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MINI Cooper



  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    $5600 is about normal for a JCW conversion, (Its like $4500 in parts plus 8 (10? I can't remember) hour in labor.

    I think everyone who has gotten the JCW loves it (but testdrive one first) but its biggest selling point seems to be keeping the warranty intact. You can get the same pulley reduction and ECU reprogramming and exhaust for 1/3 of the price which gets the same hp from other companies, if you're not paying for the warranty..

    My view on it is if you think the S is slow, then look into your options. If you care about the warranty issues and have the extra money, it may be for you, otherwise you might want to look at cheaper versions...
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Congratulations on your new baby.....err Mini !
    Enjoy and as Mini says.......Let's Motor !
    Bear Mtn. State Park still has the Wednesday night car shows till the 15th of October from 5 to 9 pm, join the other Mini's and come on up to show it off !

    Ray T.
  • i have seen alot of threads on the pros and cons between the 16inch and 17inch wheels. i am deciding between the original 15 and the upgrade 16. can anyone give me any insight? i tested the 15 on a cooper at the dealer and it wasn't bad. but of course i couldn't do anything much with a salesman sitting next to me :) he didn't have a 16 for me to try. i am not doing any autocrossing and am afraid of a rougher ride with bigger wheels. however thanks in advance.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I don't find the ride to be much different. Honestly, I was expecting more of a difference but there isn't much. The suspension is still stiff. The 15's are lighter, and you notice that right off the line. But for cornering they are a bit narrow and tall so you notice that they don't grip quite as well under hard use. Most who autoX use 15" wheels but put low profile rubber on them.

    Only you know how you'll drive on them and how you like the look. Hopefully there are some 16's for you to try somewhere before you buy/order.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    I have the 15" rims on my Cooper and I've been very happy with them. I think it really comes down to looks more than anything. The ride difference is there, but nothing drastic. Cornering may be slightly better with the 16", but again, probably not by much. Is the spare the same size for Coopers with 16" and 15" rims? Anyone know?
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    There is only one undersized spare available. Same with either tires on the Cooper.
  • the difference between 15 and 16 wheel. i can put that money on the xenon lights instead :)
  • I hope I won't get stoned for posting this one...but is there anyone out there who owns or has driven an automatic version?

    A bad shoulder knocked me out of the manual shift world a few years ago.

  • andys120, umm, what is this? Is this what the MINI has for it's version of an automatic?

    Just to date myself, I once had an automatic stick shift VW bug that I inherited from my mother!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,734
    That post was deleted, I thought I was in the A4 forum. The MINI has a CVT automatic, not a Tiptronic. A THer named "Drivin" is fun has one, see if you can dig him up.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    It has a 'steptronic' mode where you use steering-wheel paddles to 'shift' between some imaginary gears. Most find the sport automatic mode to be faster but the steptronic mode is supposed to be fun and is still useful when cornering so you don't get a 'shift' occuring when undesirable.

    I've never driven one.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    I have the automatic version of the MINI Cooper, also known as the CVT. The CVT Cooper although it is an automatic, there are no gears. I couldn't be happier with it. It's great for my commute and driving the hills of San Francisco and Marin. You have 3 driving modes...D mode is for regular driving...SD is a sport mode which holds the revs higher in each simulated gear to give you more high end ooomph before the next shift....finally, +/- Mode (or Manual mode) allows the driver to control the shifting. Tap the center stick down to upshift and tap up to downshift. You can shift between all 3 modes on the fly. To get into SD mode, you tap the center stick once to the right. You can only enter Manual mode from SD mode. To enter Manual mode you tap the stick again either up or down. To get back into regular D mode you tap the stick back to the left. There is a digital display on the odometer which tells you what mode you are in or what simulated gear you are in when in Manual mode. The only peculiar combination is when you want to change from Manual to SD mode. In this case, you would tap the stick once to the left to exit Manual mode and enter D mode and then tap it back to the right again to get into SD. Unless the paddles were added to the 2004 models, there are no steering wheel paddles as in some other cars. I hope this answers some of your questions.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Unless I'm misinformed, paddles only came with the MultiFunction Steering wheel before but I think now you get them even without that wheel.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    What is the multifunction steering wheel? I have a 2003 Cooper with the leather steering wheel which also has stereo and cruise control on it. Is there another? I was never given the option of paddles, although I have heard rumors of them being added at some point.
  • Just took the MINI automatic/CVT for a test drive - it was a 2003 loaded to the max...with run flats. I have to admit I liked the car but wish I could have driven it for more time. Before I make a decision, I'd have to go back.

    When I asked the salesman about the differences between the 2003 and 2004 he said only their costs. Is this really true?

