Which Cooper, and which suspension (stock/koni … ) for ride quality? (forum JCW1) - MINI Cooper Forum
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Old Aug 16th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Which Cooper, and which suspension (stock/koni … ) for ride quality? (forum JCW1)

I’ve just posted the below – which is about differences between various Coopers, including JCWs of both generations, in the 2nd generation Cooper forum. Of course, I’m equally interested in the opinions of people in this forum. But I guess it’s best to keep the discussion in one place, so I added the link below.
I’m in the market for a Cooper hatchback. Every cooper I’ve ever tried has too harsh a ride, so my initial guess is I should go for the 2nd generation, base Cooper (not the Cooper S) with 15” wheels and without runflats. But I would rather like something faster. And I prefer the 1st generation. So I started looking on the forum, and learned that (1) Koni FSDs are a big improvement, (2) the JCW suspension is actually softer than the normal suspension because it’s designed for big wheels, so if I use smaller wheels … , but (3) the 2nd generation Cooper S cannot use 15” wheels. Mostly good, but it leaves me with some questions:

Cooper vs Cooper S, and gen 1 vs gen 2: If one uses the FSD dampers and 16” wheels on all four of these cars, does one end up with the same ride quality, or do the S’s and/or gen 1 cars have stiffer springs or other components?

And how would the gen 2 Cooper S on 16s compare to the others on 15s?

What about the JCWs on the smallest possible wheels? How would the gen 1 JCW (on 16s) and the gen 2 JCW (on 17s) compare to the above?

(I know that the gen 2 cars were available with optional sport suspensions. In this case (and in all other cases) I am of course only interested in the cars with the least stiff option. P.S. I know there was a sport suspension + (“SS+”) option. Were there 2 other choices (normal and sport suspension (“SS”)) or just one?)

Thanks for any insight into this!!!

Last edited by rs10; Aug 17th, 2014 at 05:12 PM.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 04:50 PM
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My question has received some very helpful replies in the R56 (2nd generation) Cooper (non-S) forum. Here's the link:

MINI Cooper Forum - Fuel For Your MINI Obsession - MINI Cooper - S - One - Diesel - Works - Cabrio
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