Lesser? Maybe not. While it may have 56 less horses and one cylinder less, it is by no means slow or boring. The car also takes 7.8 seconds to hit the century mark, which is 1.1 seconds faster than its distant sibling in the family, the BMW 116i hatcback. Putting the car into SPORT mode makes it even more alert. Go-kart feel? Definitely feels like it, with its compact dimensions and well-sorted handling. I especially like the way the rear tries to assist in turning and its agility.
And then when you try to poke deeper into its menus, you can see sweet little details that make the driver smile. Like, instead of naming it 'Sport Displays', MINI calls it 'Driving Excitement'.
Which will then show how much power and torque you are trying to put to the wheels. For the eagle-eyed, this photo is from a Cooper S ;)
Another nice touch is this bright red start-stop toggle.
Elsewhere in the cabin, you will find useful spaces which would prove useful in storing stuff on your B-road blasts across the Causeway.
While the pure MINI fans may disagree, moving the window controls to where they should be is one of the best improvement for the F56 MINI in my opinion.
So is the Cooper lesser than a Cooper S? Not at all! I barely miss the extra poke and it might actually ride better than its more well-endowed brother while being just as fun to pilot. Like they say, less might indeed be more.
Read the full review of the MINI Cooper here.