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MINI Cooper



  • aloha folks...i bought a brand new s with the sports package which comes with 17 inch wheels...i also debated it and was learning against it UNTIL my salesman told me that the 2004 are better riding with the 17 inch wheels...HE WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...i drove 3000 miles in my brand new car from sea to shining see and LOVE the 17 inch wheels...the suspension(spelling?) is better and different on the 2004 than the 2003...i drove both...just one mans opinion in this world of talk...aloha,paul
  • the dynamic stability control(dsc) is worth it...go for it...check the higher prices you have to pay for it if you but a BMW...its a bargain to get it on the s which is only a $20,000 car with the option of geting dsc...i used it on my trip and it did make a difference...i looked at it as investing in my could i go wrong?...aloha,paul
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Well, I just got back from a 2700-mile trip to bring my 2004 MCS home and the ride over broken and harsh pavement was pretty bad with the 17-inch wheels and runflats (Pirellis). Everything I have read says the runflats are the biggest factor in a harsh ride, followed by the 17-inch wheels which are very heavy.

    On smooth pavement, the MCS handling is sublime, but it really gets skittery if the pavement is broken or rough.

    I'm going to be looking at replacing my nearly new runflats with non-runflats to try and get a little more compliance - I'm hoping the local tire dealer will give me some credit for the tires. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I can't imagine living in an area of rough roads and putting up with the ride of the car with the stock 17-inch wheel/runflat package.

    If I had to do it over again, I think I'd just go with the 16-inch package.

    On DSC, it's a nice safety option, but I've been driving my car pretty aggressively and that grip is so good that you really would have to be doing some pretty outrageous things on dry pavement and public roads to ever have the DSC engage. So I think DSC would mainly be a comfort on slick roads. If you were anticipating driving your Mini in snow/ice or lots of wet pavement, then I'd go for it, but otherwise, I could see letting it go.

    A basic MCS is an awful nice package for $20K. All the good stuff is there. The options are nice, but I think the best value is the basic car.

    - Mark
  • look into or, they both offer armrest with storage. i don't think the fini armrest has storage. the armrest comes in both charcoal or black and silver or black trim. the charcoal complements well with the mini leatherette. i can't remember the price (maybe 150) but it is lot cheaper than the fini. the drawback to all the armrests i researched is that one loses the cupholder in the rear. -laura
  • I have just ordered an 04 Mini S. Despite MINI's safety claims, I am a bit worried about its small size. Have any of you been in an accident with the MINI (hopefully, you weren't hurt)? How did the car hold up? Thanks.
  • I'm very close to purcasing a new car, I either want a MINI Cooper S or a Ford Focus SVT. Has anyone been in this situation before? I Live the SVT all around, it is a very sporty car. It has good acceleration, road feel, and handaling. I like the mini because for the same reasons. Which one should I purchase?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    The obvious answer, when asking the question on this discussion board, is a Mini what else!
    I looked at the SVT in comparison. Ford does not instill a sense of confidence having owned enough of their products, so I went with the better choice IMO

    Happy New Year to all...........

    Ray T
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I assume you know there is a direct comparison test between the Mini and the SVT on this very web site?

    The SVT won, but it all depends on your priorities. If you want a better all-around car with more room and comfort, the SVT is probably a better choice and it handles superbly. But if you want the go-kart handling and unique look/feel that only the Mini provides, your choice is clear. The Mini is Germand and BMW, for all the good (and bad) that entails. The SVT is an everyday economy hatchback with good selection of tuner performance parts.

    In these situations, I recommend you schedule a 45-minute test drive in a Mini. You'll either come away giggling and realize that this car is something very special, or you'll come away wondering what the fuss is about. This is not a car that inspires ambivalence.

    - Mark
  • I've finally found a dealer who sells at MSRP AND can deliver in 8-9 weeks, not 6-8 months. It's an S with the sport option, electric blue, sport steering wheel, leather (blue and black). My wife and I will fly to pick up the car when in and enjoy motoring back. Thanks to all who had imput and made my decision easier. Dan
  • The arm rest #100-606 from sells for $79.95. It does require using screws to attach. The slickest one I've seen is from minimadness but is around $250. Dan
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    I bought a wrx over a MCS because I didn't want a first year model and I didn't want to pay over msrp and wait 6 to 12 weeks.
    Now that some of the first year quirks have been worked out I am looking again.
    Does the cold weather bring out more rattles and noises in the cooper?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    My 2004 MCS is rock solid and relatively rattle-free at 4K. But that's too early to tell much.

