Ownership Verified: 2021 Mini Cooper S 2-door Hardtop

WDWBen

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When I was looking at more practical vehicles to replace the Miata, the only car on the road I routinely looked at and thought “I miss mine” was the Mini. So I’ve gone back to my roots a bit and picked up a 2021 Cooper S hardtop. It was sold new with 5,175 miles on it as it was a loaner at my local Mini dealership.

It is a Signature trim car, which is the middle trim that includes heated seats, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddles that are actually sized to be used. Power comes from a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s used across the BMW family including some weird non-BMW called a Supra. My car also has the Touchscreen Navigation package that includes CarPlay, which was a must for me. I also discovered last night that I apparently have Mini-logo puddle lights. The color is Starlight Blue Pearl.

Where is the Miata going? To my dad. He’s had his eye on it for a few years and after a recent health scare, we both decided to accelerate the timeline to get it to him. It’ll live in my garage for a couple of days until he gets plates for it. I’m sad to see it go, but so happy my dad finally gets his toy car.

First up for the Mini will be a proper detailing followed by a ceramic coat, the installation of my Light in Sight, and then I’ll enjoy driving it. Time to keep a car stock for once… I think.
 

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WDWBen

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It's been just over a week and I'm starting to get my head around all the advanced features of the car. My conclusions on everything that's now automatic are:
Transmission: well, it's certainly nice to have in traffic! It's also nice for around town, and being able to put the car into Sport Manual mode and shift with paddles is fantastic... the shifts are so, so quick.
Headlights: These work just fine except every Central Florida afternoon around 3 PM when we get epic thunderstorms but it's still fairly bright out.
Wiper blades: Too aggressive, especially coupled with the fact that I religiously apply Aquapel to every car I own.
High beams: Everybody should have these they're amazing.
 

WDWBen

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Well, if I ever make my way back down that way, at least I won't get burned on the highway 😂

I do like that blue though..
Mistakes had been made.
 

WDWBen

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There's a small speck of dirt in my Light in Sight and it's driving me bonkers. That said, I'm hesitant to re-install it because I have a funny feeling once I do I'll end up with two specks of dirt.

Also, I bought a license plate surround that comes with 4 screws to replace the two screws and dealer surround the car has now. It's carbon fiber look so it's a bit chav but it's also got a Union Jack on it because Mini.

Also also, I'm really loving being back in a hot hatch. Honestly, this car is so much quicker than it has any right to be. With the Miata, on roads with 55 mph speed limits I could really string the car out (at least that's how it felt) when I decided to flat floor it. With the Mini is Sport/Manual mode, 55 mph comes up SO fast, even when I let the car rev out. I shift twice and I'm doing 65 and I didn't notice getting there. The way it builds speed without bother is a lot, lot different even from my old Mini. I took a friend for a ride in the F56 who had been in and driven my old R56 (with a fair few dead photo links, but there are enough there) and we both talked about how much more refined, how much nicer inside, how much all-around better the F56 was. It's quieter when cruising but louder when you step on it. The creature comforts are so much more; if you recall my old R56 had no cruise control, normal climate control, cloth seats... not too many options. This car feels like a true baby BMW.
 

WDWBen

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This is the third one I've had in a row on my third car in a row and they are life-savers if you have trouble seeing traffic lights.
 

WDWBen

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New license plate surround arrived. Screws were all the wrong size. Improvised, now have four screws holding the plate on instead of just two from the dealer. No more angry, annoying clattering noise when closing the hatch. Hooray!
 

WDWBen

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I did a quick inspection of the paint when I bought the car and was a bit bummed to find swirl marks on the bonnet. But, I can't be surprised considering this was a loaner vehicle for the first year of it's life. The good news is that the swirl marks seem to be limited to the bonnet. I'll do a full paint-correction on the car but I don't have to do as many steps of polishing on the sides of the car, which will be nice. I've got a friend who might be getting a new-to-him car soon and another who wants to get into detailing, so there might be a detailing day coming up soon.

Once I get the paint corrected, I've got an Avalon King ceramic coating kit that I'll apply to the car and call it good for deep detailing for the foreseeable future!
 

