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MINI Cooper



  • I used to own a 2000 ZX3, and while I agree it is a very good car for the money, it falls down due to the iffy assembly quality and cheapness of some of its parts. I'd love to have a higher quality three-door hatchback that is more compact than the ZX3, but two things will keep me from buying a MINI: No dealers in my state (TX), and the final price of a MINI with a decent level of equipment is higher than I can justify.
  • alf3alf3 Posts: 83
    Sphinx99...funny how different perceptions differ depending on what side of the Atlantic you live. The new MINI has been somewhat chastised in England for being relatively overweight for its size!

    I own a 2000 Focus ZX3, and absolutely love it - love the style, room, power. Don't even really mind the cheapness of some of its parts, as noted by silverbullet, due to its very low upfront cost. Mine has been incredibly reliable over 74,000 (yes!) miles, outside of the recalls.

    The MINI, imho, is in a totally different niche than the Focus. The Focus is a very mainstream car using good mainstream Ford parts. The MINI, as you are probably well aware, borrows a great deal from the BMW E46 3 series parts bin - not a bad thing. Take a look too at the list of standard equipment on the MINI - you'll find many features of the E46 included in the price - EBD, CBC, head airbags, throttle by wire etc - lots of items that Ford simply cannot add in to the Focus at the price the Focus is offered. I watched a video on a MINI this morning showing the MINI's tachometer - very similar to the tach in BMW's M3 and M5 - and very cool !!

    Bottom line - the MINI is a fine car by all accounts, as is the Focus. I have my order in for a new MINI, and I'll genuinely miss my ZX3. Good luck with your vehicle choice.
  • rezo00rezo00 Posts: 103
    With minimal options a mini can easily run 20-22 thousand...that puts it in accord class...
  • alf3alf3 Posts: 83
    Actually, the Cooper is equipped quite nicely with a number of options included (including destination) at the MSRP of $16850.

    Having said that, you can option out a Cooper or Cooper S to $20-22k. That doesn't put the Cooper into the Accord or Camry class; maybe the same price range, but certainly not the same class.

    If you are looking to spend 20-22k on a family car, then perhaps an Accord is for you. I doubt that BMW will find many buyers cross-shopping MINI with the two family sedans noted.
  • I can tell you this. When I was at the Detroit show this last Monday, the Mini display was in my opinion by far the busiest . It was fairly small but packed with people.

    Does this translate into sales? Maybe, maybe not but what it does say is that there is something ultracool about this little car that has people fixated on it whether they will end up buying or not.

    I agree that its miniscule size makes it a questionable choice for many simply on the perception of safety issues. Still front airbags, side airbags, head airbags, DSC, Traction Control 4 wheel ABS are not chopped liver.

    What will sell this car is something you don't find on a Focus, Miata, Corolla, or most any other car. Only the Beetle can touch this car for outright cuteness, funkiness, uniqueness and just plain coolness.

    Yes the car is 5 grand more than the average compact. But it has numerous features that you only find on more expensive cars.

    What makes me drool over this car is purely the fact that it has what virtually no other car has. Namely, personality in spades. Colors that get you noticed, interiors that are like nothing anywhere else. Have you checked out the metal tubing type door trim, center mounted speedo, dash mounted toggle switches from the 60's. This car is special. I sat in a two tone black and tan leather model and I just loved it. The idea of a yellow Mini with black roof and two tone black and tan leather interior makes me feel excited. How about dark silver, black roof and red cloth interior. That's right "red". I remember when you could buy a car with an interior other than black, gray or beige. These are the intangibles that make the Mini such an exciting car.

    Still, it's size is a real issue. As much as I'd like to do the deed it will be a serious issue to overcome. I'm single, to buy it would mean that it was my only car and I don't know if I can go so small if I have no alternative transport. I can tell you this though, if I were a two car family there'd be no stopping me.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Be careful about crowds at NAIAS suggesting success.

    At last year's show, the Thunderbird was by far the most crowded exhibit. According to the hype of the show, everyone was going to be driving them within months. It was going to be the most spectacular launch in the history of automobiles. Ford had a huge section of the cobo center floor (upstairs no less) with Thunderbirds of every conceivable color sitting there. That part of the center was packed. It had personality in spades, colors that got you noticed, and an interior that was like nothing anywhere else. Everyone said it was special. This car would single-handledly revive Ford and put the rest of the world on notice.

