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Why the MINI Cooper S is a great everyday car

Modern life can be challenging and finding a car that fits in with it is no less of a bind.

Cars talented in one department may be a serious compromise in another, while those with no serious flaws might also be without any particular highs either. This is where the MINI Cooper S steps in. Based on the newest generation of MINI 3 door hatchback, it’s a great everyday car.

Of course the MINI’s talents start with its size. At 3,850mm long, 1,727mm wide and 1,414mm tall it’s a much smaller car than any modern supermini, so it’s a great fit for the urban environment - you won’t struggle to get the MINI into an ordinary car parking space. Much of the car’s length is contained between the wheels, with very short overhangs front and rear, so you’re not likely to scrape the MINI in a tight multi-storey car park either.

It may be smaller than a supermini but it’s no less spacious than one. Thanks to the majority of the length of the car sitting between the wheels – increased over the previous generation car too – there’s plenty of room for up to four occupants and boot space is up 30% to 211 litres. With a 60:40 folding rear seat too, the MINI more practical than any city car.

Don’t expect a noisy tin box when you get out onto the open road either. The MINI has a stellar reputation for handling, while the cabin is well damped to prevent road noise from reaching the occupants. Whether a smooth, long motorway run or threading down an undulating and awkward back road, the MINI is just as at home as it is in the city.

The heart of the Cooper S though is the engine. This is a 189hp, 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine, which delivers startling acceleration from 0-60mph in just 6.8s – pairing with the MINI’s handling to make for an excellent driver’s tool. When you’re not exploiting the performance, the Cooper S delivers 221lbfft from as little as 1,250rpm, so it doesn’t need revving to make progress around town either. In the lightweight MINI hatch it also returns combined fuel economy figures of 49.6mpg.

In conjuction with the MINI Connected system that allows for integration of both Apple and Android smartphones with the car, offering use of internet-based infotainment services and social networking, the MINI Cooper S really is the perfect all-round car for everyday life.