As our first car review of the year this 2015 here at Pinoy Tech Blog, we thought of reviewing something that is worth starting the year off on the right foot. Something fun, exciting, and a spot-on head turner. We might have differences in opinion when it comes to thinking what car suites such recognition but for us, we have thought of something that a lot of people will agree on. A car that was voted to be the second most influential car in the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T — The Mini Cooper.
Designed in the late 1950s as an answer to the fuel shortage happening that time. It was built to be small and economical. It has grown a lot since and when BMW group purchased the Mini in 2001, they have integrated BMW technology to the Mini models since then, aside from making it bigger than what the original size has been.
6.5″ display entertainment system
Wireless controls on the steering wheel
Auto rain sensing wipers
Digital automobile monitoring system
iPhone connectivity worked well with my iPhone 6 Plus. I used the iPhone USB cable for this and once connected, you can access Deezer for your music library and this will appear,
From here on, everything you need to do on your phone to control Deezer will now be flashed on the screen. To navigate, use the “iDrive Touch Controller” in the middle portion. Since it is Bluetooth enabled, you can also listen to music via Bluetooth connection and make phone calls with it. Pairing is also easy. Simply follow the instruction flashed on the screen.
The digital automobile monitoring system is also very useful. From there, you can check out the tire pressure, engine oil level, temperature and the likes. It will also tell you stuff like when you need to bring your Mini for a check-up.
Safety is a big thing for me and the Mini Cooper S F56 is equipped with intelligent warning and protection systems. It has dual front airbags, front side airbags, full length curtain airbags, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, corner braking control and front seatbelts with pretensioners, load limiters, and auto-hazard warning system when you suddenly hit the brakes hard.
For pedestrian safety, it also has an active bonnet which when activated upon pedestrian collision, will trigger a mechanism to raise the bonnet to create additional deformation space to reduce risk of pedestrian injury.
As you can see, the “S” badge on the front grilles isn’t there for nothing. Powering this Mini Cooper S F56 is a 2-liter 4-cyclinder turbo charged engine that can take you to 100km per hour in less than 7 seconds — from data sheets and personal experience! The adrenaline rush is incomparable. It doesn’t feel like you are driving a Mini because they were originally made to be economical. The sound of the turbo activating and whistling waiting to activate on your command is what makes getting the “S” variant so worth it.
You have 3 driving modes to choose from. Green, Mid, and Sport. For the green mode, obviously, you use it if you want to drive normally and save fuel. This mode is great for Metro Manila’s traffic-ridden streets. Mid is a mixture of responsive and fuel efficiency and the sport mode is what they describe as the “Go-Kart” feel. Use the sport mode and when you floor the pedal, tires will screech and the turbo will scream! Don’t worry as the braking system of this Mini is also as good as how fast it can go. Equipped with 11.6 inch vented front discs and 10.2 inch rear brakes.
Inside, I have to say that I was impressed. Before this latest Mini Cooper (F56), I never liked how it looked inside. It was boring and I hated the white-faced tachometer in the previous models. The 2014 F56 changed everything and it erased my first impression completely. The front center console is now equipped with a 6.5″ LCD display (before, the speedometer and tachometer is in the center console) that you can use to access vehicle information, entertainment system, and other connectivity features. It also has a settings control panel to customize your Mini to your liking, like setting the daytime running lights or other features that you can customize. Even the mood light inside the Mini can be changed by pressing the toggle switch mounted on the ceiling up front beside the light control switch.
The materials used are also premium from the leather wrapped steering wheel to the carbon fiber upper glove compartment. The start-stop engine button is now placed in the lower center portion via a toggle switch that will pulsate when the key FOB is in the area. It absolutely felt like a jetplane with all the toggle switches inside from the interior lights to the digital airconditioning control.
Everything is in theme. Round center console display, round aircon vents, round tachometer and speedometer, round knobs and switches. Everything is round and circular!
Travelling to Tagaytay on a holiday is the ultimate test on how comfortable driving this car can be. From the usual 1 1/2 hours from Manila to Tagaytay, it took us almost 4 hours in total! Thank God, the seats are as comfortable as they can be as the Mini Cooper S variant has a racecar like bucket seats hugging you from the sides reducing loose points. It also has adjustable thigh support to increase comfort during times like these.
Cabin space was perfect for two people. At the back, I was able to sit comfortably in terms of height but don’t expect much leg room. It was okay for short drives but for long drives, it’s not the most comfortable experience to sit at the back seat. Boot space is also bigger compared to the previous generation Mini Cooper but sadly, I had a hard time putting my stroller (Peg Perego Pliko Four) in it. Basically, this car is perfect for two people but is versatile enough to fit four with some cargo room left.
This car doesn’t come cheap. With the base model at 2.2 million and this specific model at 2.7 million pesos, I agree that this car isn’t for everyone but when given the opportunity, everyone needs to own at least a Mini once in their lifetime. If you have a big family already and needs a lot of space for your things, this definitely is not for you. You can just opt to get the Mini Countryman or the something bigger.
If you want a car that is an icon, a performer and gets lot of attention when parked and even more attention when the turbo screams, this car is definitely for you. You’ll get a guaranteed look on every corner wherever you are! It also is filled with tech goodies that you’ll surely enjoy even when stuck on Metro Manila traffic with an option to be either a race car or a fuel efficient car with just a flick of a switch. Customizable mood lights from green, orange, yellow, red, blue and more that dimly illuminates the interior at night gives off good vibes that will surely improve your mood. Complete with super bright HID and LED lights that can conquer any pitch black area you will go and has the standard lighting system of a luxury car that illuminates your way in or out of the car by providing lights under the door and the door handles. Simply put, everything you might need on a car, it’s here.
2014 Mini Cooper S F56 Performance Data:
Output 141 kW (192hp) @ 4,700 – 6,000 rpm
Max. torque/engine speed 280 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h) 6.8 [6.7] s
Top speed 235  km/h
Flexibility 80-120 km/h (4th/5th gear) / 6.4 s
Fuel consumption (urban) 7.6 [6.8] l/100km
Fuel consumption (extra-urban) 4.6 [4.4] l/100km
Fuel consumption (combined) 5.7 [5.2] l/100 km
CO2 emissions 133  g/km
Unladen weight (EU) 1,160 [1,175] / 1,235 [1,250] kg
Max. permissible weight 1,640 [1,655] kg
Permitted roof load 60 kg
Boot space (min.-max.) 211 litres
Tank capacity 44 l
Dimensions LxBxH 3,850 / 1,727 / 1,414 (*1,415) mm
(Data from Mini website)
More info? Visit http://www.mini.com.ph/