2024 Mini JCW 1to6 Edition Review: The Last Shift

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick
The 1 To 6 Edition marks the end of the manual transmission for Mini as a brand.

This is it. The end of the line.


This is the 2024 Mini John Cooper Works 1 To 6 Edition, a final hurrah for the manual transmission for the entire brand. To bid farewell to the third pedal, Mini has crafted a send-off from arguably its purest model: the three-door hatch, in hot JCW trim.


A future collector’s model? Undoubtedly. But here in 2024, the Mini’s sky-high price makes it a tough sell against some seriously accomplished machinery.

2024 Mini JCW 1to6 Edition Quick Take

The 2024 Mini JCW 1to6 is all about emotion. It’s still as riotously fun as ever, but there’s a cruel irony to making a final special edition dedicated to the manual: it highlights the deficiencies of the row-your-own setup.

What’s new for 2024:

The smallest Mini is still arguably the brand's most iconic model. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

Uh, not much, because basically the whole Mini family is new for 2025. Just last week, contributor Kunal D’souza drove the new three-door in Europe, in the now-more-powerful, all-electric SE form. The 1to6 Edition is the big news for the smallest Mini, limited to 999 units globally. Speccing this particular option package adds a smattering of badges outside and in to let folks know you splurged. The exterior can only be had in Midnight Black, with a patterned racing stripe running the length of the lil’ guy. Don’t forget the shift pattern sticker on the tail, the 1to6 roundel on the C-pillar, or the self-levelling wheel center caps on the black, 18-inch alloys. The cabin is much the same story, with badging marking this out as 1 of the 999.


After a brief absence, the manual transmission returned to a select number of Mini models last year. Here it hooks up to the most powerful engine available in the three-door: a 228-horsepower, 236-pound-feet turbocharged 2.0-liter. With a curb weight under 2,900 pounds (1,315 kilograms), the JCW is capable of sprinting to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.3 seconds.


Exterior style: any color, so long as...

Every 1to6 Edition comes in Midnight Black. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

It’s a Mini. You know what it looks like. Your aunt who doesn’t care about cars knows what it looks like, and so does your five-year-old nephew. The all-black treatment does sap some of the inherent fun of the shape, but on the flip-side, a Mini trying to be all mean and aggressive is its own kind of fun, right? Right. The red calipers and big rear wing signpost performance without shouting it. Long-term JCW styling cues, like the center-mount twin exhaust pipes and Union Jack taillights, still earn a nod of approval.

Powertrain and fuel economy: big power, small package

This is the last time we'll see this in a Mini. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

There is something innately fun about driving such a big-hearted car. The BMW-built 2.0-liter doesn’t just offer up plenty of power across the rev range, but it throws down its peak torque barely over idle. The result is a muscle car experience in a city car serving size, the JCW rocketing forward with authority. That pocket-sized footprint contributes to a surprisingly decent fuel efficiency rating too, though remember the JCW drinks premium. The auto will do 29 mpg (8.1 L/100 km) combined, and while the manual is rated lower at 26 mpg (9.0 L/100 km), I saw closer to the former after a week. Mini has found the 2.0's voice too: it isn't the smoothest, but there's an aggressive edge that suggests power without screaming it.


Oh yes, the manual, the 1to6’s entire raison d’être. The good news is that it’s a friendly one, with an easy clutch action and light, slightly-longish throws. Pedal placement makes heel-and-toe simple. There’s just so much isolation baked into that shifter. Rest your hand on it and there’s no real sense of a gearbox underneath, no fizz coming through. There is a numb rubberiness that can make it hard to find the right gear when on the attack. It’s a far cry from the steely precision of Honda boxes, and even the GR Corolla’s looser, laidback ‘box has more personality.


While the JCW’s muscle mostly masks it, the long ratios of this six-speed are still just that: too long.


Handling and drivability: party all the time

The go-kart comparisons aren't for nothing. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

Mini loves to draw go-kart comparisons for its hot hatches. It’s not without cause—although this hyperactive hot hatch is maybe more kart than some people will want.


The 1to6 earns big points for its engaging optimism and mid-corner adjustability. The light curbweight and square stance give it a flickability you’ll struggle to match in most anything else front-drive. This is an eager puppy of a car, and every sweeper the next bone. The small-diameter steering wheel gives good feedback while keeping the weighting natural and consistent from lock to lock. There’s plenty of grip from the front axle, even if those 18-inch wheels wear modest 205-section rubber.


With a boxy shape and low nose, the Mini is just as easy as ever to place on the road. Whether it’s your favorite scenic road or the bustle of downtown traffic, the JCW builds confidence.

