By on February 22, 2007

mountqain.jpgNews flash! The 2007 MINI looks like the 2006 MINI. As there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the “old” model, BMW’s decision to leave things well enough alone shows welcome restraint. Well, almost. BMW’s added two extra inches to the new MINI– and we all know how meaningful two extra inches can be for guys (legroom!). But you’d be hard pressed to see any exterior effects– good or bad. So is it still all systems go for MINI’s V2 rocket, or does the new model (codenamed R56) prove that more is less?

Truth to tell, I was feeling a bit blah about my MINI road test. But the moment The Man handed me the key to a 2007 MINI Cooper S, I perked up. The ignition device is now a circular pad with a stubby base; my first inclination was to open a channel to Starfleet and ask Scotty to beam me up. Once inside, I was instructed to stash the pad and press the button. Keyless ignition in a car the size of a 7-Series escape pod? Who’d a thunk it?

wow-copy.jpgAnd who knew the Bavarians had a sense of humor? More charitably, the MINI’s interior looks like it was created by a grove of unsupervised Apple Computer designers. (It’s only a matter of time before the MINI’s key includes an I-Pod.) The fuel gauge is now a circular ring of digital lights on the speedometer pod, with a “range to empty” display on the information section of the tachometer pod, in script familiar to BMW owners (if not MS Word users).

Drivers are confronted by a wide range of organic looking toggles and indentures, operating all manner of controls. Who cares how it all works? And who cares that not all the materials are above average? Most are, and when you encounter the odd flimsy piece, the clever design more than compensates. Even the casual visitor instantly appreciates that fact that the BMW’s British box is a no-holds-barred style statement, not an Audi.

new-image.jpgTo that end, buyers can personalize their MINI Cooper S in a trillion ways, right down to checkered flag side mirror caps ($130) and a “Let’s Motor” license plate holder ($35). What’s more, the MINI is the only car you can customize without completely destroying its resale value. My favorite new interior color is the Tuscan beige; I love the look but could live without the pretentious name. 

The biggest change from old MINI to new: a Peugeot-sourced, BMW-fettled, 1.6-liter turbo four. The new engine’s a more powerful lump than the old supercharged Brazilian mill (172 horsepower and 177 pound feet of torque vs. 168/162). As a result, the zero to 60 time is slightly quicker (6.7 versus 7.2 seconds) with better fuel economy (29/36).

new-engine.jpgWhile the new MINI has a wider (i.e. more useful) power band and will now cruise at triple digits without threatening to rattle itself to pieces, it doesn’t feel quite as eager out of the blocks as the old car. There’s a nasty lag between depressing the go pedal and the onset of acceleration. It feels… dumbed down. Until, that is, you press the Sport button.

In many sports cars, even some of the more expensive models, activating the Sport button creates little more than a psychological effect. In the new MINI, it’s undeniably transformative. In an instant, both the MINI Cooper’s electric steering system and its fly-by-wire throttle tighten up. Like a dull pencil thrust into an electric sharpener, the MINI is suddenly ready to draw the finest of racing lines.  

Compared to the corner carving capabilities of the previous version, the new MINI Cooper S in Sport mode feels about 20% more wonderfully, joyously flickable. It still stays flat and level through vicious corners. It still turns in with all the eagerness of a toddler’s mother. But the added layer of maturity and refinement in the drivetrain and the additional feel through the helm build significantly more confidence into the system. 

back.jpgEnough confidence, in fact, to imperil the sporting driver’s license– and embolden him or her to switch off the MINI Cooper S’ DSC stability control. And yet, even without considering the necessity of the optional limited slip differential, there’s something important missing from the re-mix: an aggressive exhaust note.

For reasons most probably related to Europe’s drive-by noise regulations, the MINI Cooper S’ aural burble, zizz and growl are gone. On one hand, the relative silence (and proper autobox option) make the MINI Cooper S a more refined and therefore viable daily driver. On the other, the muted motor removes much of the reason for driving the thing as it wants to be driven. It's a major miscalculation mandating post-purchase mechanical surgery.

Otherwise, the MINI Cooper S is good to go. Literally.

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54 Comments on “MINI Cooper S (R56) Review...”


  • avatar
    dougw

    Unfortunately, the turbocharger does a wonderful job of smoothing out the sonic pulses of the exhaust note. The only way to get crisp music out of an engine is to go non-turbo. The best you can get with the blower is a mellow purr.

