The Mini Coupé has instantly entertaining dynamic appeal and it will delight a great many. In its element, this Coupé is a lively, agile, fast and super-responsive driver’s car with a disarming, scruff-of-the-neck sort of character.

But on typical UK roads, its dynamic qualities just don’t surface often enough, endure long enough, or shine bright enough to eclipse its failings in other areas, particularly in JCW form, which is particularly stiff.

For all its vivacity, this car imposes serious compromises that don’t feature in the best £20k coupés

Considering how much car you get for your cash, the Coupé is not all that expensive. But it’s also noisy, has limited practicality and suffers the kind of rolling refinement that makes you wince over really bad roads.

We had hoped for a more three-dimensional, less contrived dynamic performance from Mini’s new sporting king. It doesn't materialise: for all its vivacity, this car imposes serious and regrettable compromises that just don’t feature in the best £20k coupés.

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