    Based on others' reports, I think they've turned the corner with the rattle problems in 2004 Minis, but you do have to have reasonable expectations of how quiet a car is going to be with the suspension settings and low-profile rubber on this beast. It is always going to be noisier and have more creaks than a WRX. Cold weather makes either worse, its just you start out with a stiffer, more-rattle-prone car in the MCS to being with. If this sort of thing really bothers you, I'd get a different car.

    - Mark
  • I'm on the brink of purchasing a mini, but having problems deciding on a few factors. Hope someone out there can give me some sound advice.
    *Cooper or CooperS? I live in So.CA so weather isn't a big factor and would use the car to drive in the suburbs and commuting.
    *Color- Thinking of Indigo w/white top or Anthracite w/black top. Looking for color that won't show dirt or scratches easily.
    *Complaints- I've heard some problems with windshield cracking,problems w/run flat, ac/heat not strong enough, makes rattling noises and brake dust.
    *How does it compare with a Mazda 3?

  • eman5eman5 Posts: 110
    Does anyone out there have the Sirius setup installed? Are there any exposed wires running to the antenna? It's a roof-mounted antenna, right? Are you glad you bought it with your Mini?
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    The MC vs. MCS choice is mostly a personal judgment on whether the extra power is worth the extra money. Additional factors you might consider are whether you like the tarted-up look fo the MCS more (I think the MC looks better), whether you want an auto (then the MC with CVT is your only choice), and whether you want the six-speed Gertrag gearbox in the MCS which is widely acknowledged to be a much better and more robust transmission than the 5-speed in the MC. (The 5-speed does not take well to ham-fisted shifting and beginning-driver clutch technique.)

    When the day was done, for me, the extra power and better gearbox of the MCS overrode my misgivings about the overdone exterior and increased cost - I got the MCS.

    There are a lot of people complaining about various reliability issues with the MC and MCS, above and beyond the noise level stuff you're talking about. I wouldn't get a Mini if you are the sort that expects perfection in your car, but if you are willing to look past an occasional fault and extra service visit, then go for it. But the Mini is not a car for someone who is really picky about having any problems with their car - Hondas and Toyotas are definitely more trouble-free.

    The Mazda 3 looks like a very nice car and probably objectively is a better car than the Mini. But the Mini has a unique personality and attitude. Drive both and decide if you want to go competent or funky. The Mini is long on personality, but you've got to be sure that its personality suits you or it can just be annoying.

    - Mark
  • Thanks so much for your imput. I'm going to go to a dealer this weekend. I did some more research and I think that the CS is the right choice for me. I was told that in the long run it's the way to go and will hold it's resale value longer. (Not that I would sell it right away; have had my Mazda MX-6 for 14 years.)

  • stryderstryder Posts: 140
    Sorry I haven't posted in a while, somehow I got unsubscribed... anyway,

    I'm wondering what the build date of the JCW MCS that just tested. My gut feeling for the suspension differences would be that MINI very quietly changed the suspension in the early summer (sometime around May, the exact date eludes me) to make it 'better' but they never exactly explained what they did. They seemed to be pandering to sites like here that called the Sports Suspension + too harsh, so its very logical they would have quietly provided an '03 test vehicle with the new suspension to make everyone happier.

    Perhaps someone should contact MINI and find out the real details so the article is more complete?
  • Hello everybody,
    I am planning to buy Mini Cooper but unfortunately there is no MINI dealerships in New Mexico. Do you guys know if BMW dealerships can service these car under warranty.

  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I believe the correct answer today is that a BMW dealer can service a Mini, but they can't do warranty repairs for warranty reimbursement.

    There have been several threads on Mini2 about BMW relaxing this requirement for owners who live a far distance from an official Mini dealership, but nothing has occurred (yet).

    Others would disagree, but at the present time, I would strongly advise against buying a Mini if getting to a dealership is at all difficult for you (you'd have to go to Phoenix right?). While many of these cars are fairly trouble-free, way too many are not and having a problematic car with a distant dealer would turn an annoyance into a nightmare.

