Quick Review | MINI John Cooper Works Challenge

Can a MINI priced at £32,000 ever really be worthwhile? Well, yeah actually, based on our brief experience at the 2017 SMMT Test Day. On the face of it paying the same amount as a Volkswagen Golf R, or a Ford Focus RS, for any MINI may seem hopelessly decadent, or even foolish. But stick…

MINI Superleggera™ Vision – Details and Photos

German manufacturer turns to an Italian coach builder to produce attractive version of a British car. Despite sounding like the start to some complicated joke, it’s real and the MINI Superleggera™ Vision is the end result. We haven’t necessarily been the kindest critics to MINI’s latest styling direction – well, evolution of the same style, rather…

Uncle Steve Writes – Part 3 of 4 – MINI Cooper SD

In the penultimate part of the 4 part series, ESM’s Uncle Steve covers his most recent car purchase. So, as previously mentioned, the Leon FR TDI has gone, arriving in its place is a MINI Cooper SD hatchback. Again purchased from our tame motor trader, Cooper MINI Durham. So let’s get right down to the…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #5

I realise that calling this series of posts a “predicament” is somewhat of a dramatisation. Like having to decide on whether to pick a Cheryl Cole or Megan Fox calendar for the ESM office, this is a nice first world problem to have to deal with. But at the same time it is hardly like…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #4

So after weighing up the benefits and pitfalls of PCP car financing, I managed to come to the conclusion that if it enables me to get a better, newer car (tailored to my specification), then it is probably a necessary evil. Having been tempted by the seemingly generous offers available from MINI, it seemed sensible to…

Bye Bye GTi – Saying Auf Wiedersehen to a Wolfsburg Legend

Tonight, ESM’s Mate Steve explains why he’s surrendered ownership of the iconic MkV Golf GTi, along with noting the highs and lows of owning a hot-hatch legend. Last week I handed back the keys to a VW Golf GTi MkV, you might ask why, hopefully this will become clear. Just over 3 years ago I…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #3

So after all the hours spent researching cars that would fit into the £8k used budget, ESM’s mate Steve threw a spanner in the works. As you’ll discover later this week, he’s just got a cracking deal on a brand new MINI Countryman for his better half. Given the state of the economy, car dealers…

ESM’s 2012 Car Buying Predicament #2

Previously on ESM, I set out a rather lengthy list of criteria that I wanted the Polo replacement to have. Somewhat predictably, I then went away and spent several hours days searching AutoTrader and other classifieds. When you’ve given yourself a string of demands which make your average terrorist blush, unsurprisingly the options were limited, with…

Four to the Floor: Car Dealers Reviewed and Rated

EngageSportMode isn’t usually concerned with the technicalities of the car buying process, typically eschewing shiny main dealers for independent traders. However, ESM does enjoy wandering around checking out new cars, so when ESM’s mate Steve wanted some company on researching cars for his girlfriend, there was only one answer. The options had already been narrowed…