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MINI Cooper



  • croy4croy4 Posts: 14
    Be careful of that demo with 500 miles. Those 500 mi. are all driven a few at a time on a cold car = lots of wear/tear. I know from the 3 test drives that I've gone on, nobody drives the mini easy during testing. The dealers tend to push the car to demonstrate the great handling. Not all Southern Ca dealers are marking up. Irvine and Long Beach have no mark-up, and lots of Coopers in stock. Irvine had a large mark-up in prior months, but they recently started MSRP on existing stock and orders. Good luck.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    Thank you for the advice, croy. The car has only been a demo for less than a month, but I certainly can see your point. As of today, we're still going to purchase it, but this could change. We have until Saturday to make up our minds.
  • ugly1ugly1 Posts: 52
    Have test driven the S once and the Cooper twice and have to say how impressed I was with the Coopers power. I know part of the sensation comes from the size of the car but still very impressive. I currently drive a 225TT and am seriously considering the base MINI. My only dislike on the base model is the chrome. Has anyone been able to do anything with it yet? Like remove it or paint it. And does anyone have a real date for when the 04's will arrive?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I like the chrome but which parts do you dislike? The bumper inserts don't have to be chrome, they can be body coloured. The grill can be changed for a black or stainless steel one. That leaves the light surrounds and window/door top trip -- do they bother you as well? For a bit of money I'm sure you could easily get the window/door trim done but the lights will be more difficult. Anything can be painted for a price.
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    The '03's arrived in October, as September production, I wouldn't expect much of a change from that, it seemed to be 'standard' for BMW to run model years like that.

    Changing the bumper inserts is really cheap, they can be ordered in black or body color and you don't pay extra (they're a $150 option I think), otherwise they're reasonably cheap to get the black ones after the fact. Or you could get the aero kit, which doesn't have the chrome, (that'd also be where you could get the black grills from).
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Being that you know the problems I'm having with my current car, I was wondering if you think the Mini Cooper would be a good choice for me? I love small sporty cars that are reliable, economical, handle good, and have a firm yet comfy ride. How would you say the Mini compares to the Miata and Rabbit GTI (both of which I own and love dearly)? I'm interested in the base Mini since I doubt I could afford the S. Does the Mini feel spunky in city driving without having to rev it all the time? The Miata isn't considered fast but its low gearing and quick to rev nature gives it a spunky quick feeling to me even though I rarely rev it beyond 3000 rpms. Do you think the Mini would provide a similar driving experience? Also, how is the turning radius on this car? I seem to remember it having a largish turning circle. Can it flip around relatively easily or does it turn wider than you think it would?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Are people still encountering outrageous prices on the Mini? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my local Infiniti dealer's price on a used Mini S. They had a sticker on the windshield proudly displaying their "slashed" price of 23,400, down from 26,400. It was a BEAUTIFUL electric blue/white top S. I fell in love with the color and it sucks it is only available on the S. Anyone know whether electric blue can be special ordered on the regular Mini? Anyway, this car was priced higher than a new one! It didn't have the premium package because there was no sunroof. No navigation. It may have had the sport plus package. The car had 2600 miles. What do you guys think is a reasonable price for this car?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I haven't driven either a Rabbit or a Miata so I'm afraid I can't offer a direct comparison.

    My MINI has been quite reliable -- it has had repairs but nothing that couldn't have waited. For the features you get I think it is quite economical but it certainly isn't cheap to buy; it is cheap to run if you take it easy, good on gas if you don't race it all the time. Performance tires don't last long if you flog them but if you take it easier on all-seasons they'll likely last a while. It handles amazingly well and while the ride is meant for good handling I don't find it uncomfortable (mine has 16" runflats but it is a bit more comfortable with stock 15" non-runflat tires, though doesn't corner nearly as well).

    I think the MINI feels spunky in the city but it doesn't have much power under 3000 RPMs. You can shift fine at 3000 RPMs with the rest of traffic but to move fast, you'll definitely want to shift higher. It is quick to rev but 1st gear is pretty tall so you'll want to stay in first for quick take offs (can shift at 35MPH in 1st and 63MPH in 2nd).