    My first impressions were that it was much more roomy in the front than I expected and that front dash board is a bit overwhelming at first glance. I did use the Sport drive, though not the Manual mode.

    It's a very cute car, there's no doubt about it. The only three negatives that I noticed were: the very small rearview mirror, the lack of much of a trunk and that I didn't see any sort of compartment for "stuff" other than the glove compartment. Did I miss something?

    It's very tempting. The salesman was quite nice - a young guy just out of college. No hard sell at all... I'm thinking hard about this one.

    I've been reading through all the posts from the beginning and am now up to page 58 - I appreciate the suggestion to look up "drivinisfun's" posts, too - very helpful about the CVT, etc. - and ozone1 many thanks for your explanation as well!

    Now as to "paddles" not a word was mentioned about them to me today.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I may be misinformed about them. I thought they were always available but I could be wrong or perhaps in UK and Europe but not North America. Sorry for the misinformation.

    The MINI has storage in the doors, on the back of the seats (mine at least has nets on the back for storage) and there are rear cubby holes on the car sides as well. Plus, there are the cup holders and you can get an armrest and an organizer to fit in the space under the HVAC, behind the cupholders to increase the storage dramatically. The trunk is small with the rear seats up but very large with them down.

    If the rearview mirror seems small then you may be sitting too far away. It seems fine to me now but first I was sitting very far away and it was kind of small.
  • Sorry I'm not to swift on the acronyms, you mean between the two front seats but behind the parking break? Is this something you have to buy from some sort of after market catalogue?

    It's a very enticing car but I was disappointed by what appears to me to be very poor planning for things like useable cup holders - we commuter/driver/parent types that spend our lives in the car need to have our cup of coffee, tea or bottle of water handy.

    How do you all deal with this? I know it may sound silly, but it's got me stumped.

    And can anyone tell me the differences in the 2004..or perhaps I should just look at their webiste?! Thanks all!
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    I would agree with you about the storage space, but i guess it depends on what you have to store. I've had to get a bit creative or at the very least find certain places where I put certain things. For example....cell phone and sunglasses go in the passenger side cup (as long as it isn't a jumbo sized cup) goes in the left cup holder....passenger coffee goes in the center cup holder (the one between the two front seats) or my Gatorade/Water bottle goes there....wallet and extra CDs go in the driver's side cubby on the door. There is an aftermarket product which can slide into the open space right behind the two front cupholders. Once you see it, you'll know what I mean. You'll be surprised how much you can fit in the little car, especially with only two passengers.

    I've had issues with the rearview mirror also, but you do get used to it. Go back for another drive, sounds like you may need to.
  • Thanks Ozone, I will have to go back. I guess it's kind of like looking at a new house or apartment in that you can get swept away by the view or whatever and not notice some of the specifics. I only remember what looked like two really small cupholder holes in the front and then they had this larger holder that appeared to pivot? Didn't notice on between the seats at all!

    The car seems great and maybe a second experience will push aside all my puritanical upbringing's guilt at the very idea of considering buying such a sporty little car!?

    The only other car that's gotten my interest lately is the 2004 RAV4...and I haven't driven it yet. It's bigger, but not too big and has the advantage of being more practical for a family (all 3 of us plus dogs)car...but now that my husband is getting his new used Suburban from the local police department's auction...maybe he'll keep it clean enough for us to use for our long drives to the Outer Banks of NC? ;-)

    Thanks for your help. This forum is a great sounding board and it's filled with some very helpful information.

    One more question: if one gets separate rims with snow tires for the winter is it better not to buy them through the dealer? Or doesn't it really matter? I asked the salesman about snow tires and he acted like they didn't need them, but from what I've read here it sounds like it's a good idea to have them.

    Appreciate your help!
  • Just got my 2003 Red Mini with 5 spoke wheels and sunroof, and after three weeks and a few hundred miles I'm tickled to death. Handling is remarkable, the car goes like spit for a 1.6 litre engine, and the gadgets are fun.

    Only one problem. Though the stiff clutch and brakes loosened up, the manual transmission feels kind of pokey. It gives the impression of resisting shifts. It's hard to make smooth shifts unless you pause in the middle of the shift throw.
    My old Honda had no such problems.

    In your expert opinions, will this smooth out over time? My local mechanic says no - that I should bring it in for immediate service. Of should I continue driving it hoping the gearbox will smooth itself out.

    To 2003 Mini owners who have been driving a long time, I ask whether time (driving) should cure this problem or should I bring it in?

    Thanks for your kind opinion.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    ontheroadagain- You'll find details on what's new for the 2004 Cooper in Edmunds' New Cars Pricing Guide. It's listed in the Editors' Review section, which can be accessed via the left hand column of the individual vehicle pages. Please keep us posted on your purchase. Happy shopping! ;-)

    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    You referred to the "Boot" as a Trunk shame shame, your Mini is going to revolt on you for that slight of mouth ! haha

    Alan: After 12k miles I still don't like the shift either but you get used to it. There is no adjustment at all on the manual shifts as I have asked the dealer and had Mini check it.

