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Having already tried the Mini Cooper S, we wondered if the Cooper would feel like a bit of an anti-climax. After all, with 118 bhp rather than 175 bhp, it's not really in the same league of performance as the whizz-bang Cooper S.
Fortunately we need not have worried. Even compared to the Cooper S, let alone other hatchbacks, the Cooper is still a hoot to drive. Of course, it doesn't have the kick in the back urge provided by the S's twin-scroll turbocharger. But performance is still brisk enough to cut it among other warm hatches, and you never feel the need for more power (you make feel the desire for more power, of course, but that's a different matter.)
We tried the Cooper on roads around Barcelona. Now this is one of the favourite places for car companies to launch new models as it has great scenery and a superb selection of newly-engineered roads that flatter even the worst designed suspension. However, Mini took the sensible decision to throw in a few bumpy, Franco-era minor roads that provide a pretty good impression of Britain's disgraceful apology of a road network. Our first surprise was that the ride comfort with the optional Sport pack was still entirely acceptable. Often, ticking the 'Sport Suspension' box on the option list sentences you to three years of having your fillings loosened by every pothole, but the Mini remained well-damped and comfortable whatever the road surface.

in http://www.verdictoncars.com/jsp/vocmain.jsp?lnk=211&featureid=356&description=Mini%20Cooper
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