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Go and test drive a Cooper D. I am reliably informed it's the best R56 for retaining the R50 fun factor. It may be a bit slower 0-60 but 30-60 it's a lot faster as the torque and turbos really kick in around that range.

Not to mention 60MPG and ridiculously low tax ;)
 

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With reference to the Cooper D vs Cooper, I'm sure it was Fifth gear who worked out that to gain back the initial cost of the D over the Cooper with fuel costs as they are, would be 10 years on average yearly miles. Obviously R56 Cooper D compared to R53 Cooper S would be another story, but you may aswell go for a Cooper over a Cooper D

Do a serach on Youtube and watch it, you'dd see what I mean :)
 

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Really interesting thread this, I have owned three MINI's, a one, and 2 Cooper S's including an R56 which I sold due to the amount of trouble I was having with it. Since then I have 'defected' to Mercedes and bought a CLK 320, absolutely wonderful car but that is going today due to costs!
It is not that I cannot afford it, just that running an older car at 20mpg average is gauling, I really begrudge going to the petrol station, putting £30 in it and it going within a couple of days. I don't think that it is about the money, it is the knowledge that you can still have loads of fun in a car and yet the money you put into it would take you twice as far, plus the reassurance of having a warranty etc should things go wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely car mad and don't mind a significant amount of my money going on them, but there comes a point at which I decided enough was enough!

I knew when I bought it that it would be thirsty but wasn't doing the mileage at the time etc. I have also owned a couple of 120d BMW's which I think are fantastic cars, very quick but really refined so that they do not always feel it, the car that I am replacing the Merc with is the new 123d MSport. If you are thinking of going over to BMW really do drive one, they are amazing, 204 bhp and on the brand new one I drove (6 miles on the clock) over 20 miles returned 48.7 mpg! All that with a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 148 mph! I looked at going back to MINI after all I love them, but after testdriving the Cooper S back to back I just couldn't do it, the brand new demonstrator rattled from the dash in two places and made that screeching howling noise when changing back into 2nd which took me back!!!!

Some fantastic deals around at the moment too, I know people say that you lose loads on new cars but to be honest the lowest depreciating cars I have ever owned were the BMW's due to the discounts I managed up front, I am paying no more for the BM than for a decent spec MCS.

If it is getting to you running the MINI, have a look around, when I started to consider changing the Merc I looked at loads of cars including the Honda Civic type - r which was great but again thirsty and kept coming around to the same conclusion that, as an all round package, the BM was impossible to beat!
 
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drbsheffield
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