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MINI Cooper



  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    So the Cooper S ended up in second, .1 s behind an Integra. The 2nd S fell to 11th. Sorry 'bout that; I thought they were final results.
  • tollagtollag Posts: 23
    I tried to find some info about it on the internet, but couldn't really find any matching results that helped me...
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Also, for the sake of continuity, another post that was in direct response to this message was also deleted. Please be aware that soliciting is not allowed in our Town Hall discussions. If you want to sell your vehicle, or your spot on a waiting list, can I suggest that you use Edmunds' Used Powershopper - Sell or Ebay. Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions. Thanks for your participation at Town Hall. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • doctorddoctord Posts: 4
    Sorry about that-I didn't realize that was against the rules! Oh well, I guess I'll try your suggestion. Thanx
  • dacremadacrema Posts: 6
    The dealer stated there is a 5 mo wait for the Cooper,14 mo wait for the S and a refundable deposit is required. They had a "S" and a "CVT" Cooper to test. The S was sweet but I will most likely order a Cooper with a 5 speed. The dealer will have a 5 speed Cooper later this week to test. If I make the jump the car will be my daily driver replacing older Honda. We have a van for the family car so the only trips this car will go on will be to work and winding back roads on days off. I hope to order the car with the upgraded suspension, 16 inch wheels with all weather run flats, and maybe a sunroof. We will see. I am not under any time crunch and the Honda runs ok.
  • segestasegesta Posts: 27
    Where is the wait 5 months?
  • dacremadacrema Posts: 6
    the Dealer is in Sterling Va. I do not have their card on me at this time. They were very nice - but that is their job. I do not know what the average time to wait is. They are only the location that I have talked to at this point.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Great full road test of the S, followed by a 2 page blurb on the standard Cooper. The silver Cooper "S" pictured in the road test was purchased by one of the editors, Brock Yates. It's impressive that someone who road tests cars for a living would plunk down his cash on one.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Does anyone agree with some of Car and Driver's complaints with the Mini? Some of their complaints concerned me. For example, does anyone else find the horn buttons too small and hard to find? In a car this small, its imperative to be able to nail the horn quickly to let someone know you're there. It could almost be considered a safety feature. I simply don't understand why they didn't use a center horn unit like everyone else. They also didn't like the 5 speed's operation. Anyone else have issues with the 5 speed? What has me most concerned though is how they described the reflexes of the car. First off, how in the heck did the Mini end up with such a large turning radius?? I thought this car would turn on a dime and would be very manueverable. This apparently is not the case. It has a larger turning radius then a Honda CRV and was described as having slow-witted responses in the city because the controls all felt too heavy. What do the actual owners have to say about this? Is it really that bad? Anyway, they just didn't seem to have as much good to say about it as I expected. I'm sort of considering a base Mini 5 speed (no sport package and I would be sticking with 15" alloys to keep the ride more comfortable) since it's in my price range so I would appreciate some insight. Thanks.
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    I haven't read the C&D article, so I'll just address your specific questions: The horn buttons are pretty small, they're in the right place if you know where they are, but they're not something you can do without thinking. I imagine the reason they're not in the middle is because they wanted to hide the airbag in the lump in the middle, and it'd be difficult to have buttons in front of the airbag. The horn's basically a finger operation, not a smack the wheel with your palm type deal like pre-airbag cars. The turning radius of the car is something like 34.6 feet, but its 2.4 turns lock to lock so its not huge, its just not teeny, but I don't find it a huge problem, recall its the shortest car made now, so when doing 3 point turns, they're still 3 point, not 5. The weighting of the controls isn't designed for city driving, it is biased towards open motoring, but I like the extra heft, (I'm currently running around Cleveland, which is entirely city driving), it also avoids the feeling you're driving around in a roller skate, and its awsome on back country roads. As far as the 5 speed, I like it, but I don't have much for comparison. (sm) seemed to like it, so I guess everyone has personal preferences. I have 16" alloys and no sport package, and I like the ride, the streets around Cleveland are pretty crappy, but the ride is acceptable, I test drove a car with 15"'s and they squealed a huge amount if you went around corners remotely fast, so I was glad to compromise on normal suspension and 16"'s. (The 16" rims are nicer too in my opinion). Anyway, that's a large amount of viewpoints, but realize I own the car, so I'm bound to be biased into liking it. There's tons of other reviews by journalists, and most people seem to like it more then C&D seems to.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    The horn placement was a decision by somebody, I'm sure for some reason, but the airbag has nothing to do with it. Plenty of wheels still have the "smack in the middle with your palm" style.
  • segestasegesta Posts: 27
    Having just passed 3K miles on my Mini, I agreed with just about everything C&D had to say, but remember: if turning radius and horn-button size are all they can find to complain about, then it's a pretty good car. I especially liked their description of the steering as "heavy but quick," an odd combination, but I really like it that way--it inspires lots of confidence as I take 90-degree turns at 40 mph.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I went to the Downtown Mini on June 2. They were closed but I thouroughly enjoyed looking at the cutest cars through the window. Anyway, they still seemed to have the exact same cars people mentioned as being sold a month ago. They have a chili red S and a yellow regular Mini (among about 6 others, including a black one that had "take me home!" written across its windshield). If these cars were sold a month ago, don't you think the owners would have picked them up by now? I'm beginning to wonder if maybe they are sold but the dealer is paying a fee to the owners in order to keep them on hand so people can look at them and maybe even test drive them. What do you guys think about that possibility? Has anyone had a good experience buying at flat MSRP at that dealer or the ones in Jacksonville and Atlanta? If I decide to get one, I'm gonna have to drive at least 3 hours just to look at one. I want to find the right dealer so I don't waste all that driving time just to get pissed off and walk away with nothing.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I got my S deposit back from the Orlando MINI dealer - I guarantee you those jokers aren't paying anyone anything to keep a car in their showroom - they create demand with sold signs on cars that aren't sold - totally pathetic. Why don't you call or email the other MINI dealers and get some communication going with them? You can test drive a MINI in Orlando- tell them you aren't interested unless they drop their manadatory accessories requirement. No problem using them to test drive a MINI then buy it somewhere else - works for me.

