Originally Posted by mjh93sa
Yes and no.
Whilst not as quick outright as the 135i the MINI is still a pretty brisk motor that will (and has) surprised a few people. It'll see off a very surprised 330i driver from the line.
MPG in my 135 was supposed to be 30.7 (auto, N54 engine), but I only managed to average 28 over the time I had it (and 19 at one meet). The MINI by comparison is giving me 38mpg (and low 30s even if you thrash it). Given the smallish fuel tank of both the increased range is a definite plus.
At times I miss the refinement and absolute bonkers performance at that price point (Palmnuts in the XFR was only a shade quicker), but the JCW rewards in a different way... less outright speed, but more involvement, a decent exhaust note (cracks pops and burbles a plenty with the sport button pressed) and more character. In some ways I miss the auto-box the most, whilst the manual is involving, there is no doubt that for an average bloke like me driving with the paddles has you in the right gear at the right time more often.
Dropping it into sport when coming out of roadworks and burying the throttle was endlessly entertaining.
The M135i is a mighty tempting prospect for the JCWs replacement. More economy and five doors could be a winning combination, as long as the M connection doesn't put the insurance up to stupid levels.
That said, this week I am again in a 1.6 Astra. Mega miles on business in rentals means that I miss the MINI, let alone the 135i. Still, it's better than the 1.4 Insignia Estate, or the 1.2 Golf that I've also had recently.
I predict that you will love it. ...just make sure that you have a good jacket to drive in. With the noise it makes you'll want to drive everywhere with the windows down (all year).
Some good points there mate. I rememeber the XFR vs your 135i at the Oxford meet!
And yes, i reckon it could well be a good option for you next!
The insurance is about the same as my 330d, so that is bloody brill!
Some good info on the car from the projetc manager. Its 30% new M bits compared to a Full M, which is 80%. Also designed for roads, not a track - that could explain all the great reviews. http://f20.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=691159