Factory JCW Talk (2009+) Discussion of the factory-built 2nd Gen JCW MINI Cooper S, and all unique aspects of this trim.

Considering factory JCW

  #1  
Old 03-03-2012, 06:40 AM
Sephiroth
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Considering factory JCW

To cut to the chase:

So can the JCW combine 2 worlds? A car that can be insanely fun but also a quiet commuter when i want to just cruise on the fwy? How is the road noise? Also how is the build quality?

Background:

Currently driving an M roadster right now (along with my beater) but wondering if i should trade in for a JCW. There are several reasons in my mind on why:

1. The beater is 14 years old, runs great, but does require its own maintenance. Im getting tired of maintaining a second car in a location that rarely gets any snow. It badly needs tires and probably rear brakes soon. Plus additional insurance cost. But she still handles pretty good and looks amazing for its age.

2. The M has many qualities about it that i like, most of all its handling and steering feel. If its 70 and sunny its just about perfect with the top down. But when im going on long drives or on days when i want a quiet comfy trip this car just doesn't cut it. Its always in a playfull mood and can get tiring if I am not in the mood.
 

Last edited by Sephiroth; 03-03-2012 at 06:45 AM.
  #2  
Old 03-03-2012, 08:11 AM
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walk0080
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I would hesitate to recommend selling the Z4M! One of my favorite BMWs...

The JCW is not quiet. It is louder than any other stock MINI primarily due to the exhaust but also the engine has a more rough feel to it. MINIs have a fair amount of wind noise (maybe less so on the Coupe/Roadster?), especially if you spec the sunroof. Tire noise can be reduced by changing the tires. I have no issues with the noise for regular commutes (say 50km of highway driving), but a trip to visit family (450km) is about my limit. If I were to drive very long distances, I might have to get some noise reducing earplugs for some relief - but I am rather sensitive to noise like that.

Everyone has their opinion, but I prefer the glass roof/sunroof over a rag top. I can make more use of it in my cooler climate. And as for build quality, the MINI is decent IMO.

Best to test drive a few cars - you may not like the transition from RWD to FWD.
 

Last edited by walk0080; 03-03-2012 at 08:17 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-03-2012, 11:29 AM
ronnie948
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Get the JCW-You will love it

I got out of a Corvette into my 2009 factory JCW and never regretted it one bit. My JCW is fast when I want it to be and is just a fun great car to drive anywhere. The exhaust is loud when you floor it but in normal driving it is not overly intensive. ( It just sounds good) If you are listening to the radio you won't even hear it.

The driving position in the seat is very comfortable and the ride is a little choppy due to the short wheelbase. (I do have sport suspension on mine) I did get rid of the runflats and put on Michelin non-runflat tires so no more road noise. My car has no wind noise ( I have no sunroof) and the engine is always as smooth as silk. ""ALWAYS""

The factory JCW is a great all around car you can use every day and track it on the weekends.

I also average 29 to 31 miles per gallon around town and I do get 34 to 38 on the highway depending on how I drive.(I always use premium gas)

If you are looking for a high performance car then the JCW is for you. If you are looking for a car that is fun and less expensive, The Mini "S" is a very good choice.

The runflat tires that are on most all Mini's are harsh riding and noisy.

 

Last edited by ronnie948; 03-03-2012 at 11:38 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:00 PM
jcw10works
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i've put 80,000 mi on my jcw since it was delivered in jan 2010. i drive fast across the backroads in new mexico (as well as interstates) for my consulting business and love the jcw. only real issue i've had with the car is i'm on my second flywheel and clutch. the first was under warranty and was because of the dual mass flywheel loosening up. i've changed to michelin non-runflats and don't think the car is too loud at all. overall its a great road car and gets good mileage for the performance. its a pleasure to drive (especially compared to my wife's 2009 rav4).
 
  #5  
Old 03-03-2012, 12:05 PM
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I like my JCW Coupe for any type of driving. It's not too loud and the exhaust is sweet. While it does have some road noise I just crank up the tunes. I doubt that it has any more road noise then your M. With non run flats it better.

It's really a matter of personal taste. I think you need to go and drive one for as many miles as you can. Take your M and then drive the JCW. Many dealerships have them on the lot for test drives.

If not then maybe someone is in your area that has a JCW that you can meet up with. Any local clubs that you can scout out?

I love my Coupe. I have the standard suspension and I think it rides a lot better than the 2009 MCS that I had.

Anyway good luck. I don't think you can go wrong but it certainly will pay dividends if you do your due diligence.

Pat
 
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:27 PM
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I have had both, and I am strongly considering picking up another Z4M to augment my MINI. I miss my E85 everyday that it's not snowy.
 