    The turning circle is decent but could be smaller. They had to limit it a bit to fit 17" wheels with 205mm wide tires in there sans rubbing so the circle with 175mm wide 15's is not as tight as it could be. Still easy to park though.

    I'm in Canada so not sure what a reasonable price is down there. They aren't exactly flying off the lots here.
  • arkytectarkytect Posts: 12
    Here's my update for what it's worth:

    I purchased my 2002 Cooper S from MINI of Hawaii in October of 2002. I've got 6000 miles on the odometer (I'm on an island, after all...). I use the car to commute to work about 4 days a week (average commute = 26 miles round trip), ride my motorcycle the 5th day. I go through the Koolau mountains every day (mostly considered "city" driving) and have been getting 25-26 mpg per the odometer. The computer says I'm doing much better at 28 mpg. It seems as though I'm getting a little better mileage than when the car was first picked up, but only by 1 or 2 mpg.

    I bought my car from the dealer's inventory. I was prepared to place an order when my salesperson mentioned nonchalantly "oh, we've got 5 more in the back..." I paid MSRP, which is rather surprising given the MINI hoopla on the west coast, but initial demand here in the land of Honda seemed moderate at first. My car has the 16" rims and tires, the premium package (the sunroof's a must in Hawaii), the fog lights (no fog here...hmmm), electric blue paint top and bottom (love it), the DSC, and factory alarm. Xenon's would have been nice, but I really don't drive that often at night. To be fair, the halogens/fog light combination does a good job.

    I haven't added anything to the car yet, but I'm interested in how the simple addition of a BMP air intake would affect how the car feels... I feel the 16" rim and tire combination offer excellent handling, while providing a touch more insulation from some of our rough city roads.

    I've had excellent service from MINI of Hawaii, part of BMW of Honolulu. The buying experience was terrific. The actual purchase took less than an hour since they said "MSRP, take it or leave it." What a bargain! I had the car in for one service appointment so far. Items covered: two nuts securing the "bonnet" air intake were missing. I had a cracked turn signal bezel in the front bumper, passenger side. I had a rattle in the rear hatch. My radiator coolant reservoir was leaking at the middle seam. I also asked the dealership to program the key remote to open the windows and sunroof when I hold the open button down for 4 seconds. The dealership needed the car overnight, but they had all things repaired (bezel was backordered, it's being installed on Friday), they washed and vacuumed the car and covered all requested service on warranty or gratis. They actually replaced the rear hatch striker with a new, highly polished (almost chrome) one per a service bulletin.

    Interesting cargo experiences...hmmm. I teach for a community college here. We had a computer-aided design demonstration to do away from the main campus. I fit several PC computer main units (4 or 5, I think) 2 19" monitors and a digital projector in the car with me. Don't want to do that again.

    My overall impressions reflect those of my MINI comrades. I love this car! For me the driving position is perfect, the build quality is top notch. The stock CD stereo cranks. I love the little tech touches and features. I enjoyed the initial attention given by non-MINI drivers, but am also thankful that it is diminishing. An analogy that comes to mind is this car is like a 4-wheeled sportbike. I might get into some serious trouble if the thing had more power than it does. It feels good, smells good, sounds good, looks good... Down boy!

    I only have 2 nits and one isn't even the MINI's fault. In my first week, someone dinged my passenger door and I'm entertaining hiring a professional "dent masseur" to rub it out for me.
    Second, since the day I brought the car home, the doors panels have had a minor buzz near the reflector/door jamb that I've not done anything about. It's such a small thing on such a wonderful car.


  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    MSRP seems the norm for most places, though a few people have started reporting saving a few hundred off it in the ocasional random place. The west coast is still pretty popular, so that's the exception.

    Electric Blue is an S color only, as is Dark Silver. It can't be ordered on a Cooper.