    When I was dealing with them they had a bunch of MINI's available immediately - I was 14 on the S list but they started calling me when the first S's arrived to see if I wanted one - I wouldn't buy a skateboard from those Orlando MINI clowns.
  • plumqtplumqt Posts: 1
    What do you mean by "mandatory accessories requirement"?
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    I traded in a '97 Mustang (with the "smack in the middle with your palm" horn) for my MINI about three weeks ago. It took about a day to get used to the horn. I got the multi-function steering wheel, with cruise and radio controls, so perhaps acclimating to this eased the transition into the push-button horn. In any event, it's not exactly something I am concerning myself with. I must say I was a little surprised with the larger-than-expected turning radius, but the way this car drives in every other respect makes you forget about the turning radius quickly. And as stryder said, a 3-point turn really is 3 points, not 7 or 8 like in some other cars. As for the 5-speed, I don't quite understand the complaint here either. Mine is very smooth.

    To those in Orlando, I'm sorry you're stuck with such a bad dealer. I got mine in Towson, MD and it was a great experience. No mandatory accessories - I was able to order the exact car I wanted and had no hassles whatsoever. I think the wait at this point is around 4-6 months for the Cooper, probably a lot longer for the S.
  • dacremadacrema Posts: 6
    I just returned from a test drive of the Cooper with a 5 speed.
    I liked it.
    The gears were nicely spaced. Reverse was not to tall. Yes I backed up at length in my test drive - the car I buy will be a daily driver and I do not want to be riding the clutch. With less power that the S this car could use the 6 speed and if it were an option I might go for it. Without pushing the engine the car had enough bottom end to drive comfortably in traffic. When pushed, the car accelerated well. Not as good as the S I drove last week, but good enough to be fun. Better than the the 93 Accord 5 spd I drive now.
    This car did not have the plus package for the suspension and I did notice the difference in handling between it and the S. In an empty parking lot, without flogging the cars, I did some tight figure 8s, and hard stops. I did the same maneuvers with the three Mini's I drove. They are all fun but I will opt for the plus package.
    Horn location. I like it on the spokes. The car drive now has the horns in that location. Our Van has the horn in the center and now that I'm accustomed to the buttons under my thumb I like that better though I am not much of one to beep it.
    I too am disappointed with the turning circle. The tuning circle of cars in general now a days is way to big, I whish the industry's design engineers would get a handle on this. I agree that this car because of the lack of front and rear overhang should not hard to zip around in but some of the other cars I've owned are a pain to drive in a parking garage.
    The dealer said that the wait is 6 mo at this time. A refundable deposit is required to get in line. They charge MSRP on the car and options selected. You get what you order they do not add any items.
    I'll order the Sport Package and the beefed up suspension. And - oh yes - it will be red. A favor to my 10 year old daughter.

