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Old 08-06-2012, 12:07 AM   #141
Davisflyer
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It seems the Mini R56 models have lots of issues. My 2006 R53 has been very reliable for 6.5 years with only a few minor and common issues, like replacing the upper engine mount and having the JCW exhaust crack. I've been through a couple 02 sensors, but that's probably more due to my header than anything else.

I will say that Consumer Reports speaks very highly of the GTI, including reliability, earning a "recommended" and the number 1 spot on affordable sporty cars.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:10 AM   #142
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I went on several test drives in Minis and was strongly considering the Clubman S (I have kids, I needed a backseat with room for people with legs). Then I drove a GTI and was VERY impressed with how easy it was to drive.

It's like even the shifter, clutch, steering, etc was ergonomically designed in the GTI to make it pleasurable to drive, even if it had no where near as much power as my previous ride (Forester turbo).

Even though on paper the Mini seemed like it should be faster, it actually didn't feel all that peppy or fast. The GTI at least felt peppy. And while the usable cargo space in the GTI was a huge plus over the Clubman, it was the feel of the driving dynamics that really won me over.

I'll also say that while the Mini's steering felt super sharp (as expected), I actually doubted it's overall grip ability. It just didn't inspire sheer ludicrous cornering confidence, though since I don't own one it's hard to make that judgement. And I'm sure with the few mods I'm planning for the GTI it will be absolutely amazing.

All said, I respect the Mini but I'm glad I bought the GTI instead. Overall nicer yet sporty driving experience, more room, and less cheesy interior.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:49 AM   #143
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My MCS was a absolute joy to drive, but at some point, as an average consumer in this recession, i cannot afford to sink more and more dollars in a daily driver, time off, and hassle of dealerships, third party mechs, and the disruption to two working peoples lives.




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Old 08-06-2012, 03:09 AM   #144
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youll probably win by a dick length
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:06 PM   #145
fast2ghl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davisflyer View Post
It seems the Mini R56 models have lots of issues. My 2006 R53 has been very reliable for 6.5 years with only a few minor and common issues, like replacing the upper engine mount and having the JCW exhaust crack. I've been through a couple 02 sensors, but that's probably more due to my header than anything else.

I will say that Consumer Reports speaks very highly of the GTI, including reliability, earning a "recommended" and the number 1 spot on affordable sporty cars.
Yes, the R53 models were totally different then the R56 quality wise. The R56 has a nicer "feeling" quality to its materials inside the cabin, however I still think I like the look of the inside of my R53 better when I had it. But yes the R56 is the car with the issues to the max, the R53, not nearly as bad in my experience.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:09 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v-dug View Post
I went on several test drives in Minis and was strongly considering the Clubman S (I have kids, I needed a backseat with room for people with legs). Then I drove a GTI and was VERY impressed with how easy it was to drive.

It's like even the shifter, clutch, steering, etc was ergonomically designed in the GTI to make it pleasurable to drive, even if it had no where near as much power as my previous ride (Forester turbo).

Even though on paper the Mini seemed like it should be faster, it actually didn't feel all that peppy or fast. The GTI at least felt peppy. And while the usable cargo space in the GTI was a huge plus over the Clubman, it was the feel of the driving dynamics that really won me over.

I'll also say that while the Mini's steering felt super sharp (as expected), I actually doubted it's overall grip ability. It just didn't inspire sheer ludicrous cornering confidence, though since I don't own one it's hard to make that judgement. And I'm sure with the few mods I'm planning for the GTI it will be absolutely amazing.

All said, I respect the Mini but I'm glad I bought the GTI instead. Overall nicer yet sporty driving experience, more room, and less cheesy interior.
Having owned an R53 S and R56 S I can tell you they handle amazing, I used to regularly take highway on ramps at well over 100mph. In the handling dept they are stronger then the GTI stock for stock, although the GTI isn't too far behind.

