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MINI Cooper



  • I purchased a Mini Cooper from the Mini Niello dealer in Sacramento. My sales rep's name was Steve Monroe. He helped me out all the way through my Mini transaction. I love my Mini, it is pretty decked out, and the only packages I don't have on my Mini is the Cold Weather Package (I don't think living in California, I deserve the cold weather package) and the sports suspention plus. If your a Mini owner, you already know the Mini drives a little tight. I couldn't imagine driving with the sports suspention. I have the Navigation system. That is really cool. Lastly, the Protection Package, includes the floor mats, wheel locks, clear coat and a couple of other things. I don't remember what it costs, but I didn't mind paying for it. The care is really nice, and I love the way it drives and especially the attention I get when I drive it. If you buy a Mini, in the bay Area, go to the Niello dealer, you won't regret it.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for your message. We look forward to hearing more about your Mini Cooper experience. Happy motoring.

    Hi Hpulley4- Nice to see you back here. Also, thanks for posting the links to Edmunds' Most Wanted for 2003. Hope all is well with you and your Mini. ;-)


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    and my MINI Cooper is still running well at over 10000km. Driving it is still as fun as the first time and I still love to look at it from my window at work so I think I made the right choice.
  • Anyone from Houston? Did anyone buy a MINI from MOMENTUM dealer? Did they charge MSRP or above it? I heard they're gouging consumers.
  • I was there last month and was quoted with $3,500 non-option services option. It would be a Feb or March delivery for custom order. I told the sales rep. about other dealers were selling MINIs at MSRP. The sales rep. replied he would not follow the trend since there were many customers in Houston would pay for whatever the price was quoted.

    I placed an order in BrianHarris Mini (in Baton Rouge) 3 weeks ago, and mine will be assembled next week. I am looking for a late Dec. delivery now. :)
  • The Orlando MINI dealer was doing the same when they opened up until about a month ago - price gouging, arrogant screw the customer attitude. I was one of the first people on their waiting list a year and a half before they opened their doors. I was also one of the first people to tell them to shove their MINI S where the sun doesn't shine and got my $1k deposit back, two other friends did the same. They created a lot of ill will with their potential customers - guess what??? They have a whole bunch of unsold MINI's on their lot now and I'm driving an 02 turbo GTI. They've even resorted to putting ads in the Saturday paper.

    All that will backfire in Houston too - when did the Texas lawsuit get settled - how long have they been selling MINI's in Texas?

    I go to Texas quite a bit on business (Dallas/ Fort Worth) - I can't imagine the MINI being that popular there - there isn't anything MINI in Texas. I'd be afraid to drive a MINI in Texas - them cowboys would use it for target practice :-)
  • awi1awi1 Posts: 9
    I purchased my MINI from Flow BMW in Winston
    Salem, N.C., about 2hrs from my home. I ordered
    the car for the base price and had my car in less
    than 8 weeks, I would have had it sooner if I
    hadn't ordered a color that wasn't out yet at
    the time. I don't think there is a great demand
    around here for the MINI so the dealer is more
    willing to accommodate the buyers. I have often
    been a target on the highway here by rednecks
    in pickup trucks, though most drivers are
    courteous and are tailgating you just because
    they want a closer look at your car!
  • Flow BMW is fantastic - by far the best BMW dealer I've ever dealt with. I purchased a 2000 M Coupe from them (I live in Florida) a couple years ago. I'd buy a MINI S from them before I'd give any business to my local MINI dealer.

    Does Flow have a lot of MINI's in stock?
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Yeah, rednecks in big trucks seem to get off on a power trip by riding right up on the bumper of small cars so all the driver can see is his grill. When I am in the Miata its a simple matter of just laughing, downshifting and leaving them stuck in traffic while I easily pick my way through it.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    FlowMini got good reviews at too!
  • Yeah I've run into the same when I'm in my GTI. What gets me is how slow those big redneck trucks are. Even with their huge V8/ V10/ Turbo Diesel engines and loud exhausts they are slugs and really easy to dust in traffic.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051

    I am a little disappointed that is Sirius, instead of XM. XM seems more finacially stable, but Sirius has it's own advantages.

    Hope it is not overpriced.

