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MINI Cooper



  • Could very likely be firmware (the name given to software stored on proms for embedded computers)revision. Because so much of the control is actually done in firmware (as opposed to hardware) it is entirely possible that new features were added in newer versions.

    You can see the same sort of thing with cell phones, certain features don't exist with older versions. Another common thing is that you will buy a new phone that will have firmware several revisions out of date. This is probably the case with cars too. Can dealers do upgrades? This I don't know.

    I thought DLRs were required in the States. Not that I'm a fan; I just thought they were unavoidable with newer cars.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I don't think the states required them yet though GM, Volvo and others are lobbying for them to be made mandatory.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    Whoa, you guys just kicked it up a notch! I thought I was all high-tech with a cell phone and a Palm Pilot. I get the jist of it, but what exactly is "DLR" (or is it "DRL")? In any event, your feedback tells me I should go back to the dealer and see what toys I can add on to my car. The key-operated-windows are nothing more than a novelty, but some of the other options you all have mentioned sound great.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    DRLs are Daytime Running Lamps. Basically low power output from either the high or low lamps (high in the case of the MINI) turned on as soon as the parking brake is released. It is done to increase vehicle visibility.

    I love the key operated windows and am considering getting the hold-the-button function switched to this action as well. It means I can open up the car and let it air out before I get in. I guess on cars with window-mounted window switches you can unlock the door and lower the windows from there but I find this feature even more convenient.

    BTW, DLR are the initials of David Lee Roth. His CDs are occasionally in my MINI...
  • Oh, you're all right, its DRLs. My bad.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    You know, some days I try to put 2 and 2 together and end up with 5. Should have figured that one out on my own. By the way, DRLs also help bring down insurance premiums.

    Speaking of music -- anyone still waiting to buy should seriously consider the multi-function steering wheel (standard with premium pkg). With the volume, radio presets and CD controls on the back of the wheel, I can fly through the twisties with both hands on the wheel while searching for that perfect DLR/VH tune with the tips of my fingers (running with the devil, anyone?). Not to mention cruise control and a nice leather-wrapped wheel.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    ...except that it wasn't on the fixed-spec Canadian Launch Edition that I bought. The pre-release test car I drove had the multi function steering wheel and it is the one feature I miss on my car (I don't miss the trip computer or auto climate control). They can be added afterward but are very expensive. Now that I've had my car for 8 weeks I can adjust the volume and other radio controls without looking for them but at first they did take some attention.

    The sport package, part of the Launch Editon DOES give me a leather wrapped wheel, shifter and hand-brake boot though, for which I'm glad. The wheel just lacks the buttons.
  • segestasegesta Posts: 27
    To get off-topic briefly: GM's desire to make DRLs mandatory is more a business decision than a public-safety one. They make a lot of their passenger cars in Canada, where DRLs are the law. They'd just as soon equip all their cars that way (i.e., those coming the States), and save a little money.

    And if all cars have DRLs, then *no one* is more visible, are they? ;-)
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    ... primarily because of the sunroof. Could care less about the trip computer and ACC, but we really wanted the sunroof. Cruise and the MFSW have been pleasant additions as well. Got a few of the sport package items a la carte (DSC, 16" rims w/perf. runflats). At first it was going to be both premium and sport, but as soon as I sat on the leather, I conceded the sport pkg for the leather. Would like the sport seats, but I really don't miss the spoiler and foglights. Also, you can't get sport seats with the beige leather (not sure why). Overall, I am glad I build the car the way I did - I feel I got the best of both worlds. Couldn't resist the bonnet stripes either.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    DRLs are not there to stand out in a crowd, they are there for all cars to be more visible. Studies have shown decreases in some types of accidents in places where they are used on all cars. Also, pedestrians see cars more easily so they don't run out into the road; many anti-DRL people say DRLs make pedestrians less visible but it is better to improve the way they see you than the other way around (better for them to be off the road than for you to test your car's brakes).
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    I actually asked the mechanic who did the programming about firmware upgrades (not in such technical terms), he stared at me funny, then said they never got any information on engineering stuff before it happened. But aparantly its not uncommon for BMW's to have them available, so maybe one will show up. I tested the key-window down feature, and it doesn't work on my car, only closing windows (and sunroof) with the key works. Odd how there's little differences between the Canadian and US cars.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    Has anyone seen a Velvet Red MINI with white roof and mirror caps? Does it look nice?
  • dacremadacrema Posts: 6
    Saw one at the dealer in VA (Mini of Sterling). It looks much better that MINI USA web site would lead you to believe. In the web site the car looks just like a very dark red. In life the paint comes to life. I think it will be a popular color for Va Tec fans.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    Car perfomed well with 4 star rating (Supermini class) but there are some areas of concern. Body structure is solid but there are issues with leg injuries and chest injuries in side impacts. I hope the US MINI versions fare better than the MINI Euro counterparts.