    Well, you know how that one turned out. Everyone nodded, then went to the Chrysler dealership and bought a Sebring.

    This isn't to say that the Mini won't be a smash hit. But "personality" actually does not sell cars. More often than not, it actually puts an incredible dent in car sales; for most people, human beings should have personality, not cars. The Mini's commercial success will depend on value, fun, utility and reliability, just like nearly every other car sold in the U.S.
  • I agree with your assessment of what sells cars. I simply was pointing out that the unique nature of the Mini creates a potential market just as the VW Beetle's styling lures buyers.

    As for the T-Bird I never liked it and even neat colors and retro interiors couldn't lure me to it. Throw in that 40000 dollar price tag and you can forget it.

    You should remember that the market for the Mini will be a combination of nostalgia seekers and Gen Xers seeking something truly unique. A $20000 price tag is not off putting. The $40000 T-Bird tag will limit the car's appeal.

    For the same money you can drive a 3 Series ragtop.

    I think the Mini will have limited success but then that may be ok. It's not a mass market vehicle. If it sells 20-30 thousand that would be quite good.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I think 20k-30k would be a fine target and quite doable. I don't think they'll be able to sustain that for more than a couple of years due to market saturation but they will definitely sell enough of these to have an impact on the U.S. highways for a decade to come. However, just as the Thunderbird had its achilles heel (that $40k pricetag) the Mini is going to have to find a way to overcome its compactness and ultralight curb weight.
  • can be fleeting when it comes with a $20-22K price tag. Unlike the Beetle, the Mini was never really the mass market car of youth that the VW was, at least in the U.S. It's appeal in re-release will be in its uniqueness as a new vehicle, with relatively few buyers having even seen, let alone owned one of the original models.
    I agree with the above poster, few will cross-shop the Mini with the Miata; the only similarity
    the Mini has compared to the Miata is in general price point and the fact that both are likely to be owned as second vehicles. Miata seems to have more in common with the VW Cabrio in open-top appeal and sportiness than it has with the Mini.
    The more likely comparison will between the Mini and the new Beetle and the new Civic Si. These will be real contenders for the Mini's market.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,806
    "Most of the reasons you gave against the Miata actually also apply to the mini."

    Um, actually, the only similar trait I gave is the low weight.

    "no "track" car ever sustained multiple years worth of good sales. It has to appeal to the regular joe."

    Need I point out the Integra?

    By the way, I think the T-bird is doing quite well considering its high price and limited appeal based on practicality. The waiting list is still quite long in most areas and people are paying well over MSRP. I'm not saying that you can't find one sitting at a dealer somewhere - heck, when the PT Cruiser was still demanding a premium, the dealer around the corner from me had half a dozen sitting on his lot at any given time.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • how many of the people who put their names on the
    waiting lists for the T-bird actually end up buying them.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Wow - good to see a lot more activity here. It will be interesting to see how "Mini Mania" plays out in the U.S.. A friend of mine thinks the Mini will be the next "chick car" - I hadn't thought about that before, but now that he said it I can see that possibility occurring - It is "so cute" and all. Any thoughts?
  • Cooper - chick car
    Cooper S - non chick car

    It'll be like the Integra where non vtec models are chick cars.
  • But I know way too many girls that wont accept anything but the top of the line, fastest model. I personally know one of them that can probably kick all your butts in an autocross. She kicked my butt, I know that!
  • Well the new Beetle sure is a chick car. So I have little doubt that the Mini with its terminal cuteness won't follow suit.
  • e-mail me if you want to know how to find an M-coupe for close to Cooper S price.
    Just got back from UK and didn't have a chance to line up a test drive of the mini... not as many of them on the road as I was expecting. All of their car mags (some great ones) had good things to say except for one interesting article about a couple who had a string of problems. (the husband did buy it for the wife...)

    The Mini has much more of a history overseas and in particular in the UK, but my informal pub polling found that not everyone was as crazy about it as we seem to be in the states. They have sooo much more to chose from than we do. The Renault Clio Sport 6 was really beautiful,the Peugot 307 was nice and I loved the Lotus Elise. Although a little higher priced word is that the Elise will make it to the US in 2003. Of course the FEDS will probably have to modify the aluminum chasis and tweak the engine or change altogether.

