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MINI Cooper



  • thanks ray for your comments...the price is msrp plus the $385 for mini installed alarm...the thing that is not sitting well with me is the the car had an AUGUST safety inspection on it leading me to believe it was only sitting there since august...when i researched it further after i made my deal i found out they got the car in late JANUARY...all negoatiating was with them letting me know that the car came in the summer...the newer safety inspection looks like its been placed over the old one...i feel if i had known that the car was that old for a 2003 i would have pushed harder for less knowing that the 2004s were coming here in November...they also charge $131 for license and $195 for dock fees as well as trading in a late model car with very low millage and would have pushed harder on that side too...if i order a 2004 it will take 3-4 months based on where i live in Hawaii...havnt bought car yet...can you feel my pain?...hope the fact that it was built so early in 2003 wont mean more problems than the end of 2003 cars built...maybe im just worried about nothing...salesman is a great guy...aloha,paul
  • 750 miles on my new Mini (not an S) and I can report: The gearbox shifting is very stiff. The clock goes black now and then. And I get only 25 miles per gallon. Shouldn't a 1.6 ltr engine do better?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    The EPA estimate is 24 and most folks think this is fairly representative of what you'll get if you put your foot into it and/or do a lot of town driving.

    I'd give the gearbox another few thousand, but then compare it to a demo at the dealer.

    - Mark
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I get very good mileage in pure highway at decent but no overly high speeds (65-76MPH). Any higher and it drops. By decent mileage I mean mid to high 30s in US MPG.

    Around town I get less. Mid to high twenties up into low thirties IF and only IF I'm very light. When having fun the mileage definitely drops.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Alan, 750 miles, your not broken in yet. I consistently get 35 to 37 mpg @ average speeds of 70mph while commuting to/from work. Around town 32 to 34mpg is my average unless of course I'm heavy into the gas, then all bets are off. That's with 14500 miles on car so far (2003 Cooper) Your still under warranty so have dealer check to see if anything is amiss.

    Paul, Alohaaaaaaaaaaa !
    Been to your great state half a dozen times and waiting to get there again to North Shore for surf competitions (when my wallet dictates of course) Last time there was in 96/97 Xmas/New Years. Had friends who lived in Waimaeha? (did I spell that right)
    Being in decent weather out there makes it tough every day you don't have the Mini, what did the price work out to on the 2004 comperably equipped? 2004 base S is 19400.00 plus options. 70 miles on odo means some ones been test driving it around. Even if you decide to buy it the warranty starts from the day you buy it so don't worry to much about it sitting on lot it hasn't done it any harm. The registration and document fees are typical with dealers, they don't seem to want to bargain with that.
    Good Luck on your decision, and as Mini says Let's Motor !

    Ma halo

    Ray T.
  • I live in California, but I'm thinking of buying a new Mini from out of state. Any problems I should be aware of? We bought our Subaru from Washington state and had no hassles since the emissions are certified for all 50 states.

    Are Minis 50 state emissions, or do I *have* to buy the CA-spec model?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I have never hard of a CA model being different from a 49-state model and a lot of CA buyers have gone out of state - IOW, don't know for absolute sure, but I think it is a "no hassle" deal.

    - Mark
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    My Canada delivered (and driven!) MINI has a sticker under the hood for California emission so I imagine all sold in north america are good that way. Shouldn't be a problem but I'm pretty far from Cali so I could be wrong.
  • It's really not that bad, you know. I bought a 2002 Cooper S from MINI of Hawaii last year and it's been a great car! I renewed my registration and it was $101. A new safety check costs $14.70, so you're paying about $15 extra to the dealer. I've never been able to get a Hawaii dealer to move on their doc fees, especially on popular cars.

    The dealership, the only one on Oahu, is actually pretty good (are you on Oahu?). They replaced the front bumper turn signal for free when I mentioned it was cracked (possibly by a stone) when I took it in for two very minor items (missing nuts on air intake, rattle in hatch area). They also reprogrammed the key remote to my specifications at no charge. Plus, they wash the car after every service call if time permits. They have had my car twice (oil change and the visit mentioned above) and have taken very good care of me. I think, considering the quality of the vehicle, that your price is pretty reasonable. We could be on the west coast waiting several months and paying a premium for the same cars.

    If you don't want to wait for a special order and the car on the lot is what you want, then grab it. If it's not what you want, place the order. Meanwhile, you're missing great driving! Best of luck to you.

  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    The actual build date of the car is on its sticker, under the bonnet, it also I think is on the door sticker with the tire pressures.

    Anyway, A car that's a year old will have depreciated, so I'm still not sure why it should only be MSRP, except that you can get it a few months earlier as you've noticed.

