Inside Lane Car of the Year 2015 has been one of the toughest instalments to judge since we began. This year has seen so many great cars that picking our top 5 is agonising, let alone the overall winner. Today is all about the battle for 2nd and 3rd place with the latest Mini John Cooper Works going head-to-head with a 2.0 litre MK4 Mazda MX-5. Both are great fun to drive on challenging roads, but what position will each finish. Let the judging begin.
Whilst the Mini has more power with 228BHP and can get from 0-62MPH a second faster than the MX-5, the Mazda’s lack of weight and keen handling make it more than a match in terms of enjoyment. A slick 6 speed manual transmission is rewarding to use thanks to a positive shift that promotes a feeling of connection to the car. It’s 2.0 litre engine is free-revving delivering 158BHP to the rear wheels. This model also has a limited-slip differential.
The Mini John Cooper Works is a riot and its cheeky demeanour and utterly boisterous soundtrack is guaranteed to raise a smile. It is a high quality product inside and out making its price slightly more palatable. The 2.0 litre turbocharged engine pulls strongly in any gear giving this Mini a sense of urgency. Nimble handling from this pocket rocket impressed. This specific JCW is equipped with a manual gearbox boosting engagement.
We put both cars together on some amazing country roads to find out the pecking order. Which one would you take home? Or would you have to order both? Check out the video below to find out what wins this clash. Our overall Car of the Year 2015 winner will be announced tomorrow!