Hi All, I'm approaching 5 months and almost 6,000 miles on my Cooper S hatchback (3 door) stick shift , so I figured I'd post a review of sorts in case anyone was wondering about the current generation (2014 - ) of these cars. My perspective comes from driving this car, test driving the 4 door version of the same car with more options, and twice renting a base model 2016 Cooper automatic for several days. After having no interest in renting one (my wife wanted to), we were fighting over the keys by the end of the first day, because it was so much fun to drive. Options: mildly equipped to keep the price down - only panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon stereo, "comfort access" keyless entry, enhanced color display/connectivity (but not the nav system), storage package. Car is pepper white with a black roof/mirrors, and black hood stripes. Just standard all-season 16" all-season runflats on alloy wheels. Since I plan to keep the car, I didn't want possible future maintenance headaches like adaptive suspension, LED headlights, the HUD that moves every time you turn it on/off. How I use it: daily commuter (10 miles each way, country roads, then finding parking at a college campus), 200 mile highway roundtrips for freelance/side work a couple times a month, flog it occasionally on the back roads, annual 1000 mile roundtrip to see family over the holidays. Sees all weather conditions except snow. Will probably keep for 8 years/100,000 miles, at least. Once it's fully warmed up, I don't drive it gently... Exterior: Subjective, of course. Yes, the front grille of the S is a little "busier" than the more classically styled base-model Cooper. It's easy to clean because you can reach everything, and the standard 16" "loop spoke" alloys on the S model are a cinch to keep clean, unlike a lot of other wheel designs. The standard halogen headlights and fog lights are solid performers. LED puddle lamps, door pull lamps, and license plate lights look neat. Interior: Generally good visibility. The height of the windshield is a little short (if you're pointed downhill at a stoplight, you have to crane your neck a bit), and the only noticeable blind spot is the rear corner pillar at the hatch - if you're backing out of a parking space into traffic. Sunroof adds a nice sense of airiness to the cabin, though the shade isn't a total "blackout" affair. Interior lighting in the Mini is gimmicky and fun, with lots of color options and indirect light being cast in different places. Switchgear feels solid, finishes look/feel sort of upscale, and ergonomics don't bother me except finding the foglight button. Passenger sun visor is pointless from the side position, while the driver gets a useful second sun visor for the side only. Storage is adequate. The fake leather seating surfaces look fine, and are really easy to clean. Seats are supportive enough for moderately long rides, though be sure to try the standard sport seat on the S model if you're a bigger person to see if it's comfortable for you (side/leg bolsters). Stereo (no CD player) is good but not amazing for the "premium audio" option, as the speaker sizes and enclosures are somewhat limited by the car's small size; should be noted that AM radio sound quality is rather lousy, if you listen to that band at all. Dual zone climate control works fine and is relatively intuitive. Storage is meager in the hatch, but you can adjust the back seats totally vertical or fold them completely down for more or much more room. Hidden compartment below the hatch on the S model is useful. Only one recurring rattle is the "sport mode" trim ring around the shifter, which I'll have the dealer take a look at the first service. Front seats are roomy for a wide variety of people, while smaller adults and kids are the only ones who should have to sit in the back for more than a short trip in-town (the biggest problem is just getting in through the doors). Rear sunroof helps once you're back there... Ride/handling/braking: Ride is firm, but not punishing with the 16" wheels/tires. Road noise is prominent at higher speeds and on certain surfaces - I don't know if that's a lack of sound insulation, or the run-flat tires, but we noticed it on the base model Cooper as well (which doesn't come standard with runflats). It handles really well for a front wheel drive car, and is actually fun to drive in the corners and near the limit. The limits of grip are pretty predictable and I find the car fairly forgiving of "hoonish" behavior; the electronic nannies (traction/stability control and ABS) are unobtrusive and don't kick in early enough to spoil your fun. Electric power steering firms up in sport mode, and there's not a lot of feedback nor torque steer to speak of. Turning circle is fine, and it's a cinch to park because of the small size. Braking performance (4-wheel disc) is progressive and predictable, though nothing exotic. OEM brake pads don't