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Cooper S versus Golf GTI

bugsiebugsie Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in MINI
The John Cooper Works package has to be added to the Cooper S in order for it's performance to compete neck and neck with the new VW Golf GTI. That means that a Cooper S with equivalent specification to the GTI will cost approximately $5,000 more. The GTI also has a much higher quality interior than the Cooper, better seats and a more compliant ride for every day driving. My current Cooper S is due for replacement and although I would consider myself a Mini die-hard I am having a hard time justifying the extra cash over the GTI. What do you think I should do?


  • akitadogakitadog Posts: 117

    I am an '05 MCS owner who is very dissatisfied with my ownership experience. I'm currently going through the Lemon Law process. I was also a MINI nut. I pined about it back when the concept was unveiled and was finally able to afford one last year. As fun as it is to drive, my ownership experience has been horrible.

    I've test-driven the new GTI and was very pleased with it. The driving dynamics are great, though road feel is less than with the MCS. The interior was SOOO much better than my MCS, it pulls hard when hitting an on-ramp, and it's way more practical when it comes to hauling passengers and stuff (not either/or like MINI). I'm looking hard at getting one as my next car. My hardest choice to make is whether it will be the GTI or the Audi A3 (basically 5-door GTI).

    Also, I've run across a widely known tuner who can chip the 2.0T for about 50 extra HP for only $600! I want to see a JCW take that on!

    I recommend the GTI, as reliability is about the same as MINI, if not better, dealerships are much more common, and the price is much more agreeable, even without the a la carte options that MINI offers.
  • bugsiebugsie Posts: 4
    Hello akitadog,

    I'm sorry to hear that you have had bad luck with your MINI. Do you have the Cooper Works performance upgrade? If so, was it dealer or factory installed?

    What type or problems have you been experiencing?

    I have now taken a closer look at the Golf GTI and agree that the interior is very well finished but am not impressed with the bland exterior styling that looks like so many other cars. It visually appears to ride too high and the wheels look too small. The vast expanse of plastic honeycomb front grill also looks very cheap. Maybe I will be able to overlook these issues once I have driven the car!

    Thanks for you comments.
  • kjs825kjs825 Posts: 7
    Hi- I had same dilema and it was a no brainer. I have a 2002 MCS for sale now and was toying on an 06 MCS ,wait for the new 07 Mk II MINI Cooper S (not until December 06) or a GTI. I just pulled the trigger on the Mk V GTI. When you do an apples to apples its hard not to choose the GTI over the MINI Cooper S. BTW I also seriously considered the Honda Civic Si --but no torque untl 6k on tach. The GTI has so much torque.....If you cant afford pkg 1 or (worse) pkg 2 do a base model at 22k.
  • kjs825kjs825 Posts: 7
    I now am selling my 2002 MCS (which I truly loved)-- and yes ,it was not without some warranty problems (all addressed by dealer). I was struggling with another 06 MCS,or wait for the MK II o7 MCS ,choose a Honda Civic Si or choose the GTI. I chose the GTI. For me it was a no brainer.....BTW,There will be a 4 door GTI by summer. Get this, The "Golf" name is going and back to ......amazingly "Rabbit". The only emblem on mine is on the back of my 06 and it says "GTI". Nuf said. You'll see after you drive it.
  • I have the same issue you do, I love the MINI, but the new GTI is gorgeous!! I personally think you should drive both and if money isn't an issue, go with your instinct! The cooper has amazing handling, but if you are looking for a better everyday car, the GTI would be your best bet. The JCW mini is very torquey and not as smooth as the GTI. Decide for yourself!!
  • akitadog,

    whose this tuner that can add 50 hp for 600 bucks... sounds interesting
  • akkerakker Posts: 5
    The company who will add the 50-odd HP and similar torque numbers to the 2.0l VW/Audi turbo motor is APR:

    It is a software change only to the engine control unit.

    Also see the discussion boards at for enthusiastic discussions around the VW/Audi cars and turbo motors.
This discussion has been closed.