2005 R52 One Convertible (The Smoker)
Yeah its funny mate, dont know how you feel but having had both a Cooper and a Cooper S (both facelifts), I dont personally see the Cooper (or even a One with the mods...as its basically a Cooper) as a poor relation to be honest.It started a commute car for me then I got the R53 and as I enjoyed it so much I seceded to keep hole of it so it really became weekend and summer car and was used for getting me to work when the blue car was broken
The original plan was to keep it for when my eldest turns 17 so he could have it as he said he liked it when he was 15, he’s since decided he would like to buy my stepdads crewcab pick up off him which he’s agreed to if he still has it when the lad turns 17 next year (good luck insuring it though!)
Yeah could be argued the regular Mini doesnt look quite as sporty as the R53 (though its probably prettier 🤣) and of course not as fast but for me theres just something to be relished in a modestly powered NA car that has a chassis that can take far more than has been thrown at it. I absolutely loved thrashing the Cooper and part of the challenge I found was getting it up to speed then being able to carry that speed through bends. Just think they are a very good, fun car and quite underrated...... probably overlooked/ignoree by many purely because of the existence of the R53.