D-Fence

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Same. Never heard of or seen such a lens.

MINIs have a real problem with that. You have an almost 90° windscreen and therefor no upwards visibility, I was always stopped 3m in front of the line as well because otherwise there is no chance to view the overhead red lights.

Regarding the car:

Awesome. I actually still have an almost similar specced one in our online configurator for company leases :). Annoyingly, the colour was dropped and replaced by Island Blue, which is much lighter. You might think about getting a tint on the rear windows, that really makes it look much sportier with the black roof. Do you also have the Union Jack rear lights?

1626848012068.png


(ignore the unneccessary doors)
 
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WDWBen

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So, that car is almost exactly my car plus two doors, right down to the same wheels. I saw an Island Blue 2022 on the lot when I picked up my car and it's a nice shade too; my girlfriend actually liked it more! I prefer the Starlight.

Yes, I have the Union Jack taillights. Here in the States they're paired up with the LED headlights with the oval DRL/turn signals, and the LED headlights were a must. But also here in the States, they light up differently when braking/indicating than British or European cars. In our cars, the indicators are red instead of amber and the indication area is the horizontal cross of the flag AND the vertical cross, so it looks like a T lying on it's side. Overseas, only the horizontal part illuminates and it is, as I said above, amber. When they're not $500, I might swap them out. Bimmercode makes it fairly easy to program if they don't work out of the box, which they should, because they're all LED tails.

Finally, tints are going to happen. They're an absolute must here in Florida; the sun is too intense and the interior gets toasty when I park outside.

@D-Fence If shipping is abhorrent on a Light in Sight overseas, let me know and I'll get it for you and pop it in the mail for US standard overseas rates, which is like 55 cents or some such. You can Venmo me the cash.
 

WDWBen

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I’m not saying that I’m going to put a Rolls-Royce startup screen on my car, but I’m also not saying I’m not going to put a Rolls-Royce startup screen on my buddy’s 2016 2-series.

I might, though, code things so the car remembers the last driving mode it was in.
 

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D-Fence

Mrs. IceBone
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So, that car is almost exactly my car plus two doors, right down to the same wheels. I saw an Island Blue 2022 on the lot when I picked up my car and it's a nice shade too; my girlfriend actually liked it more! I prefer the Starlight.

Yes, I have the Union Jack taillights. Here in the States they're paired up with the LED headlights with the oval DRL/turn signals, and the LED headlights were a must. But also here in the States, they light up differently when braking/indicating than British or European cars. In our cars, the indicators are red instead of amber and the indication area is the horizontal cross of the flag AND the vertical cross, so it looks like a T lying on it's side. Overseas, only the horizontal part illuminates and it is, as I said above, amber. When they're not $500, I might swap them out. Bimmercode makes it fairly easy to program if they don't work out of the box, which they should, because they're all LED tails.

Finally, tints are going to happen. They're an absolute must here in Florida; the sun is too intense and the interior gets toasty when I park outside.

@D-Fence If shipping is abhorrent on a Light in Sight overseas, let me know and I'll get it for you and pop it in the mail for US standard overseas rates, which is like 55 cents or some such. You can Venmo me the cash.

Don't need it any more, sold the MINI, currently rocking a Z4 until I get my family car in December! But thanks for offer!!
 

WDWBen

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Finished up amateur paint correction (two-step with Chemical Guys stuff, there’s still some swirls and scratches but it’s good enough for me) and applying two layers of ceramic coating. Took about 6-8 hours total, 8-10 if you include breaks and waiting for the coating to cure. I finished after the sun was down and today wasn’t a good day for outside photos because it’s not supposed to get wet for a bit, so here’s a photo from after the polishing was done.
 

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WDWBen

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Out in the sunlight for the first time to check for any spots I might have not buffed properly. And promptly back inside in case Florida decided to be cheeky and manifest a rainstorm overhead.
 

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WDWBen

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Nabenabdeckung feststehend.
 

WDWBen

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Okay… so here’s what I actually did. Are they necessary? Absolutely not. Am I happy? Absolutely. Does it amuse me to have these? 110%.
 

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