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2019 Mini Cooper S 60th Anniversary continues tradition of fun on four wheels

2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition.
2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition. - Sabrina Giacomini

What can be said about the Mini Cooper that hasn’t been said already? I can keep it short and save everyone a lot of time by saying that it is one of the purest, most unadulterated forms of fun on four wheels still offered on the market today. The problem in saying that is that it says it all and also doesn’t say enough. Let’s dive into the conundrum. 

I have yet to meet someone who has driven a Mini and who hates it. A friend of mine admitted his current one is his fifth consecutive Mini. People who like them, really like them and the brand has built a cult-like following. Who can blame them? Mini is one of the rare brands left that keeps driving enjoyment at the core of its mentality. It’s not about how many high-tech toys you can pack in a three-door hatch, it’s about how much fun the driver can have that makes him forget about all the high-tech toys. 

A car like the Mini Cooper S is right up my alley — the kind of small car you want to drive hard. So of course, it’s hard for me not to gush about it. Especially clad in its special 60 Years Edition British Racing Green livery with dark racing stripes on the nose and a white roof on top. We’re a Union Jack short from a stereotypical British car. In case you are wondering (my buddy on his fifth Mini did), the Mini has been around for 60 years, first introduced in the summer of 1959. How time flies! We’ve come a long way since the days of Mr. Bean’s little orange machine. 

2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition. - Sabrina Giacomini
2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition. - Sabrina Giacomini

On the inside, modern accents of silver and green subtly blend with the classic-looking surfaces dressed in black and tan leather with contrasting white stitching. The dashboard design plays on the model’s rounded silhouette with round gauges and displays. To add to the cuteness, the center stack is surrounded by a belt of LEDs that changes colours as you navigate through the infotainment system. 

The car features wireless charging but instead of placing the pad somewhere underneath the dashboard, like in most cars, Mini cleverly opted to optimize the space available by placing it inside the armrest. You lift the lid, slide your phone in the sliding brackets and voilà. The phone is tucked away from your curiosity. 

Cargo space is obviously quite limited, especially in the model’s three-door version. The entire cabin feels like a “you must be this short to ride” carnival attraction. Grab the biggest suitcase you have in the house and it will give you a rough idea of how big the trunk is — most of the space is vertical, not horizontal. 

I was on my way home for the Holidays when I picked it up and throwing my weekend suitcase at the back made me smile. The airplane cabin-rated suitcase fitted snuggly behind the rear seats. Once you lower the backseat — which is barely big enough to be used as a bag shelf anyway — the space becomes surprisingly versatile and I was able to return to Toronto without having to attach anything to the roof of the car.

2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition. - Sabrina Giacomini
2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition. - Sabrina Giacomini

Of course, one cannot discuss the Mini Cooper S without mentioning the performance. On paper, the numbers don’t look like much at 189 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. Don’t be fooled by the sub-200 hp output: the little 2.0L, inline-four engine packs quite the punch thanks to a pair of turbochargers. At only 1,298 kg., that’s plenty of firepower to get things moving and get them moving fast. The car is well grounded and well balance and happily takes all the ambitiously fast corners you can throw at it — I met my limits faster than the car. 

While the car was responsive and devilishly fun, I was most impressed with its fuel economy. After clocking over 1,200 km on the car, my average comfortably sat at 6.4L/100km which is below NRCan’s highway rating for the model — and that included some city driving. 

If you still believe in the spirit of the drive and are wondering whether you should indulge in a 2020 Mini Cooper S (and why not a 60 Years Edition for the pretty colour scheme), my answer to that is indubitably. 

The specs

Model: 2019 Mini Cooper S 60 Years Edition
Engine: 2.0L, I-4, 189 horsepower, 207 lb.-ft. of torque
Transmission: seven-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
NRCan rating (L/100km city/highway): 8.9 / 6.6
Length: 3,858 mm
Width: 1,727 mm 
Wheelbase: 2,495 mm
Weight: 1,298 kg
Price: base, $28,890 as tested, $37,935 including freight
Competition: Volkswagen Golf, Fiat 500, Hyundai Veloster 


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