  • avatar

    I heard that [some?] MINI customers complained about the racous engine note. So BMW dialled it out.

    If so, it’s the Revenge of the Nerds! And, um, focus groups.

  • avatar

    Shame its so big and loaded down with luxury equipment. Give me a 80% size MINI with bare bones equipment. Oh and a nice manual steering rack. Can you even buy a new car without power steering. I guess it might have something to do with the jumbo size tires on even compact cares.

  • avatar

    I hadn’t given much thought to test driving the new one. After reading this review, I want to, if only to check out the impact of the Sport button. I always wanted a bit more sharpness from the old car’s steering, and it sounds like the button provides it. Thanks, Jay.

    My price comparison and reliability site’s page for the MINI:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/Cooper.php

  • avatar
    cyclopticgaze

    A shame about the down-tuned exhaust note. I vividly remember first getting behind the wheel of a current-model S and marvelling that BMW didn’t design away the popping of the exhaust when you lift the throttle. I had more respect for them because of it.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    Sounds pretty cool. mini's not really my style, but looks like fun. you can always get a resonator muffler if you really want that sound. generally considered cheesy, but hey so what… only you will know.

  • avatar
    dolo54

    but does it handle like a go cart??? sorry I couldn’t resist.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Stay away like death from the CVT option.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    According to Edmund’s the 2007 Mini is:

    L: 145.6 in.
    H: 55.4 in.
    W: 66.3 in.

    The original mini was
    L: 120
    H: 48
    W: 48

    the new car is almost twice the size of the old one.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Great cars. Too bad I can’t fit comfortably in one.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    A couple of questions about the new MINI, if I may:

    - Have they fixed the conservative throttle mapping? The prev-gen Cooper S seemed to build revs artificially slowly, and hang onto them too much during shifts.

    - Are the “sport seats” as thin, flat, and utterly un-sporting as before?

    - Did the MINI reps provide any insight as to why the “Sport” button is included? If the point is indeed “motoring,” you’d think the fun setting would be default.

  • avatar
    noley

    A friend has the older one. Great handling, decent giddyup, but even though y 6’2″ carcass fits, I don’t know I’d want to be in one for one of my 7-hour trips to upstate NY. Kinda “busy” for a long run, but nice for a daily driver. Fun cars.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    philbailey:
    As far as I know, they killed off the annoying CVT for the new model Mini Cooper. In the US, both engines (turbo and naturally aspirated) get either the 6-speed getrag or the 6-speed auto w/Agitronic.

    Robert Schwartz:
    Your stats are comparing the new 2007 to the original original mini (like, 60s and 70s), right?

  • avatar
    davejay

    Great review; I just drove the new Minis for the first time yesterday, a 2006 S and a 2007 S back-to-back The 2007 models are noticeably different in the interior and, to my eye, nicer but more like a slot machine than before. And as far as performance is concerned, I never noticed the subdued exhaust note in the 2007; mostly I just noticed that the low-end weakness in the 2006 was gone, and spent most of the test drive squealing the tires on the 1-2 shift (like the immature kid this car makes me feel like.) Also, re: the sport setting: yeah, that should just be enabled by default, it's terrific.

  • avatar
    Jay Shoemaker

    The sport button does indeed address the odd throttle mapping issues as long as the sport button is pushed. I completed agree that it makes no sense for this button to exist and that the default setting should be the sport setting. I tried to imagine what they might be thinking by offering a “limo” mode for the throttle.

    The seats are also very much improved with significant lateral bolstering.

  • avatar

    They probably included the sport option so they didn’t totally screw the mpg figures in the butt.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Are these Minis going to have less of a propensity to fall apart and break down? Perhaps BMW could do their owners the courtesy of tending to that. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but a female friend has one and it’s sad story culminates in the door handle breaking off in her hand. Junk is junk, whether or not it looks cute or handles well.

  • avatar
    wludavid

    DaveShame its so big and loaded down with luxury equipment. Give me a 80% size MINI with bare bones equipment. Oh and a nice manual steering rack. Can you even buy a new car without power steering. I guess it might have something to do with the jumbo size tires on even compact cares.

    Come on… I understand that this is the standard complaint about cars these days, but the Cooper S is 2668 lbs curb weight, seats 4, and makes >170 hp. This is as much of a throwback to the days of light, fast cars you’re going to get, this side of an Elise.

