After having the new MINI for about a week now, I can definitely comment that everything feels “tighter” in the suspension (not in the understeering sense). Most likely this is due to brand new bushings all around the suspension compared to my ’08 with nearly 100,000 miles on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could generate more grip on the skidpad for this reason alone, even though the ’13 is on the standard suspension (for now) and the ’08 was on the sport suspension.
The only thing I really noticed on the exterior is that the ’13 has some kind of chrome “splitter” in it’s front bumper.
The taillights also have this weird circle thing going on, which I’m not crazy about:
The cars are very similar obviously, but I think the ’13 looks just a liiitle bit better, without that splitter thing going on in the front.
Hands down goes to the ’13 MINI here. The white-silver was just a little too tacky for the 08. They fixed the confusing volume knobs for the sound system. In general the ’13 is a little more “blacked out” and it works much better. The CF optional interior paneling looks very good as well. It’s nice having all the toggle switches with the ’13, I was missing the rear fog switch on my ’08 – and from what I hear, everything is already in there – including even the bulb itself! So no weight gains there optioning the fogs. The aux/usb port placement is also much better on the ’13, much more user friendly. One odd thing to note: the ’08’s center speed counted speed in odds:10, 30, 50, 70 – the ’13 does it in evens: 20, 40, 60, etc. Random!