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:49 PM
vtrich
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Like others, I came to my JCW via an Audi S4 Avant. I found the Mini to feel equally solid and quiet in commuting and around town, AND is equally entertaining. I also have offloaded the runflats, but I find the ride to be really satisfying and I'd drive it, happily, anywhere.

The whole fwd/rwd would be an important consideration if I were in your shoes. I don't think there is a better feeling than working a rwd car on the backroads,...the separation of power and steering really creates a rewarding experience,...well hopefully it does.

As for fwd, I found the JCW's torque steer to be annoying initially, but I have adapted. Maybe old dogs' can learn new tricks.

oh, I should mention, I have a Clubbie.

Good Luck,
Rich
 

Last edited by vtrich; 03-05-2012 at 01:51 PM. Reason: clarification
  #8  
Old 03-05-2012, 02:40 PM
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My 2009 JCW is the most fun car I've owned. In the past I had a Z3 Roadster, Z3 M Roadster, M Coop, 540, 740 plus other fun stuff. I'm keeping the JCW till I die. A blast to drive daily and at the track. I also run it in SCCA DSP class for autox twice month. I keep it in good shape and clean..which is all part of the fun for me...I've never done that before.
 
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:35 PM
TerminalVelocity
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I have a JCW Coupe with the sport suspension. I came from driving an old Jeep liberty with crappy worn out tires. To me the Coupe is more comfortable in every way. I make an 8 hour trip (each way) east once a month. The Coupe does not bother me one bit. Obviously the ride is harsher but the noise is about the same. Difference is, the engine noise from the JCW is awesome and totally different from the road noise I had with the Jeep. I love the JCW in every way!

If your sensitive to quirks that a performance car has then a JCW might not be for you but since you drive a roadster I think you'd be fine!
 
  #10  
Old 03-05-2012, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by GreyLens View Post
My 2009 JCW is the most fun car I've owned.
Ditto and I will be sans run-flats come Saturday which should make this the BEST car I have ever owned.
 
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TerminalVelocity View Post
I have a JCW Coupe with the sport suspension. I came from driving an old Jeep liberty with crappy worn out tires. To me the Coupe is more comfortable in every way. I make an 8 hour trip (each way) east once a month. The Coupe does not bother me one bit. Obviously the ride is harsher but the noise is about the same. Difference is, the engine noise from the JCW is awesome and totally different from the road noise I had with the Jeep. I love the JCW in every way!

If your sensitive to quirks that a performance car has then a JCW might not be for you but since you drive a roadster I think you'd be fine!
I love my Coupe. It's perfect for me in every way. Fast, sounds great, the HK system rocks just fine for me thanks, and I think it drives just sweet. With the summer tread on this car is just glued in the corners. Wow is all I can say.
 
  #12  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:42 PM
quality_sound
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I'll put it like this, I'm selling my E90 M3 and keeping my JCW Clubman. 'Nuff said. The M3 is definitely capable, but the MINI is just - FUN! It's quiet enough for long drives and gets great mileage as well.
 
  #13  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:20 PM
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I also got rid of my 3 for the JCW. Mazda 3, that's what you guys were talking about, right? I had the normally aspirated 2.3L hatch, manual trans. It was pretty tossable, and not bad when revving the nuts out of it. More practical than the MINI, but NO REGRETS AT ALL!!!

I still have the stock run-flats on my 09 JCW. I plan on changing to non-RF's when they need to be replaced (probably swap at the end of this summer, at about 30k, I don't drive it in the winter because of all that white crap that seems to fall here in Illinois. I have a beater 01 Accord for that).
And the ride is choppy and noisy. There is a road near my house that I avoid because there are several pots and cracks that I just can't stand driving on. The plus side is the alternate route is a few extra minutes of wheel time and a bit more twisty.

HOWEVER after saying that, I've driven a friends JCW with non-RF's and it was a different car!
He still had the stock suspension, and had a CIA, it was louder than mine when stomping on it, but a good loud. At sustained highway speeds, it was fine, like mine. The ride was 1000% smoother and the road noise was minimal.

The ride on the non-RF's is a completely different experience. Keep that in mind on the test drives!
The fun factor trumps any quirks (sorry, "personality") the car may have.

A few months after buying the JCW my dad had hip surgery and I drove to his place in Wisconsin (about 100 or so miles one way) for about 8 weekends in a row. I LOVED the trip. Not drone-y at all.

I would by my JCW again and again.
 
  #14  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by WannaMotor View Post
I still have the stock run-flats on my 09 JCW. I plan on changing to non-RF's when they need to be replaced (probably swap at the end of this summer, at about 30k.
CHANGE THEM NOW!!!

I just did my non-RF swap this past weekend even though the tires on the car were like new. The RF's had to go. I REALLY love my JCW now.
 
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