    As for barebones, since virtually all the cars are custom ordered, you can do away with almost all of the luxuries and get a nicely down-specced car. You will have to tolerate the power steering though. Pobrecito.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Last month, when I was in a Town Car back to Dulles Airport in what we in Washington State call “the other Washington” with Dan McCue, one of the principles of Freeman/McCue Public Relations, a major “car guy” (who also handles Kawasaki motorcycles), the subject turned to the new Mini vesus the old.

    Dan opined that anyone who thought the old Mini was something to mourn, never owned one. Not only did he think the handling was akin to a bread truck, but the electricals were just as problematic as all the old jokes purported.

    “The new car is so much better,” he added, admitting that, in point of fact, it is a whole new template.

    I myself drove the Cooper-S when the engine was supercharged, with no lag whatsoever. But the benefit of a turbo is that not only does the car burn cleaner – in theory, anyway – the mileage is going to be better. Besides, with today’s turbo systems, the lag we used to experience with say, the first generation of SAAB turbos, just doesn’t exist anymore.

    The Cooper-S should be the standard size American car – at least in the city. God bless BMW for keeping the flame alive!

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    So exactly how many of you guys that are over 6′ tall are able to fit comfortably in it?

  • avatar
    Maxwelton

    but the electricals were just as problematic as all the old jokes purported

    Ah, yes, the tired Lucas jokes. Lucas wasn’t any worse than most of the other electrics of their period.

    The old mini drove like a breadvan? I’ve driven a few, and I don’t think that’s accurate. They have a weird driving position, but have great handling, especially for their day.

    I have no doubt the new car is “better” but, jeebus, it’s, what, almost 50 years now since the original was introduced. It had better be improved.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    I’m curious as to who can’t fit in one.

    My cousin is 6’5″ and an R50 Mini Cooper was on his shopping list. In the end it was the price (about 6 or 7 grand more than a decently well-equipped Focus) that swayed his decision against it, not the purported lack of room.

    Ditto the fellow at my local tire and wheel shop. He’s 6’3″ and the seat wasn’t even all the way back when he found a comfortable position.

  • avatar
    Teds

    While I have driven the modern mini and like it a lot, a friend mine owned one which was the lemon of all lemons and I will am VERY wary of them as a result. I know their resale value has held up amazingly well but their reliability is pretty questionable. Also I kept hitting my knuckles on the cup holder when shifting to 5th… doh!

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Last I heard, Brock Yates has a Mini-Cooper S; and he stands about 6 feet (or so), from what I know. (We have talked on the phone and communicated by letter, yet never have met in person.) Being the enthusiast he is, he makes do.

    Having the right car, is sometimes akin to making things work with your girl friend or wife: accomodations just have to be made.

  • avatar
    allen5h

    I never could understand this fascination that the motoring press has with exhaust noise. Why is it better to have to shout to your passenger? I’ll take the crisp handling and acceleration and all that, but the noise I can do without.

    This is no different than leather interiors. (I mean in a general way, I do not know if leather is even offered on the MINI.) Leather is not at all a practical interior material in the entry level luxury-mobiles. Leather is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. These cheap leather interiors are only 1/4 step above vinyl interiors. The comfortable leather that breathes is not available in anybody’s entry level luxury mobile, only in the higher end cars. So why bother with it?

    Finally, the “sport” thing can just be BMW’s surreptitious way of increasing mileage stats for the MINI. Some time soon somebody will figure out how to “sport” hardwire/mod the MINI by default, and instructions will be available somewhere on the net. (Or even better yet, how to “reverse” the logic so you have to press to deactivate.)

    To summarize, if I was the King of the World I would do the following:

    Outlaw loud “exhaust note” cars,

    Outlaw cheap leather interiors,

    Outlaw the use of brazziers (I mean by gals, not cars).

