Mini John Cooper Works – Rejuvenated cuteness

Even the most angry version of the three-door Mini with the designation JCW has been slightly rejuvenated. The innovations are decent and the driving pleasure remains, even if it is not as uncompromising as compared to its predecessors.

Last year’s rejuvenation procedure for the classic three-door Mini JCW brought a subtle handful of modifications. We can notice the redesigned front with a mask with a larger frame, modified LED headlights, the hallmark of the sports version is also the rear bumper with a prominent diffuser or two exhaust tips located in the middle. It suits the black specimen with red details very well, perhaps I would only forgive the red stripes on the hood for 4004 CZK. The icing on the cake is the additional 18-inch wheels (CZK 24,024).

Modifications continued inside as well. Classic alarm clocks are replaced by a digital instrument panel, and as our colleague Standa Švarc assessed in the cabria test, we are not sure if this is a change for the better. The analog design somehow suited me better for the urban crumb. In addition, the display used is not one of the most modern flourishes of technology – it does not have a very sharp image, the graphics are unremarkable and legibility in direct light is poor.

The revised steering wheel with newly designed and raised buttons is also a novelty. It is made of leather, pleasant to the touch, but we felt that it fit a little better in the hands with the previous shape. Otherwise, everything remains the same, which is only good. The Mini cabin is stylish not only thanks to the characteristic switches, but also the multimedia system in a round environment in the middle of the dashboard. The temperature is set on a separate panel with rotary controls, and overall, by today’s standards, the Mini retains quite a few physical buttons, at least for the most important functions. We praise!

The sports seats are great, the side panels hug the body very nicely and hold in corners. The three-door minivan with external dimensions of 3,876 x 1,727 x 1,414 mm lives up to its name, as even small city hatchbacks like the Škoda Fabia grow over four meters today. While I have no problem with the position behind the wheel with a height of 178 cm, at the back it is already a lot about compromises. You will use the second row more out of necessity, there really isn’t much space. An alternative is to use it as an extension of the luggage compartment.

Mini John Cooper Works

This comes in handy, as the standard volume of the car is only 211 litres, by folding down the rear bench the space increases to 731 litres. From the above it is probably clear to you that the minivan in the non-inflated version is a car for one person, at most a couple without children. And the John Cooper Works version? This one is for real connoisseurs!

A less noisy villain

The Mini John Cooper Works is powered by a two-liter turbocharged two-chamber turbocharged engine. The maximum output is 170 kW from 5,200 rpm and 320 newton meters of torque in a wide range from 1,450 to 4,800 rpm. The front wheels are always turned, in our case the engine cooperates with an eight-speed automatic transmission. But be careful, you can still reach for the six-speed manual!

Compared to the Mini Cooper S, performance has increased by optimizing the intake of air into (and exhaust from) the engine. The turbocharger has also been modified, and the air filter, intake air meter, exhaust system and catalyst have also received changes. Compared to the “esku”, the pistons and cylinder head are further strengthened – together with the valves, they are made of more durable materials. Direct gasoline injection works with a pressure of up to 120 bar. The result of our three-door piece is a hundred in 6.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 246 km/h.

The engine itself works very nicely in the entire rev range. The response to stepping on the gas pedal is almost immediate and the minivan immediately shoots forward. The tachometer progression is linear and the engine pulls willingly at almost any time. However, it also has to cope with a curb weight “only” slightly above the 1.3 ton mark, which also makes the car extremely nimble. It is dampened only by switching to Eco mode, which may save a tenth of the fuel, but is uninteresting in terms of driving.

The sharp mini has always been characterized by a hooligan sound, bubbling when the gas pedal is released, in short, a character backdrop. Although it remained in the last edition of the mini, but without having a direct comparison with the predecessor, the latest version seems to me to be more muted. She can still make a mess in the street, as if she is a little ashamed of her origin. Of course, they are not shy, but the manufacturer is reacting to increasingly strict noise emissions. After all, even the “EM” BMWs are not what they used to be acoustically…

And consumption? Quiet county crossings reduce the average consumption to 6.5 l/100 km. But you won’t enjoy driving in such a style for long. A little bit of frolicking in tight corners turns the consumption easily above twelve liters, the average consumption after a week of cohabitation finally settled at exactly 9 l/100 km.

Mini John Cooper Works

Hot-hatch s kompromisy

The automatic transmission fulfills its role well, only in sports mode the shifting is accompanied by deliberate kicks, which may not suit everyone. Because the JCW variant sits at the absolute top, it gets a sporty, very stiff chassis. Although it has electronic settings, the city’s traps in the form of cubes or transverse unevenness give it and the crew a lot of trouble. In short, the chassis is too hard for normal driving, so you will be much more convinced of its qualities only on really smooth asphalt.

It’s absolutely great to drive. The car certainly holds and benefits from its compact dimensions when cornering. Such a ride is especially fun. And when a series of bumps appear again, you feel them under you, but as the speed increases, the chassis can become a little more compliant. Only really big holes are a problem. The car does not bounce on them, but the shocks from the wheels are really significant and the stability control light intervenes uncompromisingly. After all, this also applies on smooth asphalt, if it is only slightly damp after an evening shower. It’s a pity the absence of self-locking, which would have moved the driving character a bit higher.

If the minivan wanted to be a full-fledged hot hatch, it would need a little more tuned steering. Although it is steeper, it is overpowered by the standards of fast tracks and does not give much accurate information about what is happening under the wheels. Sure, a sharper tuning wouldn’t be as versatile, but it would fit the chassis setup much better.


The Mini John Cooper Works isn’t a purebred hot hatch, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have fun behind its wheel. It is nimble enough, playful and nimble thanks to the compact modes. We have often praised the go-kart driving characteristics on mini-bikes, and this is doubly true for the JCW variant. Only a stiff chassis tuning would suit more precise steering with some kind of feedback. Speaking of sound…

Otherwise, it’s a mini with everything. Small, stylish and with an imaginative interior faithful to the original concept. That is, except for the digital instrument panel, I would easily exchange it back for analog indicators. And the price? The three-door version starts at CZK 679,900, but we are talking about a three-cylinder fifteen-cylinder with an output of 100 kW. The tested engine costs CZK 826,800, respectively CZK 880,204 with an automatic transmission. No scrimmage was spared even on additional equipment, which increased the final price to 1,140,494 CZK. However, the minivan is such a specific car that its price policy can hardly be compared with anyone else’s.

Mini John Cooper Works

The cheapest version of the model CZK 679,900 (1.5/100 kW)
Base with tested engine 826,800 CZK (2.0/170 kW JCW)
Tested car without extra charges 880,204 CZK (2.0/170 kW JCW)
Tested car with equipment 1,140,494 CZK (2.0/170 kW JCW)


  • Iconic look
  • Quality interior
  • A nimble engine
  • Lots of equipment available


  • Detached driving
  • In places, the chassis is too hard
  • Digital panel