Yesterday a quick drive to town, but first of all a good look around.
Outside - looks good. The new moulded side skirts are a great improvement sover standard R53 cooper ones. The profile of the boot area has a much more pronounced "bump" below the rear windscreen - different but ok. The rear mini spoilers around what was the wrap round glass area are ok as well - materials used seem of good quality. The standard cooper rear spoiler is good.
The front end is similarly pleasing, but note that you still get a fried egg effect with the optional clear indicator lenses - I've now put silver bulbs in that magically flash orange.
Inside - definitely a step up in quality. The custom lighting is a nice touch. I love the start/stop button. Much more room in the foot well - standard seats very comfy. In fact, combined with the rake and height adjustable steering wheel, I've now got a driving position which I think is the best I've achieved in any car (I've got short legs, long body and average arms!!!!!!! (the bells, the bells) but the R56 is up to this combination.
The radio appearanced which has been a cause of some concern is much better in the flesh. The grey plastic has a nice understated sheen to it and it feels solid. The radio quality is better than the old wave but inferior to the aftermarket job I had in the R53.
Having customisable keys is a nice touch.
But folks driving it?
Would the steering be woolly?
Would the engine be "gutless" as some on these forums have ventured?
Would the improved ride be at the expense of taut handling?
Answers no, no and no.
The steering - I can't detect much, if any difference from the R53.
The engine is great - even keeping below the 4000rpm for running in it has some poke. You always feel that the engine has got a hold of you.
The ride - much more refined than the R53, but on my regular drive to and from work today I can confirm this beauty sticks to the ride just look the old 'un.
I'm running 15" wheels without the uprated suspension.
Congrats Steve.. nice to hear. I saw that you got the fine white silver dash. What is your feelings about the black plastic door elipses?
I´m still a little unsure if I would stick with fluid silver or just go with the standard fine white.
Many thnaks for providing me with all the relevant infomation above the R56 Cooper. The dealer's were next to usless....
Collected the car on Tuesday, very nice.....my wife is not that interested in cars, but even I could detect a little bit of excitment, collecting her Cooper. Pictures attached.... very favourable comments so far.
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