    bcnul8r K
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    The turning radius is 35 feet. Most cars have 33-35 feet. The CRV has 34 feet. So the diameter is 1 foot shorter, not a big deal. The car is no problem to park, perhaps except that I always think I have no space left when in fact I have 4-5 feet left in front of me.

    The steering is not heavy, it is solid. It is less strenuous than manual steering but not one-finger 80's Buick style. The 2.5 turns lock-lock makes it very tight and maneuverable. I like it.

    The 5-speed transmission does take some getting used to but it is good, giving you smooth acceleration if you want to shift low or fast acceleration if you want to shift high. The car likes to take corners fast so 2nd is too slow if you like to gear down to 2nd before the turn -- I start the turn in 3rd and then shift into 2nd to power out of the exit. Once you get used to the gear spacing I think you'll find them good but take a test drive to find out for yourself!

    The middle of the steering wheel is a hard plastic cover for the airbag. Since it is hard, there is nothing to push in so instead there are horn buttons. The car my MINI replaced had horn buttons so I am used to them. Want to know a good reason for horn buttons? If the horn breaks in some cars where it is part of the airbag you may have to replace the whole airbag assembly to the tune of $500 or more just to fix the horn!
  • dawgoddawgod Posts: 4
    New to the forum, tho I've been following for awhile. A few comments: I'm taking delivery of my spec S in August from Global Imports in Atlanta. Very professional, low pressure. Price is sticker plus options. No addons or mandatorys other than glass etching and floor mats. Very easy to work with.
    I did not drive the non-supercharged car so I cannot compare, but I was very impressed at the handling and solid feel of such a small car. It definately loved the twisties. Did not notice any of the "choppy ride" that C&D reported on my city test drive and was very impressed with highway cruising-no problem merging or passing. In my book, this much sport-not to mention fun and exclusivity-for this $'s a no-brainer. I too do not understand C&D dishing the car in the article, but their overall assessment was very good, comparing it to their perrineal favorite Miata for driving fun. Plus, Yates (the editor) owns one! As for the horn buttons, Yeah they're small and hard to find, but who cares?!

    Can anyone out there that spec'd one share their experience of delivery with me? Did you drive the car before signing papers? Were there any surprises? Did you have any good/bad experience with MINI financing? I've never "ordered" a car and am curious as to what to expect. Anyone have anything good or bad to say about the runflat tires? Thanx for input.
  • dawgoddawgod Posts: 4
    One more question: Does anyone else feel guilty paying full MSRP for this vehicle? I'm afraid that in a couple of years, supply will exceed demand and I'll be woefully upside-down.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    dawgod, I took delivery on mine (not an S) almost exactly one month ago. Like you, I have never ordered a new car, and I was also curious to see how it all played out. I did the financing on my own, which was one of the better decisions I've made in a while. All I had to do - quite literally - was give them a check from the bank, sign on the line and drive away. They had the car under a cover in a single-car garage that was attached to the showroom. The rep "unveiled" of the car (the bonnet stripes immediately brought a smile to my face), followed by a simple question-and-answer about anything I was unfamiliar with (thanks to Edmunds and there was not much left to learn). There was a package of "MINI mints" on the driver's seat (kinda cheesy, but I liked the additional touch) and three weeks later, they sent cookies to my house as a thank-you. I feel like I should be thanking them!!! The process was almost too UNstressful, if that makes any sense. No surprises and no hidden costs.

    As for the run-flat tires, I have 16'" performance run flats and like them. Though I'm not an expert, I think cornering is even that much better due to the more rigid sidewall. My wife also likes the piece of mind these tires add to the mix. I'm not much of a fan of changing a tire on I-95 in the rain either.

