DOLLARS AND SENSE
MOTOR Magazine Australia|December 2021
JCW has character but the numbers struggle to add up

MY GIRLFRIEND IS not a car person. Where you or I might judge a car based on its power outputs, or the way it feels to drive, my better half simply judges cars on their cuteness.

I had kept the Mini’s impending arrival secret, knowing that a new Mini Cooper has always been her ‘dream car’. Needless to say, when the friendly face of the 2021 JCW Mini arrived home with me last month, she was ecstatic.

She, for one, loves the quirkiness of its design; namely its big eyes, and Union Jack tail lights. She’s less taken, however, with the firm ride and the lazy gearbox calibration that is slow to react, delivering a harsh kickdown and soaring revs when you squeeze on the throttle in Normal Mode.

With a few short drives to the shops under her belt, she too has keyed in to the Mini’s weird steering which is heavy and precise at low speeds, but growing somewhat vague and light at speed. Doughy on-centre steering at highway pace sees the Mini gently swaying within its lane, rarely tracking straight and seemingly requiring constant fine corrections which can be wearing.

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