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I love the MINI, and I would mention to those carping on reliability that 2003 was a bad year for many things MINI….but 05-06 have not experienced any level of difficulty thus far that the early ones did… Anywho. My wife is a lower of all things cute and tiny (ahem). In cars. So she loved the MINI Cooper. She wanted an 06 MINI Cooper S; I talked her into waiting because the new one includes an all-aluminum, direct-injected, snail-charged BMW designed beauty. Among other things. I have not yet driven one, but when I saw it at the Philly car show my wife and I both had the same impression. It looked and felt HUGE next to the old MINI. I mean, I know it's relative. But she was actually totally turned off from the way it felt on the outside. And the fact that the headlights are ever so slightly titled outwards (instead of inwards or straight ahead) makes it look like a member of the mentally-impaired part of the family… I'll go for a test drive soon, but I wanted to mention a few things Jay left out. Direct injected – Full torque comes on at, I believe, 1800-5000 rpms Overboost – Full throttle results in an overboost with 192 lb/ft of torque Runflats – Uses runflats, again, but they are 2nd gen runflats. The original (2003) MINI was designed using a spare, and then at the last minute they changed to runflats. The new MINI was designed with runflats in mind from the beginning. I've read, consistently, that the chassis tuning to match the runflats has worked great, resulting in a much better ride with no harm in handling. Speedometer – The old speedometer, center-mounted, was large and in-charge. The new speedometer is just an automotive trip to the circus. It's gigantic; and I mean more gigantic than those 10000 RPM tachometers that some fools like to mount in the middle of their dashes on their 96 civics and 88 mustang GT 5.0s…. Navigation system – I haven't seen it in person, but the navigation system actually replaces the whole speedometer unit. In pictures, this makes the dash come together. Weight – The new MINI meets tougher crash test standards, has more content, and is slightly larger. I've heard alot of different weights mentioned, but the most common I read is that it lost 22 pounds. Pretty decent in this day and age. Hood Scoop – No longer functional on the S…..I think non-functioning hood scoops have been the bane of automotive design for awhile now. Couldn't they have at least used it to produce the classic "ram-air" effect? Anyway…just some things I thought should be added to a fine review. Joe

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Oh yeah, as mentioned, the new MINI gets about 18% better gas mileage….that means this little gal is going to be capable of high 30′s on pure highway (I’m guessing it might be capable of 40mpg).

    Joe

  • avatar
    Martin Woodman

    There’s something about the new design of the headlights that in my opinion messes up with the proportions of the rest of the car. Didn’t they just make two holes on the hood from where the headlights pop up instead of integrating them on it for cheap cost cutting reasons? The gap is so obvious (and big) that it looks as if you could unscrew the headlights as if they were lightbulbs

  • avatar
    mike frederick

    Looks fun,I agree.But I’d much rather have a Pontiac Solictice GXP or Saturn Redline.

  • avatar
    tulsa_97sr5

    Anyone wondering about how tall you can be yet still fit, my wife had an 05 and at 6′ 2″ I drove it with the seat a few clicks shy of all the way back. With the ratcheting seat height adjustment it’s easy to get tons of head and leg room. Although no one could sit behind me while driving it.

    Most folks in Oklahoma get their mini’s from the dealer in Oklahoma city. The main sales guy there is semi famous for being at least 6′ 7″ and riding in the back seat on every test drive.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    I’m curious as to who can’t fit in one.

    My cousin is 6′5″ and an R50 Mini Cooper was on his shopping list. In the end it was the price (about 6 or 7 grand more than a decently well-equipped Focus) that swayed his decision against it, not the purported lack of room.

    Ditto the fellow at my local tire and wheel shop. He’s 6′3″ and the seat wasn’t even all the way back when he found a comfortable position.

    Maybe I was just spoiled by my old CRX. That car had legroom to spare, which is what I found to be lacking in the Mini when I test drove one. I’m 6’3″ and the moment I sat down in the car, I knew it wouldn’t work. If I could move the seat back a couple more inches, it would’ve been great, but even with it back as far as possible, it felt like it had no legroom.

    The only other small car that I tested that felt like this was a Miata I drove at a Mazda RevItUp event. Steering wheel was digging into my thighs and I could only maneuver the car around the test course by shuffle steering.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    mike frederick:
    Looks fun,I agree.But I’d much rather have a Pontiac Solictice GXP or Saturn Redline.

    yeah i know – but these sport cars have NO storage. Its embarassing.

  • avatar
    Garret

    Loved the review. I see no need for increasing the noise level. As a former hot rodder, I used to love a noisy exhaust. But as I age I cannot stand cars (or illegal Harleys) that are loud.

  • avatar

    I tried either an 04 or an 05 back when I was looking for a car. The engines in both the turbo and the regular felt like junk, vibrating at certain speeds the way the tranny had done on my ’62 Falcon when the car had upwards of 80k on the clock. (After 11 years with the Saturn, I will never drive another car where the engine doesn’t feel refined.) So I’m wondering if the Peugeot motor feels like a real power plant.

    I also wasn’t all that impressed with the handling and the steering. The car is certainly quite competent, but it just didn’t have the sporty feel I associate with a Boxster, or an RX-8, or a Miata.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Im 5 10, it fit fine. And it serious fun to drive. ANd 36 mph highway! It’s on my short list.