  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    What is the performance like of the base model with 5 speed and CVT?
    I actually prefer the looks of the base model with chrome trim and grille better than the S with the body colored grille and hood scoop. I also like the option of the CVT on the base model.
    A silver Cooper S looks OK though since the grille looks almost chrome in the photos in the Miniusa web page.
    I'm sure the 163 HP is adequate, but 113 sounds really weak. It's prbably OK if you're not loaded down with passengers, but it probably cannot handle merging on to the freeway carpooling with 4 adults and the AC on.
    People say the S has a rough ride especially with 17" rims and it probably isn't too smooth even with the standard 16" rims and harder stadard suspension.
    If I were to get a Cooper S, I would avoid the 17" rims and avoid any upgraded sport suspension.
    The base model should at least have an average ride with the 15" rims abd standard suspension.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    The MiniUSA site shows a photo of a Silver Cooper S with white roof, but when you try to build one, it shows the white roof as being not available with silver paint.
    Is it available or not?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    First of all, BMW lowballs all their numbers. SuperChips, a tuner, has dynoed Coopers before and after chipping and they are 123HP before chipping, not 113HP.

    Also, the Cooper is a light vehicle. Even with 4 adults inside I find it has lots of power, more than enough to merge onto the freeway especially since it is geared so that you are just hitting redline (in the 5-speed at 6750RPM) when you hit 64MPH in 2nd gear. If you actually use all 123HP then it has plenty of pep.

    Like you, I much prefer the looks of the Cooper with the chrome, no hood scoop and a better spoiler. I also agree that if I got an S, the silver would work best.

    You could try a special order of silver/white but I know that silver/black is the usual. Perhaps you'd like the dark silver/white combo? Dark silver looks good in person but not so great on the web page IMO.

    The 15" wheels definitely give a softer ride with a little less solidity in steering response (for the same reason). I prefer the 16" wheels for their improved grip and more solid cornering but the 15" are good too and are only available on the Cooper.

    BTW, the Cooper isn't the base MINI. In europe they also sell the ONE which is the base (no rear anti-roll bar, no sport suspension, 90HP advertised/101HP dynotested, no tach, etc.).
  • awi1awi1 Posts: 9
    I prefer the base Cooper also, it has better styling and is truer to the original than the
    Cooper S, it is also $3k less money. I love my
    Mini but in all honesty I would never spend $25k
    for one, mine is a base model in silk green with
    a white roof, and base alloy wheels, the only
    option I got other than the paint color was the
    chrome trim. The base engine has enough power
    to get around town (with 5 spd.) but top gear
    passing time is pretty slow, trying to pass a
    semi with a SUV on your tail can be a little
    scary! The plastic door handles and trim pieces
    on the exterior are pretty flimsy too, but for
    $16-17k I think it is still a great little car for the money.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    In the Cooper (non-S) it is necessary to downshift if you wish to pass. On the freeway, downshifting to 3rd gear is advisible unless you are already going quite fast (95MPH or so) in which case 4th is preferable. If you are going slower than 50-60MPH then downshifting to 2nd will give you the quickest acceleration.

    Even in the S, downshifting will cut down on your passing times as lower gears put more power to the wheels even when the torque curve is flat and max torque is reached earlier.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    oooo... what are you doing passing in 5th gear?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    to not have to downshift, like on corvette, which has so much power in any gear you could just pick one and leave it there for the whole drive!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    to get the best times. Most 1/4 mile runs in 'Vettes end while still in 2nd gear -- they'd be much slower ending in high gear. As I said above, even if the engine has a flat torque curve with an early peak you'll accelerate MUCH quicker at lower gears because of the ratio. The Corvette just happens to have so much power compared to your average car that accelerating in top gear is still very fast. The 1.6L 4-cylinder MINI does not have anywhere near the power of the 5.7L 8-cylinder Corvette so please do your car a favor and downshift!

    For this same reason, you want to shift at redline when you want the best acceleration. Even though the engine peaks in power at 6000RPMs (123HP) it still has much more power at 7000RPMs (107HP) than it does at 4000RPMs (79HP) and by being in the lower gear instead of the higher one you can put more to the wheels. You see that you have 1.35x the engine power at 7000RPMs than 4000RPMs and combined with the 1.75:1 gearing advantage by staying in first you will accelerate at more than double (2.36x) the rate in 1st at 7000RPMs compared to 2nd at 4000RPMs. The difference between 5th and 3rd is slightly smaller (and quite a bit smaller when you consider that this is 2 gears of spacing, not 1) but still a factor of 2.11x. DOWNSHIFT!
  • awi1awi1 Posts: 9
    I do usually downshift when I have to pass
    quickly at lower speeds but if I'm cruising
    at 80 mph or so and downshift it kicks the rpm's
    up pretty high, I like to keep the rpms under
    5000 for one simple reason: Chrysler engine
    made in Brazil. I think the Brazilians are
    wonderful people but every chrysler product I
    ever owned fell apart at 50k miles! So just
    playing it safe, want my Mini to last as long
    as possible....
  • "If I were to get a Cooper S, I would avoid the 17" rims and avoid any upgraded sport suspension.
    The base model should at least have an average ride with the 15" rims abd standard suspension."

