Home Car Review Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #33: Mini Cooper | Consumer Reports
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Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #33: Mini Cooper | Consumer Reports

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Two new Mini Coopers join the Consumer Reports test fleet. They might look familar on the outside but the little car gets some big changes underneath, including a three-cylinder engine. Then we answer viewer comments and questions. A viewer asks if, despite our negative comments in the last two shows, GM made any improvements in the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon. They did, but they get overshadowed. We take a crack at defining “German engineering” and Jon gets flack for saying the PT Cruiser is a bad car. Ned Flanders, Yugos, granola bars, and the awesome Chevrolet SS all finish out this episode.

As with the other shows, this episode will also be available through the iTunes store and SoundCloud.

Subscribe to the video:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-hq/id630839767?mt=2

Subscribe to the audio:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-mp3/id630831189?mt=2
https://soundcloud.com/consumer-reports-podcasts

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Comment(48)

  1. The show was about the mini cooper or about every other car that isn't a mini cooper…?

  2. Excellent!  I like the attitude at the end!  I also liked the section on "German engineering."  Diluted and over-complicated?  Interesting.  Keep these videos coming, guys!

  3. Mini has jumped the shark. Reminds me of how GM had a decent thing going with Saturn in the early 90's and then diluted the brand.

  4. Love the ending!! Any opinions from you guys on The VW Tiguan. After watching this episode and mentioning German engineering is the Tiguan a good value? I see it is a recommended pick, but does the price make it a bad buy? How about used and how loaded with tech should one go? Base model with less electronics more reliable?

  5. I heard the words hell, crack, crap, and nipple. I think people are expecting more professionalism from Consumer Reports

  6. I agree with you that cars in the 70's and 80's sucked. But I actually think that the w123 and w126 Mercedes were actually great cars. A lot of 300D's have exceeded half a million miles and the interior trim and solidity is second to none. Those motors were bulletproof and they were amazingly well built cars. 

  7. German Engineering?  Stop.  Going up a hill. Park. Open your door all the way. If you can step out without getting your leg chopped off. You most likely have a German car.  German Engineering?  Drive the most basic BMW AWD X1. Drive any 2014 Lexus.  98% chance you will enjoy driving the X1 more.

  8. Let's say I am the 30,000 millionaire from Texas or as called by another reviewer the high school girl. I want to have a fun to drive car and yet friendly to my 8- and 10-year olds. The question for me is S3 or A4. I appreciate your input.

  9. Driving the SS is fine because it is just as boring from the outside just like the Camry.

  10. I'm also a PT Cruiser fan and owner. Mind you, I bought a used 2005 (before Chrysler cheapened it) and a top-end Turbo. It's a second car. But having rented probably a dozen over the years, I was sold on its practicality. The styling is a bit much, but I can fit in tiny parking spots, put 2X4 studs in with the hatch shut, or carry two adult passengers in the rear seat with luggage (I'm 6'2" but there's still lots of space behind me). Try that in a Mini. It's only got 75K miles on it, but not a spot of trouble. And I have owned BMW 330, Audi A4, VW Passat, Volvo XC60, etc. So (as always) for the buck, it had more than enough bang

  11. hey guys im 16 years old and my dad is fixing up a car for my 17th birthday its a 1999 dodge stratus 4 cylinder, wanted to know if its a good first car? any thoughts?

  12. 11:00 they talk about "german engineering" and how good they are yet they are unreliable expensive to maintain so why go on about how "well made they are"

  13. Consumer Reports doesn't know jack about cars. They like this new Cooper, eventhough it's slower, uglier, more expensive, softer, less precise, and has no engine or exhaust noise. CR sucks.

  14. I find it a bit disappointing that being this is Consumer Reports they don't talk about reliability issues or the cost of parts for the Mini(or any car for that matter).It's like a dirty secret that you will have to pay through the nose for parts. Over 2 grand to R&R the clutch? Ouch!  For a review magazine,that people look to to help them make a educated decision on which car to purchase, that should be at least mentioned in passing.Sure, when you are looking at luxury cars like the Benz,BMW, Audi etc it's a given but in this segment that would be nice to get input on what you will be in for after you plunk your money down.

  15. Comments like from people like TurboCharged ChlilPepper make me wonder if the negative comments have actually driven the Mini 2014 Hardtop.  I bought the 2014 after test driving the 2011 and 2012, and the 2014 is just as fast if not faster, handles just as well.  And the extra room inside makes it a lot more livable for everyday use.  This is the best S ever.  And as far being bigger, it is ONLY 4.5" longer!  Look at your ruler – 4.5" is nothing.

  16. Re: Mini Cooper. Wake up boys. This thing is supposed to be a driving machine with panache that's as much fun as a porsche for a fraction of the cost. The Germans might be building it right now, but this thing is a British Icon. It's genetics are British through and through. Me thinks you've missed the point. You do better when you review toasters. 

  17. I very much enjoy the give and take of the CR engineers. They are passing on lots of really good information about cars that people don't pay attention too.
    Thanks for your talks. It's so great hearing what real car people say.