    Let's Motor !

    Ray T.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,734
    You aren't gonna find a better one in any fwd car, not even a Mini. It'll likely loosen up with mileage.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Thank you for pointing those editorial ratings out to me. I suppose there is no perfect car...but this one is close!
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    HVAC is the climate control system. I meant the area below the heat/AC, in front of the cup holders. That empty space can be filled with an organizer.

    There are three cupholders. The rear one is in the middle and is larger. That's where I put my Starbucks Barista mug. Left cupholder is a change/mint holder using the provided lidded insert. Right cupholder is cell phone/sunglasses. Glove box is documents and CDs. Door pockets are umbrella, tools, maps, flashlights. Under boot (not trunk, thank you!) mat storage for what is usually the mobility kit that I don't have (runflats) contains tire compressor, more tools, 1L Castrol Syntec. Rest of boot usually contains cleaning supplies, tow rope, warning triangle, first aid kits, and other emergency supplies plus my luggage. I have a clothing bag, extra boots and other supplies in there right now and the back seats are still up. As long as you pack carefully, you can get a lot in 150L.

    The tranny does indeed loosen up. I know because my second one this April was tighter than the first and after a few months of driving it loosened up. By now, 6 months later it is again smooth as butter but that also means it is a bit harder to put into reverse again (needs a stop in neutral some mornings).
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Some of the '04 changes listed are 'Late Introduction' The 3 spoke wheel is supposed to be Dec.

    Also a few color changes are happening, (rumored to be making room for colors for the '05 cabrio (which will probably be an '04, since it'll come out before Oct of next year when '05s start)) Pepper White is available for the Cooper S, Velvet Red is getting cancelled.

    Harmon Kardon isn't available with a Cassette anymore.

    Also a few programming options have changed but they're not really worth mentioning.

    Finally after a rather large and public fight (Though not carried by MINIUSA is going to offer rear fogs (currently a retrofit kit is available) as a factory option for $100 starting in Dec.

    You can get snow tires from your dealer, they'll just be overpriced. Even with dealers that discount parts off MSRP they just can't compete with a national tire retailer (like Tire Rack) on price or selection. Unless your dealer has some wheels someone took off their car that they'll sell cheap, you'll get a better deal elsewhere, but check into it, you have nothing to lose by shopping around.

    If you currently drive a Subie and live in NY, you should get snows. I think either your salesman doesn't own a MINI or hasn't driven in snow in one. In any case, you're definetly correct in ignoring his advice and looking into snows.
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Ahh,now the most difficult part of MINI ownership. Waiting for the delivery :) Hope your wait is short, and congratulations again. Glad to be of help.

    Its great all your concerns got dealt with, and I agree, we had a few Karmann Ghias when I was growing up. They certainly shared some genes on the german side of the MINI.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    To Everyone - When posting a message in the Town Hall, you may mention the name of the dealership and its location. However, please be aware that name of salespeople and contact information (email/phone numbers) is not allowed. To those concerned - I have sent you a copy of your post so you can edit and re-post. Thanks for understanding. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Host/Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • Mea culpa! ;-)
    Here's my recap:

    I did it. We're expecting in the first or second week of December. It'll be an Indie Blue with a white roof and mirrors.. I'll be passing around the champagne and cigars tonight!

    I can't thank Edmunds Town Hall and you all enough for all the patient and detailed help you've give to me. Seriously, my "advisor" was amazed at how much I appeared to know...and it made my second trip for a test drive at another dealer soooo much better! Granted this second dealership/advisor was also a thousand times more on the ball than my first.

    My husband came along for the ride and sat in the back seat, where he'll often have to sit because our daughter gets motion sickness ;-) and he said it was just fine...good visual lines, etc.

    We ended up at MINI of Fairfield County and were "delivered" by fantastic MINI advisor who was just what the proverbial doctor ordered: knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and low key.

    My mother would have been proud - she always wanted a VW Kharmangia (sp?) but never did get one because they weren't practical enough. If only she could have had a MINI!

    Thanks again - and yes, Karmann Ghias, with the proper spelling!
  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Is there a simple and concise listing of the rules on posting? I personally know them, but the only way I know them is because a Host removes posts.

    All I can find is the Help section and the legalese Member Agreement, neither of which say anything, and besides, its not like anyone really would read them anyway unless they had a specific question.

    How about a simple effective FAQ on what posts will be deleted? Seems to be a standard item for most forums, and would prevent problems like this for most people.
This discussion has been closed.