    With the 'S', you automatically get the upgraded sport suspension. (At least in Canada).

    If you want a cushy ride, get a BMW 7-series.

    The car is a gokart. It's not meant to be smooth.

    BTW, I have an 'S' with the 16" wheels. I am getting a snow tire/rim package from my dealer, and for the 'S' they MUST be 16". 15" do not fit properly.

    Ask any dealer. They'll probably tell you the same thing my dealer told me.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Some people have put some 15" wheels on S's. Not all fit and some complain of some rubbing but others say they work fine.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I don't expect the little car to ride like a Buick, but I need a decent ride that would be at least comparable to other small cars in that price range (VW Golf etc.).
    I will have to test drive a 5 speed to see if it is adequate in power.
    I have already read reviews saying the CVT is ridiculously underpowered (0-60 in 11 seconds or more with only the weight of one person onboard) and the S with 17" rims has an incredibly harsh ride comparable to a Porsche 911! Not very liveable for a daily driver. I am not going to be using the car for autocrossing, so I don't need the super rock-hard suspension that makes the ride of a Subaru WRX feel like an LS400 in comparison.
    I haven't noticed any comments about interior noise from road and engine.
    Maybe, for 2004, they will up the power on the Cooper so it will have enough power to handle the CVT or offer a smoother suspension and tire package on the Cooper S and make the most rigid, racetrack-tuned sport suspension optional.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Interestingly, the sport suspension is optional on Coopers in UK and europe (not sure about Australia, etc.) but is mandatory here in the land of Buicks and Camrys with their soft suspensions (not true for all if even most of them anymore, but they are known for it). Similarly, the S doesn't have to get the Sport Suspension II over there but does here. I must say, though, that most current Golf owners who drive hard upgrade the suspension as soon as they can and similarly some current reviewers refer to the stock Golf's ride as Buick-like so that may not be the best comparison.

    I drive my 5-speed Cooper with sport suspension and runflat tires as my daily driver and I love it.

    They'll need a new CVT if they want it to take more power. The reason why there isn't a CVT on the S is that 155lb-ft of torque would wreck it, or so I'm told. If they would let the CVT go higher than 5500RPM then you could at least take advantage of more horsepower but they limit the CVT even to that level (rated 104HP/dynoed 112HP vs. rated 115HP/dynoed 123HP for the 5-speed).

    The engine and wheels/tires are fairly quiet at low to moderate speeds but the engines are loud at high revs, including when you are speeding on the freeway and the wheels and tires get loud at high speeds too. At 60MPH the MINI is still fairly quiet, turning well under 3000RPMs, but at 80-100MPH the engine becomes loud turning 4000RPMs and up, and the road noise increases dramatically as well. Still feels rock solid so in a way the noise is good, otherwise it can be easy to go fast without realizing it.
  • I had the same reaction as many of you with the guy passing in 5th gear. Downshift, you fool! I had a 67 mini and recently drove the new mini. Alike and yet very different. With my old mini, I had downshifted and was praying as I slowly passed a semi on a 2-lane midwest road with another semi cresting the hill ahead. I was inches in front of the bumper of the semi on my side when I pulled back in. The nice thing about my mini and the new minis is the wrap-around windows and quickness of their handling that would allow this close a maneuver.

    Concerning safety, with a small car like the mini, an alert driver, solid handling and maneuverablity is the key to survival. Both old and new have the last two requirements.

    A couple quick comments about the difference between the two. The old mini was once described to me as the nearest thing to a motorcycle on four wheels. It would pull away from a 911 Porsche in a series of hairpins. But the power was low (top end 100+ with the wind behind U) so you won or lost a road rally depending on how far you got ahead of the porsche before the straight away. The new mini has power but that added to the higher profile caused a lot of wheel lift and tail drift in a slalom I ran in an abandoned parking lot (dont tell the dealer!).

    Both skates are unreal drives! I can't wait to get my hands on a new one!
  • I have a 2002 MINI Cooper CVT. 0-60 times (Based on my own experience) are more into the 8 second time frame. The CVT has 3 programming modes:

    Steptronic (Simulated 6-speed clutchless shifting).

    The car takes off with gusto from the get go in either Sport or Steptronic modes...and yes with 4 people in the car.

    I would suggest for you not too read too much into enthusiast magazine's opinions and take a test drive for yourself. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Also, if you want the best ride/handling dynamics, stick with the standard 15" wheels/tires combo. The 15" tires provide the smoothest ride in comparison to the 16" and 17" runflat rubber available in the MINI (The 15" tires are regular non-runflat tires with a spare) and still deliver great handling and cornering (Plus grip) due to them being much lighter than the bigger wheels. The lightest wheels in the MINI are the 15" 7-hole design wheels, closely followed by the 15" 8-spoke design wheels which are the ones that I currently have in my Pepper White/Black roof Cooper.