    I would say whatever the price of that 2600mi S, don't buy it. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was a demo car, in any case, a car with such low milage seems very sketchy to have been driven 'nicely' Electric Blue was also one of the first colors to arrive, so the car's probably pretty old as well.

    If you are interested in pricing it, just take the MSRP for all of the options, (it can be difficult if you don't know what you're looking for, since the leatherette looks like leather, etc...) and then discount it a bit, like 5-10% for such few miles. Sports is easily noticed by the Xenon lights on an S, (they have little headlight washers on the inside trim of the lights) or the 17" wheels. Heated seats (for the Cold Weather pack) are buttons below the e-brake. Of course that assumes its an '03, if its an '02 I'd expect a higher discount off MSRP, but its still a very poor deal considering you can get a new one at MSRP with exactly what you want with a bit of a hassel finding a dealer, in electric blue.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Thanks for the thoughts. That sucks they don't offer the electric blue on the base Mini! I absolutely love the color, but can't swing the price of an S (plus I would prefer not to have the expensive runflats). The color would work great for where I live too since my road is dirt and I only have a carport, not a fully enclosed garage. The other colors I like would look like crap all the time (indi blue, velvet red, british racing green). The one time I prefer a color besides black and I can't get it :(

    On another note, has anyone tried to trade in a car for the Mini? Did they give you reasonable prices since you were paying full price for the car? I probably won't even attempt to trade my car in for another 6 months but it's good to know if they treat you ok in this respect or are like every other dealer.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    You should expect book wholesale or a little less. With the current market value of the Mini at MSRP, the fact you're paying full price for the new car doesn't really affect the trade-in price. They know what the market is for the new car (MSRP) and they know what money they need to get for the used car to make it worthwhile to take it in (wholesale).

    Good luck with the negotiations.

    - Mark
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Posts: 116
    I was seriously considering the Works S retrofit but they want your old parts in addition to the outrageous price. It's the straw that broke the camel's back. Forget it. If I need something faster I'll trade the MCS for the new WRX STi. ;)
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    To Everyone - We appreciate your insights, however please be aware that attacking others for their opinions is not allowed in our discussions. It's okay to take issue with someone's comments, however we ask that our members keep the debate civil/friendly.

    For further clarification on this matter, you can refer to the Member Conduct section of our Membership Agreement. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions/comments regarding this matter. Please do not address this matter with me here. Thanks!

    And let's get back to the subject of the Mini Cooper! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • arkytectarkytect Posts: 12
    Has anyone tried replacing their new Cooper or Cooper S air intake to use BMP's or other manufacturer's aftermarket air intake? Saw the BMP unit at the MINI dealership and found some literature on the web and BMP claims a 12 hp increase. No indication or torque increase, nor if measurement is at the drive wheels or not...

    Anyway, wondering if the $170 is worth it. Only saw a Cooper S version. Cooper version is supposedly "coming soon."
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    EU will get a Diesel version of the Mini this year :) The engine will be an extrapolation of the one found in the Toyota Yaris.
  • astraltastralt Posts: 1
    I have been researching MINIs for about a year now and have not lost my interest in these marvelous cars. I last tried to buy one in the 1970s (from Canada) but discovered they were "illegal" in US.
    Now they're legal. I am already trying to customize "my" MINI's paint job...but I don't know if the dealer handles that or I will have to take the car to a paint shop. Any advice? I am so naive...I just want the car delivered to the dealer the way I want it to look...unique! Thanks for any input.
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Depends on your dealer I think. Since the MINIs have a rust warranty, most would probably be leery of repainting one, but people have done it overseas, and clearly they repaint them all the time for accidents.

    Certainly your dealer would be the one to paint it, I can't imagine MINI would deliver it to your dealer in anything besides the factory options. It can't hurt to ask.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Though I'm not sure about paint. If you just want a colour on a Cooper or Cooper S that isn't normally available then it might be possible. I'm not sure about a fully custom colour.

    A repaint would certainly void all paint and rust warranties, though you'd get some sort of warranty on the new paint job.

