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MINI Cooper

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  • This may surprise some people but the brand new GTI Turbo 1.8 actually isnt 180hp. I think it was sport compact car who tested it but it came to more like 200-210hp stock based on corected wheel hp figures, far more then clamed. This car is actually stronger then they give it credit for, probably so they can gradually raise the claimed HP in the years to come, yet have the same engine. Just a chip will net you a lot more hp on turbo cars.
  • johnny36johnny36 Posts: 10
    Test drove one. Amazing! Loved it even more than I thought I would. Ordered British racing green.

    for Hals: Morristown BMW in northern N.J. (who I've been on a list since Nov.) has (had?) a green Mini with a tan and green leather interior. My opinion; looked darn ugly, but perhaps, very British.
  • I test-drove MINI at MINI of Towson, MD on last Saturday, both the S and non-S. Here below is my feedback. Hope it will help.

    The first impression of MINI is that it looks really small, smaller than VW bugs. However, the interior is not bad, at least for the driver seat and passenger seat, they are quite comfortable. However, the back seats are cramped IMO, although the deal sitting on the back seat kept saying how comfortable she was. I am only 5'6", but my wife (5'4") told me she was not comfortable when she sit behind me.

    I was initially decided to choose the GPS option largely because I want to move the speedometer into the front, but after seeing it in person I am kind like the way it is.

    I first drove the non-S. It is a metallic blue with white roof and Union Jack on top, 16" five spoke white alloy wheel with run flat performance tire.

    The clutch is quite smooth. However, the engine doesn't have enough torque at low RPM, especially in the start, it will take a second for the torque and HP to kick in no matter how hard you floor the gas.

    The ride is pretty good. The suspension is tight but it is comfortable. Even driving on an up and down country road, I can maintain a relatively high speed but still feel I am firmly stuck-on the ground.

    The S I drove is on Pure Silver with white roof. It has Premium and Cold package on it. 17" eight spoke silver alloy wheel with run flat performance tire.

    I don't know why some of the post upstairs said that the S is slow. It does not give you a kick-a*s feeling like the M3, but the acceleration is pretty dissent. The engine is quite response to your input and it is easily distant the non-S away. More horse and 6-speed did the trick. The ride is about the same as non-S. I found the panoramic moon-roof is a fun option to have.

    Complains:

    The dealer told me that the auto-dimming rearview mirror in not available in the Cold package. It is not that the package is not included; it is "unavailable"! I can hardly believe it.

    17" 8 spoke alloy wheel is not available on MINI Cooper. However, the dealer does offer another 17" 14 spoke alloy wheel with "MINI" badge on it. The price is $2565 a set. Some other 17" wheel is also available with price $225 each, which is, in my opinion, less attractive.

    Someone upstairs asked that if the MINI can hold a bike in it. Well, by fold the rear seat down, the MINI does create a large room to house appliance, it seems to me it can swallow a bike with the front seat move forward and the bike front wheel dismounted. However, they do offer a roof rack system that has bike holder option with a total ~$284.
  • Sorry I forgot to mention on my last post that during the test drive, I have 3 people in their car, 1 fire truck driver and 1 policeman give me thumbs-up when I pass them by, plus several kids running and cheering after me on the sidewalk.
  • johnny36johnny36 Posts: 10
    I should mention that I've always loved the original MG Minis. Not because it was a finely build sports car (because it wasn't) but because it was a fun and surprisingly comfortable 'get-about' auto. I believe the new Mini has the same appeal (certainly for me).
    Many of the comments I've read criticize the motor/pick-up. Without question the Mini falls a little short of (say) a VW GTI, but it has enough power to get out of a dangerous driving situation. And that is enough for me and (I imagine) many of buyers.
    I'm not a fast driver (I'm rarely above 75) but I like handling and control; the areas were the Mini shines. If your a 'pedal-to-metal' driver the Mini will not likely make your heart beat fast. Not all driver need outstanding acc. in their auto, hence (perhaps) the appeal of the new Bug.
    As for 'little piece of tin' I would take issue. Mini is certainly 'little' but seeing one in person it conveys a solid feel. A fact that is confirmed when you drive one. BMW has put a VERY strong and ridged frame in the MINI and six air bags. So, yes, if a 18 wheeling changes lanes on top of a Mini it will probably be time for the junk-yard, but there is a great chance the driver/riders will be alive.
    As to gouging. Obviously there has been some, but many dealer are selling for exact MSRP.
    If you love Camaros, Vette, etc. DON'T get a Mini. Save your pennies and get a striped-down 330 coupe. Last time I checked $35k is a great price for an auto that has a hard time staying below 85.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    Well today I received the production number for my MINI. It is scheduled for production on 5/24. If any owners out there have installed aftermarket tires and wheels, I would be interested in your opinion. My dealer wants a fortune for BMW wheels and run flat tires. I plan to keep the 15" spare and go to 16" wheels with 205-50-16 tires. Will use the 15" wheels in the winter with snow tires. I've contacted Tire Rack to inquire about fitments since their website does not show any for the MINI yet. Will post when I receive information from them.
  • m37stevem37steve Posts: 10
    rmorin2:

    You're using the same strategy as I am. I'll run the 15s thru this year-- stock tires may suffice for winter-- and go to 16s on aftermarket wheels for summer next year. I hear that Yokohama has a grippy but very quiet 16" tire. Check out mini2.com for lots on wheels and tires-- 16s, 17s, even 18s on a Mini . . .
  • secdeptsecdept Posts: 1
    I drove into the local Mini/BMW/Porsche dealer, not knowing anything about Minis. I saw it and bought it and paid sticker plus the marked up dealer add-ons including the American Flag for the roof and the Bonnet Stripes for the hood for $790, $300 floor mats, and a 6 CD Player for a ridiculous $995! Ignoring the high price due to high demand it is a fun car with high quality components. I took my buddy for a ride who drives a 2002 Porsche Boxter, he was irritated at the high number of looks the Mini was getting compared to his high priced car. It is definately a "class-less" car. Everyone seems to just get a happy face and a lot of thumbs-up given when they see it. The only down side to the car is (1) my insurance company never heard of it so I am still waiting for an underwriter to value it , and (2) I need to park far away from the entrance otherwise swarms of people flock around it to look at it.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    Received an email from George at Tire Rack. He lists several wheels that will fit the MINI but unfortunately for me, none are what I am looking for but the prices are pretty good. They range from $105 for a SE Fox 5 to $315 for a SSR Comp.

    I am looking for a nice simple 5 spoke, single slender spokes, probably in a 17" size. Any help would be appreciated.

    I also received the production number for my MINI and the build date. Once you get the production number from the dealer you can go the MINI website and track the progress of your car from the factory to the dealer. Pretty neat.

    Happy Motoring!
  • segestasegesta Posts: 27
    I take delivery of my Mini tomorrow morning from Bill Jacobs in Naperville, IL. I am very happy with the treatment, knowing the popularity of the car and the potential for gouging. All I wanted was a sunroof but stock wheels. Because I found one that was still on the truck (and the sales manager was out for the day) I avoided their mandatory thousand-dollar foglights and $2600(!!) 17" wheel package.

    So: Pure Silver, black top, premium package, leather seats, $700 CD changer (ouch), $285 Breakdown Kit (ouch again, and not very reassuring) and $90 floormats means out the door for $21,300. From what I've heard about other dealers around Chicago, and due to my good timing with the shipment, I got lucky. So I recommend Bill Jacobs if you're in the area.
  • the base mini with the cvt is the best deal...maybe when prices come down a little.
  • Well, I ordered a Mini today! I did 2 test drives this week: The first mostly on city streets, the second crusing on a freeway. I'm not a "car enthusiast" so I won't comment on "tail sway" or "engine torque". All I can say is that it is a fun car to drive. Plenty of power for me (accelerating onto freeway with 2 passengers and the air conditioner on), handles great, and cruised at 75-80 on the freeway without too much engine or road noise. The ride was a bit harsh (standard everything), but it wasn't a particularly smooth patch of road.