    There might be more problems, but early 2003's didn't have many more issues then current cars, so its not a huge difference. I'd say make them tell you how old the car is (The dealership can also tell its build month through the computer)and if you get a good enough deal, but it. You won't be dissapointed, but you also won't be if you wait a few months, depends on what you want to do.

    All MINIs are 50 state legal. People have imported them from many different states to CA with no problems not just states like NY with strict emissions, just keep track of any fees and such, and try to find a dealer who has worked with CA buyers and you should be fine. With the waiting lists (or lack of sane prices), its quite a common car to import.
  • eman5eman5 Posts: 110
    Is there any aftermarket mod to boost hp/torque in a cvt-driven Mini? I'm one of those folks who'd really prefer an automatic transmission--but with some zip. I test drove a cvt and it seemed a bit anemic. Any thoughts out there? With the next-generation GTI and Audi A3/S3 and BMW 1 or 2 coming, will BMW add some power to a Mini with a cvt, SMG, or six-speed automatic?
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    I'm not aware of any aftermarket CVT boost mods. It isn't built to even handle the supercharger in the S.
  • rluggrlugg Posts: 1
    Dear Friends,
    Has any one had a buying experience
    with Mini of Pittsburgh Pa?
    Do they typically get MSRP for non S
    Mini's on the lot?
    Has any one purcased one for less than MSRP?
    What other experience can you relate?

                Robert LUgg
                 Lock Haven Pa
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    East coast dealers are typically getting MSRP for ALL Mini's and then some in instances. The popularity of the car dictates so.
    I purchased my Cooper in April and only option was paint color (Indi Blue) I paid MSRP, $17375 + 7 1/4 sales tax(1259.69)+$130 clerical exp. + $65 registration fee = $18799.69 total for the car off the lot. That same dealer, Prestige Mini, Ramsey N.J.,now has nothing on lot for sale other than the ordered cars coming in for the patiently waitng owners.
    Supply and Demand is the order of the day with Mini's right now.

    Ray T.
  • Anyone driven both Cooper models? I like the extra horsepower in S, but also like the mileage range of the Cooper-get another 50 miles on a tank. I drive more city miles, but often go over to Lake Michigan in the summer. I have a 14 ft. kayak and use my Jeep to transport it now. I wonder if I could put it on a Mini?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    I test drove both models before deciding on the Cooper. The "S" is much quicker in response but thats a no brainer knowing it has a supercharger. I needed a commuter car to replace my aging 91 CRX. I get the same mileage as the Honda did (35 to 37mpg) but have a much newer & nicer car to boot along with a 3 yr. warranty that will last me maybe 18 months with the mileage I put on. I have 16k now and only bought car in April.
    I am considering a trade in for the "S" possibly in the spring but it's a "thought" right now.

    Ray T.
  • Thank you for the response. I don't commute and will probably order the S.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    There is a new club for you in Owners Clubs. Click on the link at the top of the page to go to the MINI Cooper Owners Club!

    KarenS/Senior Host/Owners Clubs

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  • I have a 2002 Cooper CVT (8/2002 build, Pepper White with Black roof) with 18K+ troublefree miles and just a hair over two months ago, I took delivery of a brand new 2004 Cooper S (9/2003 build, Chili Red with White Roof. The '04 Cooper S currently has 2,300 troublefree miles...not once has gone back to the dealership for anything since taking delivery back on October 3rd.

    The Cooper CVT is my wife's daily driver...the car has been rock solid. We have done several roadtrips in it, including a 2,800 mile jaunt from Miami, FL to Williamsburg, VA and back in mid October. We drove it all over the place, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and the CVT was fantastic...the most fun "Automatic" we have ever owned barnone. The car has been great, no rattles, no squeaks, no electrical problems, nothing. Highway mileage is in the 37MPG ballpark and we have noticed that these cars after 12,000 miles the engine runs better and turbine smooth with excellent acceleration. Our Cooper CVT kept up with 18-wheel rigs and traffic throught the trip and in different terrains with absolutely no problems. These car's engines and transmissions seem to be fully broken in by 20K miles.

    My '04 Cooper S has been awesome. It is my daily driver (My wife does not drive manual transmission cars, yet). It is a different drive from the regular Cooper CVT. The Cooper S feels "Torquier" from the get go, while the Cooper CVT is quick and peppy from a dead stop. Sometimes I think it outaccelerates my Cooper S when I am following my wife, but after 40MPH or so, my Cooper S takes over and rules...the supercharger whine is sweet music to my ears!.

    The 6-speed Getrag transmission is firm but precise and the cluth pedal effort is excellent. My Cooper S hasn't had any issues with engine stumble and it accelerates from a dead stop out of 1st gear with gusto. I haven't done any pulley or intake upgrades yet, I think I will wait a bit longer to jump into the mods bandwagon. The car is bank vault feels like a pure breed German car!