    The Runflats sound good in paper but I was not too convinced to get them due to their stiff sidewalls, harsh ride characteristics, increased tire/wheel weight and hefty cost of replacement (Around $220 per tire) plus the need for tire repair shops to have specialized runflat repair equipment plus trained technicians (Are you going to find a runflat repair store in the middle of highway 50 in Nevada? Don't think so...)

    The Runflats offer increased safety as they allow you to drive up to 50 miles with them, but it figures...the car comes already with 4 years/50K miles of 24 hour roadside assistance anywhere in Canada, US or Puerto why bother with runflats?

    Having said this, I do dig the 16" 5 star wheels and wish that MINI would offer a non-runflat option for them.

    Take the MINI for a test drive and discover for yourself why this is the most talked about car of all time.

    Oh and by the way, the MINI is a SUBCOMPACT car with a short length wheelbase. If extreme smooth ride quality is your main concern, then you need to take a look at the bigger Compact cars such as the VW Golf, Jetta, Beetle, Focus, Civic, Corolla, Sentra, etc.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Runflats do not cost $220 each! Not $400 each either as I've seen posted elsewhere. I don't know where the runflat-haters find these expensive tire prices. Tirerack has 16" V rated Dunlop 5000 DSSTs for $149 each and 16" H rated Dunlop 3000 DSSTs for $139 each and you can do better than tirerack (the 16" H rated WinterSport M3 DSSTs are $170 on tirerack but I got mine for $128 each at a local tire shop so you can do MUCH better than tirerack). Non-runflats are cheaper still but not by as much of a factor as you've indicated.

    If you don't drive too far on runflat tires while flat, you can get them plugged/repaired just like any other tire. The runflats will take you 90 miles with absolutely no air in them, 500 miles if they are holding 14PSI or 1000 miles if they are holding 22PSI (approximate numbers from memory, check your owner's manual). If you have to go farther on them than these distances then you can continue driving with them but instead of a patch you will probably damage the tire so that it needs to be replaced.

    The runflat tires are heavier than non-runflats but if you are carrying a spare tire, jack, etc. then you make up for the difference, though I admit this is in sprung weight which is not as much of a performance penalty as unsprung weight. The can of fix-a-flat is of course much lighter but will only fix certain types of punctures, not full rippin' blow-outs.

    The 16" X-lites are 17.5lbs which is not much heavier than the 15lb 8-spoke 15" wheels. Some dealers might let you swap out the tires for non-runflats if you asked them. That said, the spare tire is 15" so riding with 3 16" wheels and one 15" wheel might be weird so you wouldn't want to do it for long.

    I've driven a MINI with 15" 8-spoke wheels and from a standing start you can feel that there is less inertia to overcome compared to the 16" with runflats. The handling is good, the cornering is good, grip isn't quite as good but with 195 wide tires instead of the stock 175 width it would likely be very close. I still prefer the 16's but you aren't giving up much if anything by going with the 15s, except for runflat technology and the look of 16" wheels which is subjective anyways.

    It is funny to call the Golf and Focus big cars but the other day there was a Golf parked behind my MINI and a Focus ZX3 behind the Golf and the ZX3 is bigger than the Golf which is bigger than the MINI. None are land yachts but they look pretty big compared to the MINI (which dwarfs its predecessor by 2 feet!). Still, for the length differences which are several feet, the MINI's wheelbase is less than 2" shorter than that of the Golf and wheelbase is what gives stability, not car length. There are many cars with shorter wheelbases, e.g. the Miata, the Geo Metro.
  • Don't count me among the "haters" of runflat tires. All I am pointing out is the factors that I do view as negatives about owning them. I priced a few of these runflats in a couple of local Goodyear owned retail stores and they are priced around $220 a pop. So I am basing my comments on the prices I was quoted over the phone.

    I applud the technology but it is far from perfect. When these tires become more affordable I will gladly pitch in. $150 per tire is much more of what I am used to pay for 16" replacement rubber.

    I am glad to know you are happy with your choice. I am happy with mine.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    If the Goodyear Eagles on my summer wheels cost $220 each to replace then I'll be getting Dunlops instead. I thought $128 for the runflat Dunlop winter tires was quite reasonable.

    Like all things that are newly introduced, it takes volume before the price comes down. Hopefully by the time I need to replace my tires in 2-3 years the price may already have dropped, we'll see. With the mandatory tire pressure monitoring systems coming into effect very soon I think these tires will become more popular.
This discussion has been closed.