    As I said in a previous message, I'm coming from a 1990 Saab convertible (turbo).

    I'm 6'2 and weigh way too much, but the car was very comfortable for me in the driver's seat with the salesman in the passenger. No way my wife could have sat behind me, but she wasn't too uncomfortable behind the passenger seat. We have two kids, but this is a second car and we hardly ever needed all 4 seats in my Saab.

    I asked a previous question about BRG and green leather. I saw swatches of both and decided I didn't like that combo. Coming from right field, I ordered velvet red/black top/beige leather. Premium package and heated seats. I wanted the HK audio but didn't want to wait until November!

    Allison BMW is charging a straight $1K dealer markup, which I hate paying, but seems to be pretty fair compared to other dealers, especially in the SF Bay Area.

    Thanks to the folks from NJ who responded to my questions. I grew up in Long Branch!
  • what BMW dealers here in Monmouth county, NJ are going to gouge for a MINI. I am looking to get a new car in the fall. I would love to get a base Mini with just a CVT trans as a option. In red with white roof and mirrors.

    I'm afraid that a blue collar worker like myself will not be able to compete with all the wall streeters that live in central NJ. 17-18 grand full MSRP is a decent price for a base mini with automatic only. It is better than some MSRP's for compact cars from other brands.

    However I'm sure the high amount of 'rich" folks will gladly pay whatever the dealer want's to get a one of the only 20,000 MINI expected to come to the states this model year.

    After I see what they are paying for Mcmansions here to move out of New York city and still live within commuting distance. I know i won't have a chance at getting such a great car for only 18 grand. If they are paying $400,000 and up for those plywood castles I can only imagine how much more over MSRP they will pay for a MINI to drive on the weekends to the beach.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    So when will you be taking delivery? We look forward to hearing all about it.... Please keep us posted. Thanks for your participation. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I suspect that the Mini will play out similarly to the PT Cruiser - it may take a year or two, but eventually the enthusiast community will become saturated while the car becomes a hot commodity to students, etc., who will be unable and unwilling to pay premiums.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    I was in the Washington D.C. area this weekend, and went to MINI of Sterling to look at a MINI. What a wonderfully designed car. I hope the dealership situation gets sorted out so I can get one here in TX.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I think you'll be able to get a base Cooper at MSRP sooner than you'd think. The waiting lists for base Coopers doesn't seem to be all that long. I stopped by my local dealer last week, they basically said their 250+ waiting list had evaporated. They called everyone on the list and told them they had to put up a $1k deposit down to stay on the list. Bottom line - if you walked into my dealer tomorrow with the $1k deposit you'd have a base Cooper in a couple of months. They said the Cooper S list is about a year long - that means if they get the expected 5 or 6 S' in a month they have around 60 confirmed people on the S list - big whoop.

    This MINI hype will be much shorter lived than the New Beetle or PT Cruiser. Wait a few short months and you'll easily get a Cooper at MSRP.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    The sales manager at MINI of Sterling (VA) was offering MSRP on Coopers with no mandatory options or add-ons, and a 90 day delivery time if I placed an order this week. Only one problem - she would not sell me a car for out-of-state delivery. It seems it is up to the local dealerships to decide if they want to sell cars outside of their territory, and this one doesn't. Sure wish I could have driven a Cooper - I'm not concerned about the power, but I am a bit worried about the gear ratios on the five-speed. Has anyone driven a Cooper five-speed who would like to comment on the spacing of the gears?
  • segestasegesta Posts: 27
    I've had my Cooper for four days, and I really like it. Wait, love it. The only gearing 'issue' for daily driving is that 5th gear seems a little short for highway driving--I wish it was taller to lessen the RPMs on the highway. Of course, much taller and you'd never be able to pass without downshifting.

    The car is fine. Buy one.
  • Does the back seat of the mini fold down to create storage space?
    thanks
    san francisco
This discussion has been closed.