    I ordered my Cooper S (I was in a 10 month waiting list) with the Harmon Kardon Stereo upgrade, MFSW, Anthracite trim, 16" Silver V-spoke wheels, Trip Computer, Rain Sensing Wipers, Automatic rearview mirror (A must have in the MINI), front fog lights, chrome exterior mirror caps and Cooper S OEM Chrome 3 slats front grille treatment.

    I highly recommend the MINI Cooper in either one of its 3 available flavors....5-speed, CVT or Cooper S. The most fun, best built, best looking, coolest cars on the road today.

    If any one has any questions about the Cooper (Specially the CVT) and the Cooper S, I will be more than glad to answer these for you. Since I own both cars, I am more than qualify to give you a honest and unbiased opinion about them.

    I will post a link to pics of my MINIs later on.
  • Enjoyed your rundown on the Coopers. You are certainly an advocate for the car. I decided to order the Cooper S. The delivery date is sometime in March. I live in Ann Arbor, Mi. and closest dealer is in Detroit. He told me I ordered at the right time because the waiting time will expand greatly after the Auto Show in January.
  • I'm really close to finally getting an "S". I'm considering sticking w/ the standard 16" wheels and performance runflats and getting a set of snows for the Wisconsin winters. Has anyone had any problems in the East Coasters are winning so far we have had only a dusting in S.E. Wisconsin.
    So, how do the little buggers go in the snow??
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    With good snow tires, Minis are reported to be excellent snow cars up until you start dragging the low-slung body.

    Sticking with the 16's is a good move, not only for better snow traction, but for a more reasonable ride in the rough conditions in the midwest. I'm going with the 17's, mostly because they come in a package I wanted for other reasons, but I'm expecting a VERY rough ride and I may drop back to 1) non runflats or even 2) 16's later.

    - Mark
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    First off, CONGRADULATIONS on ordering your "S" !!
    I have a 2003 Cooper w/no frills. The car absoloutely stinks on the stock 15" all-season tires in the snow. We just had 18" during our first snowstorm a week ago, even after the roads were plowed, so this is first hand knowledge. My buddy has the "S" and runflat 16's and he said it also was terrible. I just bought 4 Dunlop SP Wintersport M2 and had them installed last night. We have another storm forecast for Sunday/Monday so I'll see how much difference they make, I expect a huge difference !
    I will be upgrading in spring to 16" wheels and performance tires.
    The 16 & 17" runflat/performance tires we can equip. our Mini's with are just that and should not be used in the winter. IMHO

    Ray T.
  • eman5eman5 Posts: 110
    Anyone know whether there are any aftermarket armrests with storage and/or cupholders--or any plans for MINI to start offering such?
  • Try this company:

    They just released their award winning center armrest for the MINI Cooper. I had the opportunity to see a prototype installed in a Cooper S a few months ago and was impressed with the quality of materials and overall fit.

    It is pricey...retails for about $250, but worth every penny of it IMO. It is only available at MINI dealers in the USA. It can't be bought directly from MINIFINI unless you live overseas.
  • I live in Dallas, Texas and am thinking of buying a Cooper S. I would like thoughts as to whether I should get the 16 or 17 inch wheels (increased handling vs. comfort) and how valuable is the dynamic stability control? The car will not be my only car and will be used for fun as well as driving to work roughly half of the time (other cars in the fleet are my wife's new Infiniti G35-great car-and her old 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan). I will be replacing a 2001 Chrysler 300M. At $21,000 with few options, the car is much more of a value than $25,000 with a bunch of options. Thoughts?
  • eman5eman5 Posts: 110
    I sincerely appreciate your info and opinions. Hope you'll keep posting here, and that others will too...
  • eman5eman5 Posts: 110
    I'm trying to decide how to configure my future CVT. I'm following drivinisfun's advice, avoiding the packages. This forces me to make more choices, though, and I've already spent too much time on the miniusa site's "Build your own."

    Anyone: I need help in deciding between white vs. silver 15" wheels. And--talk about nitpicking--does a chrome exhaust tip matter? (I mean on a MINI, of course.) Do those white bonnet stripes fray or peel in a car wash? Thanks, guys.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    With regards to the white or silver rims...I think the white looks nicer, except be prepared to keep them clean, brake dust and dirt from the pavement make this an ongoing endeavor. I opted for the chrome package which gives you the chrome tipped exhaust and front and rear bumper inserts. I don't have the bonnet stripes, so I can't speak to those, but I have not heard any complaints about them.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    I have the 15" silver rims and prefer them over the white for the reason just stated by ozone "cleaning", the white can be a headache and need daily cleaning where as the silver do not show the brake dust as quickly. I also have the bonnet stripes and if they come off in a car wash it would be a surprise to me, the adhesive is very strong once it sets.

    Ray T.
This discussion has been closed.