  • avatar
    Eric_Stepans

    From allen5h

    Outlaw cheap leather interiors,

    Outlaw the use of brazziers (I mean by gals, not cars).

    Once we’ve done that, can we use the cheap leather to dress up the bra-less girls? [grin]

  • avatar
    ejacobs

    Looks fun,I agree.But I’d much rather have a Pontiac Solictice GXP or Saturn Redline.

    Apples and oranges.

    (and proper autobox option)

    I really hope that’s a joke. If not, it’s my vote for the biggest oxymoron in the history of autoenthusiasm.

  • avatar

    it’s a cute car, but it’s not a mini. whatever happened to real small cars?

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I owned an '05 Cooper S. The MOST FUN car I've driven EVER! Also, the LEAST RELIABLE, MOST LEMONY car I ever owned. Supercharger gears chewed up after 6K miles, SES light came on every other week. At least 8 parts changed to no avail. I swear it was put together on the Gremlin shift. Ended up selling it back to MINI. 12 trips in 8 months to a dealer 30 miles away (not including return trips to pick up the car) was not at all fun. Sorry, but I can never trust MINIs again. I tried, believe me, I tried. It's too bad, because as much as I dig Bimmers, I have serious reservations about purchasing one (when I can finally afford one).

  • avatar
    factotum

    Regarding the scoop, according to the MINI website:

    “Like any performance vehicle worth its metal, the MINI Cooper S features an air-intake scoop in the bonnet (hood) that, besides looking bad-ass, helps provide ample airflow to the powerful turbocharged engine. Helping everything stay perfectly cool for optimum performance.”

    So, while it may not feed the intercooler, it does flow through to the engine compartment.

  • avatar
    Humourless

    David Holzman: I tried either an 04 or an 05 back when I was looking for a car. The engines in both the turbo and the regular felt like junk

    If you were driving a turbo car in ’05 or ’04 then you were driving a diesel (which was not sold in North America). There was no gas turbo model until ’07.

    A supercharger, on the other hand….

    I’ve owned two Minis, an ’03 and an ’05, both R53 Cooper S models. To those who say they’re buggy and unreliable, I concur wholeheartedly. The later builds are a big improvement, but that didn’t stop my ’05′s seat heaters from burning through the seat fabric. A neighbour of mine also has an ’05 too. His car probably spends an average of 3 days a month in the shop, but he loves his car still – as I do mine.

    I’m normally not a big fan of extended warranties, but I have been eyeing one up for my ’05, as I’ll hit the mileage allowance in less than a year and as a “chequebook mechanic” I’m not up for doing my own repairs.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Even as good as the MINI continues to be, with such persistant reliability issues (particularly when there are nearly as fun and much more reliable Japanese sport coupes like the Civic Si), one has to wonder how long BMW will be able to continue artificially keeping the MINI supply low/demand (and price) high.

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    Whether one fits in a car generally depends on height and girth but is you look at two 6’5″ people you may find that they are not built the same. Some are long in the leg and short in the torso, which puts a premium on legroom. Some are long in the torso and shorter in the legs (which puts a premium on headroom.

    I am 6’6″ and fit fine in a Mini because I am long in the torso and therefore the massive amounts of headroom in the Mini are useful. But the Mini is rare in this respect — I find that most cars are tough for me to fit in because of headroom issues. In fact, I don’t fit in most mid sized SUV’s because while they offer plenty of room for the legs they provide car-like headroom.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    Akitadog, rudiger:

    Sorry, but not all Mini’s are bad. I think the early problems may have given the entire line a bad rep.

    I own a 2005 MCS w/ 20,000 miles and so far (knock on wood) it has been trouble-free. I live in NYC and surprisingly the brutal roads haven’t shaken her enough to develop any rattles, either…

    Perhaps I am one of the fortunate few?

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    6’2″, i fit in the old minis with head and leg room to spare.

    I dont really fit it Miatas though, the roofs are just too dang low.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Rudiger, you said:

    “Even as good as the MINI continues to be, with such persistant reliability issues (particularly when there are nearly as fun and much more reliable Japanese sport coupes like the Civic Si), one has to wonder how long BMW will be able to continue artificially keeping the MINI supply low/demand (and price) high.”

    First off, I own an 06 SI. I’d say it has slightly poorer interior build quality than an 06 MINI Cooper, and had more rattles at 2000 miles than most MINIs have at 20000….but it’s been rock solid reliable now at 16,500 miles, which isn’t exactly a miracle by today’s standards.