  18. If I hear 1 more phony Motor Trend review about how ginchy this car and that car is I'm going to take up drugs and alcohol.  :)) :)) 

  19. Love the way you guys poke fun at Camry but hey I don't remember studying "panache" "soul" or "verve" at auto mechanics school.  Where do you put the panache, by the way?  lol

  20. I've got a 2003 cooper S and honestly… I like the aircraft like switches and giant speedo…. No other car has it and trying to turn a unique car into a BMW 1/2 series sucks. But to each be his own…

  21. it seems like they barely say anything positive, As a mini enthusiasts, the mini is very practical maybe not if you have 5 kids but when i was younger i had a 2005 mini and would easily get all my friend in it. one was 6"2', 5"10', and i had a "wide" friend and i 5"4' they all fit comfortable, a little cramped but it wasnt too bad. It was about the same in my 1973 Mini. I'll eventually get the bmw mini MK3 f56. but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  22. I just bought a 2014 Cooper S with 6k miles on it for $26,700. If I went and ordered one new I would of spend $35,800!!!! They can be picey!

  23. Purchased a new, 2015 Cooper S, with cold weather package and upgraded rims for 24k even. In all fairness, I think these guys were a little hard on the value this car offers. Cars I compared to the Mini were the Fiesta st, Focus st, WRX, and GTI. All of these cars with the exception of the Fiesta were at least 28k, with the Fiesta being 23k. Withstanding the price advantage, with the cooper you're getting a baby bimmer, and it really is a premium feeling car – something these guys touched on in their review. It feels 10k more expensive than the fiesta, 5k more than the focus and wrx, and slightly edges out the VW (the most expensive of the group). The Fiesta/Focus might be more lively, and the WRX and VW might be faster on paper, but imo the best choice for a daily driver is a basic Cooper S.

  24. I got a brand-new $23,353 Base Model MINI with Premium Package (Panoramic Sunroof, Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System, Comfort Keyless with Remote Windows Up/Down and Remote Sunroof Open/Close), Storage Package, LED lights, LED headlights, White Turn Signals, Auto Engine Start-Stop, Sport Package with upgraded Black Race Rims, Run Flat Tires, rear tinted windows, Rear Park Distance Assist, Interior Lighting Package, Automatic Tranny, Lo Jack, Mini Alarm System, and dual climate control.

    Consumer Report has one thing wrong also: the rear trunk can make a flat surface after the seatbacks have been folded forward, just need the Storage Package. And, it is a great package to have with multiple ways of organizing the trunk space for different purposes.

    Don't let the base 3 cylinder engine fool you, it is quite punchy. I and my wife test-drove the S model and the base model back to back. We love horsepower and I have a M Sport X3 which has up to 330 hp/ 355 lb-t and dealer installed Dinan Chip. I and my wife both find the base with the 134 hp/162 lb-t (171 lb-t in Overboost Sport Mode) lively enough. 0-60 mph in 7 seconds flat with the automatic, 7.4 seconds with manual tranny due to two shifts before reaching 60mph, each shift by the hand loses 0.2 second compared to the auto tranny.

    These are premium cars, they don't just feel like Mini anymore, they kind of feel like a 2 series or even 3 series. The ride is more stable and luxurious compared to all the Mini's beforehand. Wind noise is minimal, if any at all. The sound system is great, and the auto is extremely fast and responsive. Closing the doors and the hatch, that closing sound reminds us always that it is a premium product. Braking and cornering are superb even in base trim. I and my wife both find only marginal cornering ability improvement for the S model compared to the base model.

    Yet, if one needs all the power, go for the S model or JCW model. But, the day when I drove the base model on ramp to the freeway, I was doing 70 mph without me realizing it. Why? It felt like we were only going at 45 mph. Trust me, the car is a lot more grown up and more stable, it feels 50 mph when we were over 80 mph already, and I had to let my foot off the pedal.

  25. moving the huge speedometer and not having the toggle switches is a mini thing they these guys obviously don't understand lol I'll keep my older mini as long as possible

  26. Ok…. these guy are ridiculous. They want to make a Camry out of a Mini!!! They complain about what actually makes a Mini cool!!!. The dude with the checkered shirt actually complained he couldn't find a place for his doggy bag!!! Really??? No its not a quote "family car". Buy a freakin mini van if you want those attributes in a vehicle. Im 6'4'' 265lbs and get in and out of the car with ease. Drove it from Florida and I'm 57 yrs old!!! I dont have a problem with my big hands fumbling with controls. What else does that dude fumble with??? I own a 2013 Clubman S. and its my daily. I still love m y E38 BMW and I dont want to put mnor e miles on it. But guy

  27. The video lost all credibility when they started talking about the MINI not being large enough or practical enough. Oh yeah, and then they bitched about the price of the cars. There are few small cars that are fun to drive, I mean truly fun to drive. All of them are expensive. Sure, the MINI is a bit less practical than some of them due to its more diminutive size, but by no means is it impractical. However small the boot may be, you can still cram a lot in because it's a hatchback. I do not own a MINI, by the way. Basically, these guys are bitching about the car like a group of old men, and in the process they're completely missing the point of a MINI. And considering how many of them are on the road, there are clearly people who do understand why this car is built.

  28. If you are going to complain about space on a mini, come on, its not about space or price, its a mini cooper wake up

  29. I really want to punch the whining little shitbag in the checked shirt. If he was in control of the world he'd paint it beige.. Stupid dick.

  30. 2004 to 2006 s model or jcw were glory years for the mini supercharged only fuck non s models they are gutless and wimpy

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