    2 things that caught my attention: The side ALPS head restrain system is OPTIONAL in the European market. Also for the child restrain system, ISOFIX is not even mentioned.

    Still like the car a lot. Not bad showing for a car this size. Still eagerly awaiting for the NHTSA and IIHS results.

    What are the main differences in terms of safety equipment between North American bound MINIs and European ones?

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    of the MINI to some other cars, even bigger BMWs and you'll see that it really doesn't look that bad. If you just look at the MINI page it looks like it isn't great but once you compare you'll see that European tests are quite tough (and should be). I sit very far back when I drive my MINI which is a good suggestion when driving small cars.

    There are even safety equipment differences between Canada and the USA. In Canada, all Coopers get ASC+T but in USA it is only standard on the S and not even an option on the Cooper -- you must get DSC. All 6 airbags are standard in Canada.
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    I think all safety equipment is standard in the US, except DSC which is an option in both the Cooper and Cooper S models.

    Yeah, the MINI did very well on comparison to other small cars in the European tests. However the Fiat Punto, VW Lupo and Renault Clio kinda surpassed it as well.

    But none of those cars are sold in North America, so moot point at least for us.

    The FIA Euro tests are very similar to the IIHS in the United States and more tough than NHTSA's. But the Euro tests also include Child Restraints and pedestrian protection tests.

    I think the American tests sorely lack child restrain protection stats per model. A big failure in my opinion.
  • johnny36johnny36 Posts: 10
    Agreed, velvet red does look great in the real world (also a color that will age well). I had considered velvet red initially, but opted for BRG. Saw a VR with a black roof at my dealer. Almost sorry I changed my mind. Another great color in the real world, that looks terrible on the website, is the silk green.

    Either color would be a great choice, because I bet there won't be a lot of Minis in these colors. Makes a unique car even "uniquer".
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    ... and too bad, because I think Silk Green and white looks splendid, and is a nice alternative to the more common colors typically ordered. Having said that, I'd probably opt for BRG and white on a Cooper because that's the classic look I'm after :)
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    Yeah, altough we haven't yet seen the Velvet Red Metallic in person, it must be one heck of a beautiful color. Actually we are seriously thinking of ordering a base Cooper in Velvet Red with white roof and mirror caps.

    BRG and Silk Green are nice colors as well. Is just that we want to change the tune from green colored cars.

    White Pepper, although not a color of choice by us, appears to be nice specially with a black roof combo.

    Most of the colors I have seen here are Indy Blue, Chili Red, Yellow, Pure Silver and Dark Silver. People seem to like also the Electric Blue color in the Cooper S.

    Yesterday I saw a new Jet Black base Cooper with white roof. Not bad at all. The chrome trim enhances nicely with the black paint. Black cars are a big no no in my parts and add to that the demanding cleaning care, no thanks.

    Has anyone ordered a one color Cooper? Perhaps they don't want their "Cooper" to be confused with the Export market Mini ONE model not sold here?

    I think the color choices that will make MINIs even more unique are Silk Green, Velvet Red, White Pepper, Jet Black. Those are the "Off the beaten path" colors.

    I think a truly unique Cooper will be ordered in one tone color (Silk Green) with cloth seats. Better resale value due to rarity? Time will tell.

    I think one has to think about the colors and options when ordering a new MINI. This somehow will ensure further uniqueness due to the very flexible "A la carte" options menu.

    Has anyone order the Multifunction steering wheel with cruise control? We are still debating over this one. Is it worth the $350 premium over the standard non-leather covered steering wheel?
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    The Mini One model is sold in Europe and elsewhere in the world, excluding the US and Canada.

    This model has the same 1.6L "Pentagon" engine but rated at 90HP. It is a pretty basic car (No tach, only very basic levels of equipment) and offers one option package called "MINI ONE SALT".

    MINI ONE cars are strictly one paint color and no roof color combos are offered.

    According to my calculations, the MINI ONE should start at around $13K to $14K US Dollars.

    Basically our "Base" Cooper model is the mid-level model in other overseas markets.

    Perhaps due to the production allocation limitations for the US market and BMW's desire to keep the car very exclusive, I see why the MINI ONE did not make it to our shores. Perhaps the MINI ONE might be a bit too spartan for our tastes. Also the MINI is more of a mainstream type of car in Europe and Asia as where as in North America the MINI is more of a cult status commodity.

    I still contend that the less junk you add to the MINI's option list at time of purchase, the more enjoyable this car would be. The MINI is meant to be a simply car. To me DVD navigation, Xenon Lights, rain sensing wipers are nice toys but overkill on a car like this. Even the Supercharged engine doesn't appear to be that great in comparison to the base 1.6L engine in the Cooper.