    I don’t think BMW has an artificially low stock of MINIs….they have sold twice as many as they intended to in the first four years of production; not exactly a ratio leading the mind to believe they are keeping it low.

    I do believe they don’t build more than they are going to sell….a rare concept in some circles these days. MINI has a very niche market, which it is filling extremely well, and has almost no competition (soon….).

    I would check out the 07 MINI Cooper S hood scoop in person….unless they did something amazing with that black plastic, it’s solidly blocked off and results in no air flow to the engine. I could eat some crow here, but I’m going to go ahead and call that thing an error on the marketing side of the World of MINI. I do not believe the scoop is functional.

  • avatar
    davejay

    So exactly how many of you guys that are over 6′ tall are able to fit comfortably in it?

    6’1″ here, and no troubles at all, in the ’06 or the ’07.

    By the way, re: the Solstice/Sky versus the Mini — I drove a Sky recently, and compared to the Mini (and the Miata) the experience was best described as “ho-hum.”

    However, I didn’t drive the turbo model, and the Sky’s window controls (which were further back than my wrist on the door) and center seatback console (which I could only open by crossing my left arm over my body) were enough to strike it off my short list.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Steve-O

    I’m sure that the vast majority of MINIs were not as trouble-prone as mine, but I also know that the reliability of MINIs as a marque is sub-par in general. While my MCS was an absolute joy to drive, I am not one of those owners who will grin and bear it when it comes to such blatant quality issues (unlike many other MINI owners). I should never have had to go to the dealer as many times as I did to fix my problems, which never did get fixed.

    I had already gotten sick of dealing with the dealership, and I knew in the back of my mind that even if I had no major problems with a replacement car, I would have many minor ones. Aside from my recurring problem, mine had to go in for a bad clock, a burned-out bulb, serious power bogging when shifting into first or second. And while my car was at the dealer once for my recurring problem, some detailer kid BACKED INTO MY CAR with a BMW, forcing me to leave the car for a week to get a replacement hood shipped, painted and mounted.

    Between the dealership shenanigans and the MINI’s worse than average reputation, I had enough. I took the refund and never looked back.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Life’s too short for unreliable cars.

    As for cheap leather, it’s still better than cloth or vinyl: heavy winter coat + cloth seat = velcro effect. Cars are hard enough to get in and out of as it is, and vinyl in summer is not just hotter than leather, but also sticky.

  • avatar
    Matthew Potena

    I had an ’04 Mini Cooper S for about a year. In that time it only required one trip to the dealer for regularly scheduled service. I am 6 feet tall and fit perfectly. As ashy mentioned, if you are long of torso, you will find the extra headroom a boon. I have a 6 foot 4 inch friend who fit in the car easier than he did in his BMW 3. I would recommend one to anyone looking for a fun car.

  • avatar
    Jeb Hoge

    6’5″ and I fit fine into the Cooper S I tested, BUT I got claustrophobic by the way that the leading edge of the roofline was a good 18″ away in front of me. I felt like I was driving from the backseat, and I couldn’t see traffic signals if I was first in line at the stop. Plus, the acceleration and handling felt no better than in my Contour SE; in fact, my car’s Duratec had better throttle response and revved more smoothly to redline. I was, in a word, surprised that the Mini didn’t wow me.

  • avatar
    kken71

    I added an AEM V2 cold air intake to my ultra bland sounding (and rather bland driving) 2002 Civic Si. I’m guessing that you can improve the intake sound of a turbo engine.

    I actually wanted the first gen. supercharged Mini, but I feared the frequent BMW like repair bills that would come with it and the 35 mile trip to the dealer. Plus, the Civic was going for $15 k (5k under the sticker) and Minis were going for $27k (5k over the sticker), and the Civic was made in the UK!

  • avatar
    moto

    The Mini is one of BMW’s best sellers primarily because of one reason:

    They didn’t allow Bangle to touch it.

    Anyway, if you love your Mini, more power to you. I enjoy my much more fun and versatile GTI, thankyouverymuch.

  • avatar
    Dubbs1

    People
    Mini Coopers aren’t made by BMW,
    BMW owns mini but mini designs the cars.
    Mini is a great car. I think it is much different than the old one (2006). They are sporty cars. They get like 29 mpg. Although they have no hp they don’t need it. The word mini is in the name.

    Lets Motor


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  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India