Ride quality and comfort: harshing the vibe

We hope you have a good chiropractor on call. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

The flip-side to the fun is a punishing ride quality. Yes, even with an adaptive suspension, the Mini crashes over potholes and shakes its way over uneven surfaces. When Mini makes all those kart comparisons, this is probably not what it means.


At least the seats, done up in a combo of suede and leather, are up to the task. The Mini’s front thrones are grippy and supportive, keeping folks in place without feeling restrictive. That every adjustment is manual is a little shocking at this price, mind you.

Interior style and quality: showing its age

The 2024 Mini cabin still looks good, but material quality lets it down. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

Driving the 1to6 after spending some time in the new Minis did not do it any favors. There’s a lot of plain black plastic in here, enough to earn a comment from a passenger—one who doesn’t even drive. Yeah yeah, the JCW is all about sober performance, so a monochrome cabin is the point (as I witnessed in the new JCW Countryman). The issue is that the cabin quality doesn’t align with the price. Brittle plastics line the doors and center console. There’s also nowhere to easily store a modern, larger phone.


Rant over, there are still redeeming qualities of the current Mini three-door cabin. The rotary dials for the climate controls are fool-proof, and the series of switches below them for various functions remain a tactile delight. The steering wheel is the right size and oh-so-soft. I much prefer the lozenge-style instrument cluster over the wheel than the absence of any such setup in the new car. The only real issue it has is legibility during late (or early) hours due to glare.

Tech and safety:

The instrument panel is susceptible to glare. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

Mini’s insistence on a round infotainment screen has its foibles, but once you get to grips with this older version of the system, it’s easy to flit around and find what’s needed. Having a small rotary dial to control it keeps distraction to a minimum, though I will never understand why Mini reverses its directions compared to BMWs. Rotate clockwise to move up a menu? Madness. Wireless Apple CarPlay is included.


This generation of Mini does not go big on driver assistance features. Automated emergency braking, a mandated backup camera, and adaptive cruise control are the noteworthy inclusions; blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist are not available.


Value, dollars, and sense: big money

There are 1to6 badges spotting the JCW inside and out. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

The 1to6 Edition pushes the smallest Mini’s price tag up to shocking heights. A regular John Cooper Works will set you back $36,395 ($41,876 CAD) including destination. In America, to get the 1to6 Edition means opting for the top Iconic trim as well, so all-in we’re talking $46,295.


Canada is even more shocking: The Premier+ Line 2.0 options package plus 1to6 adds $17,200 CAD. Throw in the optioned alarm system and the total is $59,576 CAD.


That eclipses the Civic Type R (and its fancier Integra Type S sibling). Same with GR Corolla. Staying within the family, that’s up there with the 312-horsepower ’25 Countryman JCW, and right between a BMW 230i and M240i. Oof.


Final thoughts: 2024 Mini JCW 1to6 Edition Review

The family DNA has stayed strong at Mini for over two decades. Image credit: Kyle Patrick

Is it sad that Mini is abandoning the manual transmission? Yes. Few brands have fun baked into their very DNA quite like Mini, and part of that fun is being involved in what’s going on. In that sense, the 2024 Mini JCW 1to6 Edition succeeds.


But it’s also sad that this was the best manual Mini could muster. This three-pedal setup isn’t as satisfying as others in the hot hatch segment. Paired with the too-harsh ride, the 1to6 Edition is a fun but flawed machine. It will become a collector's car, not only as a monument to what enthusiasts had, but what could have been.


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Pros

Cons

Still produces big smiles

Cripplingly expensive

Rorty exhaust note

Cheapish interior

It still has a manual...

...but it's kind of numb.

2024 Mini JCW FAQs

  • Q: How much horsepower does the 2024 Mini JCW 3-Door have?
  • A: The JCW comes standard with 228 horsepower.
  • Q: Is this the last manual-transmission Mini?
  • A: Yes; the 2025 models go automatic only—or are electric.
  • Q: How much does the 2024 Mini JCW 3-Door cost?
  • A: The standard price is $36,395 ($41,876 CAD) including destination. The 1to6 Edition inflates that figure to $46,295 ($59,576 CAD).

2024 Mini John Cooper Works 1to6 Edition

Engine:

2.0L I4 Turbo

Outputs:

228 hp, 236 lb-ft

Transmission:

6MT, FWD

US Fuel Economy (mpg):

22/32/26

CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km):

10.6/7.4/9.2

Starting Price (USD):

$36,395 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (USD):

$46,295 (inc. dest.)

Starting Price (CAD):

$41,876 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (CAD):

$59,576 (inc. dest.)

Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

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