    One other thing I really like about the Cooper's engine is the fact that it has a timing chain, not a timing belt. Big plus in my book.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    The MINI Cooper or S loses it's appeal when you start adding a bunch of options. I saw an S at my local dealer that had most factory options like sport and premium packages, leather plus a bunch of accessories including wheels/ tires that brought the price up to $29k - absolutely not worth it.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Near $30K and you are talking slightly used 3 Series money. When my local greedhead dealers had one or two used MINIs on their lots with $30K stickers, I laughed out loud (there are no official MINI dealers in my city). People in this country don't remember the original Mini, and the philosophy behind it - it was a car that adhered to the "KISS" principle. I think it is a shame that the marketing gurus have taken the "expensive fashion accessory" approach with the MINI, but I guess they don't feel the car would sell in this truck crazy country otherwise.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    My car just has the sports package (16" wheels, sport seats, leather wheel, fog lamps) and heated seats as options. I much prefer the bigger wheels and the sport seats and the heaters were just part of the spec. Most people who come up ask me if it cost $40000!?!

    As I've said before, only thing I'd add today if I did it again would be the multi function steering wheel.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    My MINI is British Racing Green, white roof/mirror caps, white bonnet stripes, and beige leather interior. Came "this close" to getting the velvet red, but my wife talked me into the BRG, which looks FANTASTIC, especially with the white accents and tan interior. I am hoping for the rare value due to the tan interior because all other MINIs have black carpeting and black door insets.

    We have the MFSW (premium package) and it is a great option. Some don't like the premium package, but with the dual-pane sunroof and MFSW it's well worth it. I've never had cruise and/or radio controls on the steering wheel before. Now that I do, I may never be able to go back to "normal" controls. The radio contols are on the back of the wheel and in perfect position for the fingertips. Keeps both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road. And with the leather wrapped wheel, you will want to keep your hands on it as long as possible! I did not like the plasticky feel of the standard wheel. If you don't want the whole premium package, shelling out $350 for the MFSW a la carte is a solid investment.

    The only problem with such a unique car is the fact that people have no problem holding up traffic, almost causing accidents, just to ask what the @#$% it is and how much it costs. I must say, however, that more often than not people just point and waive with a smile. I feel like an ambassador of goodwill or something.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    though without the multifunction controls. I agree that the leather wheel is a must. Comes with leather bottomed (chrome topped) shifter knob too. Don't know what it is with the leather & chrome fetish but it looks good.
  • Yesterdays paint discussion prompted me to head out to my local (International Autos of Milwaukee) to window shop.

    I saw both a Pepper White and a Velvet Red (in fact I think they had every color represented except Silk Green). Both PW and VR cars had black roof/mirrors. I was really surprised how much I liked both colors, especially the PW which is basically a cream color. I'm not sure there is a bad color for this car.

    Browsing the cars with their various options (I think they were largely dealer spec cars but I have no way of knowing) was a good reality check for the options that I've been considering. I agree that running the price up too high is a no no, but I am firm on option packs 1 and 3 for both the base and s. Pack one because the sunroof is cool and I absolutely could not have a car without cruise control. Pack 3 because I live in the great white north (relatively speaking) and because its so cheap.

    I think that sport seats and 16s are a must as well so I would add package 2 to a base.

    For me these cars price out at 20.2 k for base and 22k for s. I think that is still in the acceptable ball park. It does mean no leather or audio upgrades for me but those things aren't as important to me.

    The biggest thing that I question is adding package 2 to the s; that is gilding the lily IMNSHO. (BTW, gilding the lily is actually a mixed metaphor that has become embedded in our collective language, more on that in Town Hall/Drama/Shakespeare ;-) ).

    I'm also pretty biased against the CVT (sorry drivinisfun), but we all have to make our own choices.

    If anyone is interested I could go back and take some pix of the rare colors (and post them here). Let me know.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    There is a very cool female salesperson who posts on under the name "MINIJewel" -- see if you can find out who this is :) She seems like she'd be a good person to work with, as she's motivated enough to follow the discussions on that forum.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    I know we beat this issue pretty much into the ground the other day, but I checked mine out again and found that the key will close the windows and sunroof but it will not open them. Strange, really. I plan to head back to the dealer to have it fixed and perhaps add DRLs.

    As for colors for those shopping, the only "absolutely not" color for me was the pepper white. Of course I never saw one in person, only on Now, however, based on what milwaukeeboy reports, perhaps there are no "absolutely not" colors. And I too am biased against the CVT, especially in a car like this. Don't mean to offend anyone, it would just take all the fun out of driving this car.
  • Whoa! That MINI2 site is way too mature for me (LOL).

    Actually I think she works in the office. There only seem to be 2 *salespeople* there and both are male. As far as I can tell there aren't any salespeople at all, just guys who take down orders, but that is the luxury of a sellers market.

    The only good thing I got from the MINI2 site was this link from the webring:

    Watch them all; repeatedly.

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Admittedly, there is a strong U.K. bias, but the American presence has grown significantly. LOTS of info, both good and bad, about people's buying and ownership experiences.
This discussion has been closed.