dust the wheels too badly. The all-season Pirelli runflats are not particularly grippy, and I'll probably opt for something different when they wear out. Engine/transmission performance: The base Cooper 1.5 turbo 3 cylinder is more fun than you'd expect. Little turbo lag (boost comes on low) and good midrange punch...and then it runs out of breath at 4500 rpm. The automatic transmission is a traditional auto, not a DSG, but it shifts quickly in manual mode and usually makes good decisions in automatic mode. It's far better than I expected and without the weirdness I feel driving a DSG (especially stop and go). The manual recommends at least 89 octane for both engines, and I run E10 premium in my S. The S model's 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder doesn't really run out of breath until 5500 rpm, which is more useful when wringing it out via the manual transmission. Even with 2 overdrive gears (5th and 6th), I never need to downshift when cruising, since the engine makes full boost at 1250 rpm. The 6 speed Getrag manual transmission is easy to use for even a stick shift novice, because it has both "hill hold" and downshift rev-matching features integrated. The rev-matching is particularly nice in harder driving, though every once in a blue moon it doesn't engage, making the car lurch because you didn't "blip" the throttle before letting the clutch out. Shift throws are normal, the clutch is light, though the clutch throw is long for those with very short legs. In 35-40 mph mixed commute driving, I'm averaging 31 mpg (calculated), and getting 33-35 mpg on the highway, with the cruise control at 75 mph. Haven't done a strictly city mileage run yet, sorry. The 1.5 engine gets a couple more mpg all around, and the auto yields maybe 1 mpg more all around. There is a defeatable start-stop system on this car, which kicks back on when you press in the clutch or it senses additional A/C is needed or sharp steering input. I like it, my wife turns it off. It remembers your choice, so you don't have to keep switching it off or on each time you drive. Service/reliability/warranty: 3 Included maintenance services are roughly annual/10k-12k mile (electronically determined) visits to the dealer which include just about everything except (inexplicably) tire rotations. I will do intermediate oil changes between services because I'm keeping the car, and they're pretty easy to do (access panels for oil drain and filter, so you don't remove the belly pan, the only special tool you need is a 32mm socket). Oil filter is a cartridge type that you drain first before removing. Bumper to bumper warranty is 4/50 including roadside assistance. You have to remove a few pieces to get to the battery, which is a small AGM type and probably gets a lot of stress. Because it's a Mini made by BMW, I am concerned for the long-term running costs, but the reliability index for these cars has improved to average by the 3rd model year (2016). The first year reliability ratings for the model were certainly not great. I haven't had to take it to the dealer for anything in the first 5 months of ownership, but there have been occasional/random "Is there something wrong with..." moments that happened once and seem not to have happened again. There's a good amount of aftermarket parts and forum support online, which is reassuring. Tip: try to find a junkyard spare tire that fits and a floor jack adapter pad, otherwise doing tire rotations yourself will be difficult because of the runflats and no spare. I don't know that it has any effect on the reliability, but my Mini wasn't actually assembled in the Oxford, UK plant, rather it was put together in the VDL Nedcar plant in the Netherlands, where they have additional capacity to build a few Mini models. Note: included maintenance items on 2017 cars (including parent company BMW) is not as comprehensive as earlier years. Body style considerations: You can choose between the 5-door F55 and 3-door F56 now. The 5-door car is just slightly heavier (didn't notice at all on the test drive), has a longer wheelbase (might be better on the highway but less sharp of a "point and shoot" car around town), and will accommodate 4 average sized adults more comfortably than the 3 door (the limiting factor in the rear is headroom) ever could. Rear cargo room is a little larger, too, though the car is only 6" longer. This would be my only doubt about my choice - although 60% of the time, it's just me and 30% of the time, me + a passenger, the remaining 10% of the time with 3-4 people on board would be nicer with the extra doors. Instead, I opted for the shortest possible, more "classic" 3-door version which is super easy to park in tight spaces, even without cameras and park assists. If I happen to remember, I'll update the thread from time to time with notes related to service/reliability/operation, and answer whatever questions you might have. Hope this is useful.