Why This Petrol Mini Still Rocks!

When some other brands switched their city car icons to full electric ranges, it was fair to assume that Mini would do the same with the newest generation of its beloved hatchback. After all, it already offered the Mini E (electric car) since 2020. But praise the octane loads of combustion, BMW has seen fit to continue to offer its cutest car with petrol power.

Here is my review of the terrific little 2024 Mini Cooper S in petrol form! Filmed at the SMMT driving day, I was able to try on the latest Mini for size and take it for a drive on the facility’s closed roads.

The Mini Cooper S 3 Door (F66 series) offers a delightful blend of nostalgic design and cutting-edge technology. Prices start from £23,000 for the Cooper and £27,550 for the Cooper S, which all sound delightfully affordable in this day and age, especially for such a desirable product from BMW. That is of course until you start loading up the options, and you will because you must. The model I tested added up to £34,700.

Under the bonnet, the Mini Cooper S houses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 204bhp and 300Nm of torque. This power enables the car to sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 150mph. The automatic transmission (sadly there’s no manual version) ensures a smooth and responsive driving experience, while its fuel consumption is an impressive 44.1mpg.

With CO2 emissions at 144g/km, NOX at 8.4mg/km, and a particle mass of 0.38mg/km, this car is not only fast but also relatively eco-friendly.

The exterior of the 2024 Mini Cooper S remains true to its heritage while incorporating modern touches. Notably, the wheel arches have been brought back on the petrol version, adding to its distinctive look (shorn off on the Mini Electric).

The rear diffuser and uniquely designed tail lights give the car a sporty edge.

Inside, the Mini Cooper S impresses with its blend of classic and contemporary elements. The standard equipment list is extensive, featuring a heated steering wheel, tyre repair kit, Mini Experience Modes, and a driving assistant. The 18-inch JCW wheels and sport stripes add a touch of flair.

Optional packs elevate the experience further. The Sport Pack (£3,500) includes adaptive suspension, a sport auto DTC transmission, JCW steering wheel, black roof, JCW sports brakes, anthracite roof lining, JCW sports seats, and sport trim.

Meanwhile, the Level 3 Pack (£4,500) offers comfort access, a panoramic sunroof, sun protection glass, folding wing mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, active seat for the driver, electric memory seats, front heated seats, interior camera, adaptive LED headlights, high-beam assistant, driving assistant plus, parking assistant plus, Harman/Kardon audio, Mini head-up display, wireless charging, persona eSIM, and navigation.

And frankly, you really want all that stuff.

Driving the Mini Cooper S is an absolute delight. The spacious front cabin, massive touchscreen, and sunroof create an airy and modern feel. The visibility is excellent, thanks to the heads-up display and the ability to see the iconic fenders and the fluting of the bonnet.

On the road, the Mini Cooper S maintains its legendary driving dynamics. The adaptive suspension and JCW sports brakes (part of the Sport Pack) provide excellent handling and braking performance.

The car feels agile and responsive, with a steering response that is sharp and accurate. The performance is robust, with the engine delivering a satisfying growl and plenty of power for spirited driving.

The 2024 Mini Cooper S is a brilliant evolution of a beloved classic. It retains the quirky charm and fun-to-drive nature that Minis are known for while incorporating modern technology and performance enhancements.

The slick manual gearbox is much missed, but the charm of a car infused with the soul of a combustion engine manages to compensate just about. And it remains a unique and typically ‘Mini’ driving experience. You almost find yourself justifying the £30k plus price tag.