    I had no hesitation of paying MSRP, and I'd do it again. I like this car so much, I have no reason to believe that I will be getting rid of it anytime soon. Even so, if BMW/MINI is smart, they won't make the same mistake Chrysler made with their pathetic PT Cruiser by saturating the market to the point that they have to offer huge rebates. As long as there is a wait for the MINI, you have no fear of finding yourself upside down. Some food for thought also, my dealer told me that dealers on the west coast (L.A.) are getting premuim pricing of up to $5k over sticker.

    OK, so it's written on my forehead -- I LOVE THIS CAR.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Look at the features in the car and I think it is worth the price down to the last penny. You can option other hot hatches up to the same price by adding in safety features, alloy wheels, etc. but even at that price you won't find any with EBD, CBC, tire pressure monitors, speed sensitive steering/wipers/volume, 6 airbags, theatre lighting, height adjustable driver AND passenger seats, etc. On top of the standard features and mechanicals, many of the MINI's options are only available in luxury cars costing considerably more.

    I paid MSRP, no more. No options were necessary. I could have ordered a base one with no options if I'd wanted to but I wanted the sports package (sport seats, 16" runflats, foglamps, leather wheel, all great stuff).

    My delivery was similar to the experience recounted by crcoxe. Car was under a cover in a glassed in room off the showroom. Signed the papers, got the mints (just a standard marketing item actually that companies will stick any logo on but they fit the MINI well), pen, etc. We took the cover off, asked my questions and off I went. I didn't drive it prior to delivery -- I assumed that any issues would be taken care of under warranty without difficulty. With the sort of waiting list that MINIs have, you'd really have to be upset to say, "with that dash rattle I won't take it."

    I also have the 16" runflats. I love the handling and the peace of mind. Saw some people changing tires on the interstates on a trip in the states yesterday and thought how awful it would be. I drove through a pile of debris on the road this morning which looked awful but turned out to be stuff that isn't really that hard or sharp. I looked to the pressure light anyways and so far so good -- I knew I wouldn't suffer a blow out so I didn't have to make a panic stop or a dangerous maneuver around it. It is nice for peace of mind (to repeat).
  • I didn't think C&D were dissing the S model at all, but it did seem as if they had less than favorable things to say about the Base Cooper. I thought it (base Cooper) accelerated well enough, I just had to keep the revs up.

    I did think the steering was artificially heavy initially, although it was quick, but later in the test drive it seemed fine. Unfortunately I didn't get to take it anywhere to really test out the feel and feedback.

    What are owners opinions of the road feel and feedback of the steering compared to other driver's cars?
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Delivery was similar to what other people said, I didn't drive the car previously, but it does come with a paper cover of the steering wheel that says 'your MINI has been thorougly inspected from boot to bonnet'. It was waiting for me in the garage section that separated the BMW half of the dealer from the MINI section. My salesman showed me the car, (along with the requisite mints), handed me a MINI keychain (which has the dealer and # laser etched on the back) and asked if I had any questions. He then explained most everything about the car. I noticed there was an errant cable tie on the battery wires, so I asked him about it, (he called me the next day to say it was leftover from assembly - when they put the motor in they tie the wires back to keep them out of the way). With the 4/50k warranty I wasn't worried about anything not working so I signed papers before I got the full tour. I noticed before I signed there were some spots that weren't spotless, and they touched them up while I was signing. Finally when he asked if everything was ok, I noted the windshield fluid was low, he literally ran to get some and filled it up right there.

    Basically it was a great experience, a couple was picking up their 5 series and a z8 was in for service in the same small garage area, but everyone treated me almost special even with my slightly over $20k MINI, As usual I couldn't help but smile when the staff congratulated me about the car. (It was the 50th or so they had aparantly delivered). They were completely paranoid about getting a 5/5 on their review, so I could have asked for most anything and they'd have jumped. My salesman called the next day with the mentioned update on the cable tie, as well asking about any other questions I had.

    I didn't finance through MINI, so no views on that. This was my first new car buying experience, as well as the first I didn't have help from my parents or anyone with btw.

    Views on runflats - I like them, though fear what will happen when they wear out (Treadwear rating is 240). No one seems to admit that dunslop dsst 3000's exist, or any tireses in 195/55/16. Hopefully they won't be too expensive to replace through a dealer I guess. I love the security, my old beater that I replaced would have flat tires at least every month or two, but from an engineering standpoint I do wonder how much better the acceleration would be with less weight spinng.

