: Advice please from current owners...
Oct 23rd, 2009, 07:10 PM
I currently drive a BMW Z4M Roadster - 343 bhp of pure power - and before that, I had a BMW 335i Coupe remapped to approx. 360 bhp. Both are truly great cars and have afforded many happy motoring miles.
However, my work commute is 26 miles of busy A & B roads and I simply don't get to use the M-car's power - more so given that I do not track the car and so I have been thinking of changing to something more economical but still sporty and, very importantly, handles very well and has character. I had narrowed the field to an Alpina D3 Bi-Turbo.
However, my wife's 325i was at the Dealer recently and she had a Mini Cooper courtesy car that we both found to be very nice indeed. This has led me to looking at Mini's in earnest and I am quite taken by the JCW.
I've specc'd a car online and opted for a fully-loaded car in order to keep the toys I have in my fully-loaded Z4M.
Obviously, I am concerned about losing the sound of my car...of finding the power drop too noticeable (even though I don't use the power of my car regularly, it is there and nice to have...albeit I do find it wasted and hence the idea for saving money and throwing it at my mortgage in overpayments rather than on a devaluing car...) and, as a 40 yr old man, will I really be comfortable in a car that appears to have such a young image.
My wife and I don't need a large second car, so the Mini seems to be perfect. I live in the UK but my sister who lives in Texas, USA, has a Cooper S and loves it; she thinks I'd love the JCW.
Soooo, has anyone moved from a 300 bhp + car to the JCW and, if so, thoughts please?
Thanks in advance. :)
Oct 24th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Hi, sounds very very similar to me.
I had a Z4M Raodster earlier in the year and recently a VXR8 and have changed to a R56 MCS (with JCW aerokit), i'm also 33yrs old and this is my commute to work family 2nd car mainly (approx 28 miles a day half on DC and half through the middle of town, classic combined drive i'd say).
tbh i dont miss the power as the savings make you smile, getting 40+mpg in the MCS on the combined, £125 a year tax and free servicing....cheap as chips. Its also great fun to drive, you feel in touch with the drive just as much as the Z4M (well nearly as much, MCS actually sounds pretty good for a 1.6 4 pot so i guess a JCW will sound better still).
Take one for a test drive....cant hurt....can it? :D
Oct 24th, 2009, 10:37 AM
Take one for a test drive....cant hurt....can it? :D
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I'm gonna have to take one out for a test run and see how it goes. :D
I do like my Z4M very much but feel that I'm wasting money having it as I just don't use the car's performance advantages much and I really would prefer to be investing at this stage. The Mini's low running costs really appeal to me, must say. Given that I do like my car's though any replacement must provide the big smile factor and I'm thinking that perhaps the JCW is that car...
Oct 24th, 2009, 10:42 AM
I have had had 4 MCS since launch and since August 08 I have had a JCW. I use it as my daily driver and transfered my Impreza STi to my wife. I have done 52,000 miles in the JCW and it just gets better. It is so much fun if slightly slower than the STi. Give it a try, it will be a lot less 'clinical' than your BMWs but that is a large part of its charm
Oct 27th, 2009, 08:55 AM
The BMW Z4M is one hell of a powerful car and the JCW will feel noticeably slower.
I havenít owned anything as powerful as the cars you have but a couple of cars previous I owned a tuned Focus ST pushing out 280bhp. The car was far quicker than my current JCW, particularly in gear times.
However, the driving experience was very different with the JCW, as with all Mini variants in fact. My ST was a big lump of a car and although it had good steering the driving experience was never as engaging as a Mini.
Plus, in my opinion, the overall ownership package is hard to beat with the JCW. 0-60 in 6.5, 35+mpg in real world driving, 165g CO2, 5 years included servicing and a good resale value. Itís hard to beat as an overall package. One thing I would say is if you want to hang on to the strong resale value I wouldnít go overboard with the options list. Having said that everyone has to buy what they want but be warned that by the time you finish ticking the boxes, the car can lose a lot of money over the years. Sometimes itís wise to pickup a low mileage, 6 month old dealer demo that is rammed with options. You can pick them up for a great price. However, I guess if you are coming from a Z4M this may not be an issue.
I think one thing to consider will be moving from rear wheel drive cars to the front wheel drive of the Mini. Some people are very keen to stick with their rear wheel drive as itís a different driving experience. Having said that the Mini JCW does allow you to turn off most of the computer aids and engage the electronic LSD which can be very fun. I have even managed to oversteer in my JCW! :D
Not that I have any issue with anyone of any age driving any car (mouthful) but for those who do, I would reckon youíll fit better with a JCW than a Z4M roadster.
Hope some/all of that is useful. If youíre anything like me youíll know whether the JCW is the right car within 5 mins of test driving it. Remember to engage that Sport button straight away and see the full beast!!:biggrin:
Oct 27th, 2009, 07:54 PM
My past 2 cars were well over 300+ (04 VW Touareg V10TDI 310hp/560trq& 06 Audi S4 Avant + chipped 370hp/330trq)
what I do miss is the AWD/4WD; but that's only in rare occasions, (mostly in heavy rain or wet leaf coated roads; winter we shall see)
I was driving 20 miles each way to work daily; mostly on back roads(as highways were a nightmare). I primarily changed, because the Audi was gulping petrol like it was going out of fashion(15/22mpg); whereas even with my lead foot I'm getting (28/35mpg) with the JCW Clubman.
I'm 6'4" have plenty of space for myself + I figure I can carry 8+ cases of wine w/ back seat down. I've been on a few road trips, & have quite enjoyed it all, do like the how easily I can flick it around.
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:23 AM
I live in Australia where Mini's are probably the most expensive in the world.. I just paid AU$63k for my JCW Mini and I have to say this is better than sex.. haha joking but it is close..
You can trick up the engine with a remap or bigger dump pipe or wind up the boost to bring 0-60 times down 6.5 to 5.5 etc.. but it's just good solid package stock standard.. easily the most fun car I've ever driven.. where it lacks a tiny bit in acceleration if you are thinking 6.5 is slow to 60 miles, it makes up for in cornering and braking.. the brakes are massive and stop so well.. everyone I take for a spin is impressed..
BMW Z4 looks good but trust me you will enjoy the mini a lot more.. I worked for Mercedes for a while and even the AMG cars feel rubbish compared to a mini. not acceleration wise or quality wise but in braking, cornering and the control you have.. You can almost never go to fast into a corner with very little or no under steer. Often I find myself over steering in corners not under steering which is weird for a front wheel drive..
I promise you that it will prefer the mini even with less power..
you would be hard pressed to find a JCW mini driver who tells you otherwise..
Jan 7th, 2010, 03:21 PM
I own an E92 M3 and pick up a JCW tomorrow to compliment it (in part due to a 60 mile round commute previously done in my Jeep Patriot which is awful). Having test driven the JCW 3-4 times my impression is that whilst it doesnt have the power of the M3 the power it does have, and FWD, is more useable on day to day roads than the M, especially in the wet.
My view is that it will be easier to have fun and use the power of the JCW in the kind of driving it will be used for as the M can be quite a handful when pushed, especially in M Dynamic mode.
PS. I'm 40 in April in chronological terms which is great as it allows my inner 14 year old to have a driving license!