    Maybe the Mini will need at least one year to fix some of the little problems. (new one is that is pulling to one side, BMW supposedly put out a service bulletin to it's Mini Dealers)
    Many people feel buying a car in the first year of production is not wise, but I think that is another subject on the board.
  • I have the brochure from the Detroit Show and it indicates ten color choices of which I believe 2 or 3 are specific to the Cooper S. The brochure indicates that there are more colors to come.

    Anyone know of any new or additional colors. I heard someone mention Rootbeer at one time (a brown, I presume).
  • I don't think I quite agree with the interpretation of the Thunderbird in post #250. You seem to imply that Ford is having a hard time selling the new T-birds, which last I heard is totally untrue. As far as I know, they're still backlisted and every one built is already sold, practically. This is obviously a success, but you seem to imply this is a flop.

    And about people worrying about the size of the Mini and thus its practicality, I took careful note to sit in the back seat quite a few times at NAIAS in Detroit this year. I'm 6'0", with fairly long legs, and I found it quite bearable. I was more comfortable in the back of the Mini than in the Audi A4 (lack of knee room!) and the Nissan Sentra Spec V (horrible rear room even compared to all its compact-car competitors). Sure, it isn't quite as comfy as even the 3-series, but it's still there when you need it and not totally useless or anything.

    While we're talking about comfort, am I the only one who felt more comfortable in the Mini Cooper with the normal seats than in the Mini Cooper S with the sport seats standard? For some reason I just felt so much better sitting in non-S...which is sad, since oh boy would I love the engine in that S. Maybe if I ever do end up buying one, I can just buy a non-S and upgrade it aftermarket or buy an S and just get the seats switched out or something.

  • rezo00rezo00 Posts: 103
    that costs to much
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    just depends on how much you're willing to spend on quality. Like those that would buy a Crown Vic over a Mercedes S-class because they're the same size and therefore the S-class is over priced.....
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You'll now find a direct link to Edmunds' Mini Cooper New Vehicle information in the Helpful Links on the left side of the page. Hope this is helpful.



    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards

  • Who can't afford a $16,300 base price please.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    If I was shopping for a SVT focus, Mazda MP3, Civic Si or Sentra SE-R, I think a Mini is definately in the mix for cross shopping.
  • you have a Mini dealer even remotely close. Unfortunately I'd have about an 11 hour drive to the nearest Mini dealer to get servicing. Hope the Mini is a big hit so maybe they'll allow more Mini dealers. At least that way I'd have an extra choice.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    For those interested, you can check through Edmunds' Dealer Locator to see where the closest Mini dealer is to you.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Are you big enough to drive a MINI? That is the question people will begin asking themselves soon. This car is not a flash in the pan like the beetle, why becuase the MINI is not just a Golf with different skni. The MINI is technologicaly amazing. It has all standard features found on its larger BMW relatives. ASC, DSC,Electronic brakeforce distrobution, cornering brake control Traction control, Drive by wire, 6 air bags, Speed sensitive wipers, flat tire monitor, etc.... all matched by a rear wheel drive suspension in a front wheel drive car. Why, because how else could it out slalum every Ferarri and Lamborghini and that Road and Track has ever tested. This will be an amazing car and anyone who calls it a chick car either is too far back on the waiting lists that they will never have one, or they mistake small with womanly because of their inferior packages.
  • the MINI is not a "drive by wire" car. It has throttle by wire if I remember correctly, but the steering is still a mechanical unit with mechanical linkage.
  • You are absolutly correct, but that does not take away from the fact that it is an unbelievable car for a very small ammount of money.
  • Now if they could just get a few more dealers out there.......
  • And don't forget the fact that the MINI Cooper that Road and Track tested - the one that outhandled Ferrari, Lambo and every other thing BMW makes did not have the sport suspension option, 17"wheels or even proper tires, it had the standard suspension, 15" wheels and all season tires! It makes me wonder what an S with sport suspension and 17's will do handling-wise :-) I checked with the manager of my MINI dealer last weekend - they will start delivering S in May and I should have mine in July or August. I will have my choice of grabbing one of the fully spec'd pre built MINI S' that get delivered or I can order one exactly how I want it. Now I have to decide whether I'm keeping it or selling it. I'm a total sucker for a good handling car - and the MINI is way better than good.
This discussion has been closed.