    Quick steering note: I drove a friend's 2002 GTI 1.8T, the steering isn't as hefty, so it lacks the feeling of security the MINI has.
  • dawgoddawgod Posts: 4
    Thanx for your input guys! Makes me feel a little better about the process. Sounds like the dealers really go out of their way to make this a premium experience-I hope that this continues and instead of a 2k discount in 2 years, we find that this car carries a 2k premium! That would really make me not feel so bad about paying sticker. Your'e absolutely right about the warranty-I have no reason to worry except that my dealer is 50 miles away! I also agree with hpully4 on the feature/safety content-can't be beat at this price! I wish I could have had alonger test drive-all this talk on tire and ride quality makes me wonder if I made the right choice of the s-lite 17" with 205/45 runflats!? I was after max performance, but I'm afraid I may have a pretty bumpy, noisy ride. Anyone out there "motoring" on this set up care to comment?
  • gilasminigilasmini Posts: 3
    My wife and I visited Lauderdale Mini in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday, test drove both models (without the slightest hassle), and placed an order for a base Mini with some package options. This will be my second purchase from this dealer (2001 BMW 330i), and I can honestly say they are straight up, no BS, no hassles. The Mini salesperson informed us up front that they deal only MSRP, BUT (and this is a big but) they won't ever put a premium on the car just because it's in high demand. They don't believe that this fosters long-term, repeat customers. Also, there is a 10-12 month, 180 person waiting list for the S model, but they claim their allotment will increase over the next few months and anticipate earlier delivery. My wife wouldn't wait that long for this or any car. So, we opted for the earlier delivery on the base model. The base models can be ordered from this dealer, with delivery in September.

    Other dealers will tell you they have the car, but to get it NOW, they want a $2,000 to $4,000 premium (over and above MSRP!). Consequently, the laid back, no hassle, no premium buying experience only added to our excitement of one day (hopefully by September) taking delivery our MINI.

    I know it's a 2-3 hour drive from Orlando, but it is well worth dealing with a dealer that you absolutely don't have to worry about getting shafted or hassled. Besides, ANY MINI dealer has to service the car whether you bought it from them or not. Good luck and if you decide to hit Lauderdale MINI, ask for Andy.
  • gilasminigilasmini Posts: 3
    Dawgod, to add to other great Mini dealer experiences, I've posted another message under GilasMini in response to the "Orlando Dealer" post. We had only a great experience. The dealer had both models we could drive before we made any decisions. How this is possible, given that all of their allotment is sold, I don't know. As for paying sticker, when you compare the features of this car with others in its category, at MSRP, we think at its MSRP, it's simply a good deal...and with production currently pretty low (100,000 cars), and an allotment of only 20,000 cars to the US this year, I don't see an issue with the car being "undercut" with too much volume out there on the road. I certainly wouldn't pay a premium for the car just because of supply/demand. I'd put those premium dollars towards something else before paying it for a popular car.

    Somehow, I've got to believe that BMW/MINI won't make the same mistake as Chrysler did with the PT Cruiser (i.e. over producing, then the bottom fell out of the domestic car market = TONS OF PT Cruisers on dealer lots at much less than they were going for a year ago).

    Anyway, good luck and enjoy your MINI (when you get it)!
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    At my local dealer, they had special test vehicles that were not part of their alottment. I've heard of dealers selling these testers (maybe they are allowed to) but perhaps it explains the mystery of how all cars could be sold and yet there could be testers available at the same time.
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    All of this discussion makes me have to ask a question: Since I'm not a huge fan of front license plates, what did MINI do in Florida/Michigan/Other states about a front plate bracket? I wanted to see if I could order the blankout panel from those states if it existed, since at the moment taking off my front plate would just yield the 'I'm missing my plate look'
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Thanks for the heads up about the good experience at Lauderdale Mini. I actually live in Tallahassee so its more like a 7.5 hour drive down there but I go to Jupiter here and there to visit family so it's not out of the question. It would be a good excuse to visit Ft. Lauderdale since I love the area so much. Anywho, my biggest concern right now is getting service if something goes wrong. The closest Mini dealer is 3 hours away. Anyone know if regular BMW dealers can take care of minor problems? Ugghhh....Why does Florida have to be such a huge spread out state, lol.
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