    What are you looking for?
  • dwabiddwabid Posts: 36
    We took delivery of a Mini Cooper S, (British racing green with white bonnet stripes) with premium, sport and cold weather packages. So far we have been driving it 2 weeks and my wife and I thoroughly enjoy it.

    We actually were able to drive it on our honeymoon, and after scraping the right rear rim on the first day (I was driving through a construction zone) my wife is allowing me to drive it again.

    So far our complaints/concerns are minor. Such as the totally useless cup holders. And my wife doesn't like the metal gear shift knob (too cold in I said "minor"). We have nicknamed the car "Badger", not because we actually live in Wisconsin, but because it is small, low to the ground and just plain mean
    ;-) .
  • drivinisfundrivinisfun Posts: 372
    There are unconfirmed reports (MINIUSA is expected to announce equipment changes and prices for the 2004 model year in August) that the current Electric Blue metallic color will be available for the first time in the regular MINI Cooper and likewise, Pepper White (A cooper only color) will be available for the first time in the Cooper 'S' model.

    Someone hear wanted an Electric Blue Cooper....well wait until September/October. In fact you can put an order for a new 2004 MINI from now. Just make sure that Electric Blue will in fact be available in your "base" Cooper.
  • hileatushileatus Posts: 10
    Hi folks; new to the list. I, like dwabid, live in Wisconsin and am thinking of getting an S. I would like to know if anyone has had experience w/ these cars in snow and ice, something we have an abundance of in Wisconsin...actually not bad this year. I presently drive a 97 Mustang GT and run Blizzaks in the winter and have had no problems. I have a couple of LBC's (Little British Cars) which of course do not see winter. Always wanted a Mini but the original were a little on the small side for me.
    Great forum!
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Check back a few pages. I've posted a few times about my MINI in snow. With snow tires on the car, it is a great snow car, never even close to getting stuck and able to drive quite quickly even in deep snow and on sheer ice. With summer performance tires, you don't want to do that -- some friends who didn't bother to swap were doing 360s. With all seasons it sounds like they do OK but still better with snows. The car is well balanced and the road clearance was never an issue for me.
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Posts: 116
    Mine replaced a WRX as a winter driver and did fine on the stock 16" Dunlop A/S runflats. We got over 100 inches of snow. If you need more, Dunlop has a "performance snow" runflat (Winter Sport). My only problem all winter was when the MCS was parked facing downhill on a sheet of ice and the tires lost traction backing up the hill. A slight push from the parking attendant was all it needed. From then on, I was careful to park facing uphill when there was ice on the ground.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new Mini Cooper S! We look forward to hearing about your ownership experience.... Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Are what I had on my MINI this past winter. Great snow and ice tires, IMO, and H rated runflats too.
  • hileatushileatus Posts: 10
    Hey Dwabid! Were you folks headed toward Madison on I94 today? Saw a green S w/ bonnet stripes!
    I knew I was going to like this site! Thanks folks!
    I've been to TireRack and was looking at the Dunlop Winter Sports...didn't realize they were runflats.
    Intended to get them when the time comes. Expensive but so are the Blizzaks for the Mustang. I live on a hill and always walk right up...people don't understand how i can do that in a rear drive car. I'm old...I learned on rear wheel drive. My 65 Mustang never got stuck....nor did my MGB, except once when I tried to blast thru a 3' drift, youthful ignorance, sigh.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    The M2s are not DSST (Dunlop Self Supporting Tire) runflats but the M3's are. The M3's have a different tread pattern too. Around here I got mine for a reasonable price, less than tirerack ($125) and about what I'd pay for regular winter tires in the same 195/55R16 size. 16" winter tires are out of the same league as the cheaper 15"ers.
  • dwabiddwabid Posts: 36
    Actually we were driving 94 from Milwaukee to Madison on Saturday. Certainly could have been us...
  • hileatushileatus Posts: 10
    Anyone else checkout the Works S on MiniUSA?
This discussion has been closed.