    - Mark
  • Just test drove a MINI Cooper and generally felt the horsepower was sufficient for my driving style, but when the car was accelerate from 0 speed the engine didn't seem to be very responsive -- there was a slight lag before the car gains much acceleration. When I took the first left turn after stopping to wait for a gap in the upcoming traffic, the lack of acceleration when I "normally" pressed the gas pedal just made me nervous! The salesperson said it was because the demo car was not familar with my driving style (there had been 500 miles on it), but my wife's VW New Beetle Turbo with adaptive CVT doesn't have this problem at all. Could this simply be due to the lack of horsepower, instead of the CVT adaption issue? Any advice is greatly appreciated! Also, an irrelevant concern: is the MINI a chick car? Any idea about the gender ratio of MINI drivers in the states?
  • The MINI a chick car? I've no idea about the "gender ratio," but I'm definitely NOT a chick!

    But, come to think of it, I do see quite a few (beautiful) women driving them. There are a few ladies selling them at our local dealership. The most frequent comment I get about my MINI from people is that it's cute...Hmm... Maybe it IS a chick car.

    Wait, my wife and both my girls love the MINI...

    It handles well, parks anywhere, goes very fast, gets great mileage... Not only is it a chick car, I must be a chick!

    Can't wait to get my MINI Mania Stage III 245 hp upgrade for my chick car!
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A few articles about the MINI when it came out dubbed it as the guy's answer to the Beetle. The new Beetle - marketed with a flower holder attracted a large female crowd. The MINI - with a "tough/sporty" look was the guy's car.

    I've actually seen more guys driving MINI's than gals.
  • ozone1ozone1 Posts: 87
    The Mini MC (manual or CVT) is not the quickest off the line. However, being a CVT owner you do need to adapt to how the transmission delivers power. While what the dealer said was true about the computer adapting to your driving style there a couple of nuances and tricks you can employ. Number one is if you want faster acceleration put it in SD (Sports Drive) mode, this will instruct the computer to allow the revs go higher before shifting to the next simulated gear. Number two is don't mash the pedal to the floor past the "kick down" point when accelerating from a dead stop (you'll feel it when you hit it). This will cause the engine to over rev and will essentially trigger the rev delimiter and you will feel the car hesitate until it falls back to a lower rev point. To get the best get up and go, press the accelerator to the kick down point, but not past it. Finally, you may want to try using the manual mode (i.e. shifting yourself). Using manual mode, I've found my acceleration is quicker from 0-40, however SD mode feels faster 0-60. Just some things to try out, good luck.
  • The MINI is everyhting the VW Beetle is not. The Beetle is just a rebadged VW Golf with FWD and a water cooled engine..nothing like the original. The PT Cruiser is just a FWD Neon with a taller more sculpted body style...again to comparison to the V8, RWD hotrods of yesterday.

    The current BMW MINI sticks faithfully to its very successful predecessor, the Classic Mini, which was manufactured virtually unchanged from 1959 to 2000.

    The current MINI is FWD with a transversally mounted 4 cyl engine, FWD and wheels push out far into the corners for superb handling. The MINI si a pretty respectable performance/handling car right out of the box and has earned top spots in Autocrossing and other race track competitions since its introduction back in 2002.

    The VW Beetle is and always will be a car aimed at a female demographic...the MINI is in a totally different league from the VW fake mobile.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,655
    Real men and real women definitely prefer the MINI Cooper.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • I'm seriously thinking of getting a MINI. I was just wondering what do most owners really love about their MINI? What I'm drawn to is the look of it.

    BTW- I out on the MINIUSA website and saw the new MINI S MC40.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    I think the "look" of the Mini is the initial hook. The fun and unique way it drive closes the deal. But I think you've got have a funky streak in you to cement the long-term relationship. I see an awful lot of people who buy these things for the look and initial feel, and after the novelty wears off in a month, they're complaining about how noisy, rough-riding, cramped, and unreliable they are.

    I like the unique driving feel the most. The way you sit in the car, the way it handles, the sound of the engine ... they're all quite different from other cars.

    The MC40 is definitely for an extrovert who likes driving around with a car with number plates on the side. With the exception of the carbon fiber dash and a few trim doo-dads, it's just a set of standard options/colors on a stock MCS and it's about $1.5K-$3K more, depending on how you value the wheels.

    - Mark
  • drgreydrgrey Posts: 10
    Ordered my new MC CVT today from MINI of Murray, Utah. Any feedback about sales and/or service experience there would be appreciated.

    I'll be taking the car home to Southern California where my closest dealer is Bob Smith in Calabasas. Any feedback about service there would also be appreciated. Many thanks.
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