However I still maintain that stock for stock the R56 would get owned by an MK6 in a drag. My findings were in line with yours above, I just don't feel like the Cooper S is very fast at all from stock, the "peppyness" you speak of with the GTI, thats lacking in the S. JCW? Totally different story.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #147
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Yes it sounds like most of us were plagued with the early model R56S problems. I know since 2009+ the amount of failures and problems has greatly decreased but the 07-08 were likely to have the mentioned problems.

As I have had a few which to me werent significant at all. But i consider a water pump and thermostat just maintenance items. The biggest issue i see is the timing chain one, the oil related ones and turbo related ones i push back on the owners generally for not checking things. To each their own.

I like the GTi a lot as I have loved the MINI so to me its not really an agrument about whats better more so what fits you. The JCW does make up some of the lack in power as I have seen one locally making 260WHP/310WTQ stock turbo (RMW tuned).

Throw a JCW turbo on an S and you can easily see that, or you put the bigger K04 hybrid on there and can shoot for 275-280WHP.

Both are great choices, and both fit different needs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #148
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what turbo does the JCW use stock?
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:44 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dybz View Post
what turbo does the JCW use stock?
Just a slightly larger trim K03 - Alta states it like this:

Stock MCS Turbo 21 lbs-min 210HP
Stock JCW Turbo 25 lbs-min 250HP
ALTA Billet 56 Turbo 28 lbs-min 280HP

Compressor Wheel
Inducer Size Exducer Size lbs/min
ALTA Billet 56 43.3mm 56mm with 59.32mm extended tips 28
MINI Cooper Sl 37.8mm 50mm with 53.77mm extended tips 20-21
Turbine Wheel
Major Exducer Size Exducer size
ALTA Billet 56 50mm 42mm
MINI Cooper Sl 45mm 40.5mm
JCW 45mm 40.5mm

Even though altas turbo is extremely overpriced to the point its not worth it. The thing with the JCW is it runs like 18/19PSI factory.. where the MCS is running 12.5PSI. But the JCW map sensors read higher boost levels than the MCS. I have been trying to find more info on swapping to the JCW MAP sensor and having the dealer reflash me as a JCW and then getting tuned for like 22-23PSI. Currently am only running 18-19PSI.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:31 AM   #150
zrickety
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We just got a Cooper S for the wife, I agree with most of what's posted here. It has it's virtues, but the GTI is more practical. I'm trying to keep it stock, but I am curious about the various boost tunes.
Boosted_R56, let me know if you ever tried that MAP swap.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:12 AM   #151
SnailPower
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I don't know about the newer mini S models but the older ones were ballsy. I wouldn't mess with one, lol.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:48 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zrickety View Post
We just got a Cooper S for the wife, I agree with most of what's posted here. It has it's virtues, but the GTI is more practical. I'm trying to keep it stock, but I am curious about the various boost tunes.
Boosted_R56, let me know if you ever tried that MAP swap.
Any tuning you want done stay the hell away from ALTA....

JAN with RMW is the one to deal with.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:49 PM   #153
fast2ghl
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I don't know about the newer mini S models but the older ones were ballsy. I wouldn't mess with one, lol.
hardly "ballsy" from factory.... They could be with an under drive pulley and a few other tweaks...
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Old 01-18-2014, 03:59 AM   #154
Misterveedub
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GTI vs Mini S

Just traded my R56 Coop S for my GTi three months ago. I must say, the Mini handles MUCH better and was more fun to drive around town than the GTi. There is an area of road with a curve on my way to work that I used to take at around 70mph in my Mini but when I tried that ish in my GTI I almost sharded cause it lost traction there. I ran my friend from Atl in his stage 1 MK6 manny this past summer and I won by half my Mini's car lenght. Those cars are very quick even without a tune. I kind of miss my Mini but I like the room, looks, and overall grown up persona of my GTi. Not to mention I was tired of hearing my wife complain about the Mini being a stick. (Go DSG!)

Oh mods at the time of the GTi kill were Magnaflow CBE, stiffer BOV spring, K&N filter, and custom FMIC.
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