same leather seat and soft dash top material. Same configurable door chime sounds. Shutting the doors sounds the same. The B38 BMW turbo engine is pretty much the same engine as in my BMW, though it's half the cylinders and displacement. The engine compartment looks very similar.

The only downside so far is that the cost of the BMW refinement is the lack of driver connection to the car. The steering is more numb, and the sound isolation distances you from what's happening outside. The driving experience was that the first generation Mini was small, light, low to the ground, and always over 3500 rpms, so that it always felt like it was going faster than it really was. That was fun. The newer one obviously is a lot faster and more capable, but it just doesn't feel as fast. It's subjective and not really measurable, and I don't mean that it's not fun - it's just different, a little bigger, more refined, and more modern. More BMW-like, for better or worse.

That said, I am a fan of technology, and the F56 is going to be a much more pleasant commuter than the R50. And hopefully a lot more reliable.
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Vehicles: 2018 Camaro 2SS 1LE 6MT; 2015 MINI F56 6MT; 2011 Kawasaki Z1000 (1/4 mile 10.3 seconds @ 129 mph - stock)
Sold: 2015 Alpine White BMW M235i 6MT | Coral Red interior | MPE & Diffuser
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