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#1 of 44 Chad Ferguson

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Posted July 20 2003 - 05:19 PM

I was thinking about purchasing a Mini Cooper car. I was just curious if anyone could fill me in with their experiences or thoughts about this car. I would be getting just the regular model. I've been looking at the features they are offering and I'm very interested in the 8 speaker system they. Anyways, any info or thoughts would help.
Thank you very much.

#2 of 44 John Watson

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Posted July 21 2003 - 12:11 AM

I saw one in parking lot a week ago. What a neat looking wee car!

I just can't believe how much it costs, and I'm also afraid its very low slung profile would be bad for my head and knees tho.

The Beetle looks like it would be a better bet for me, if I ever go crazy again Posted Image

#3 of 44 Aurel Savin

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Posted July 21 2003 - 12:32 AM

Quote:
I just can't believe how much it costs, and I'm also afraid its very low slung profile would be bad for my head and knees tho.


I just bought a Chili Red / White Cooper last week and I love it. I am 6'7" and the car has more interior room than my old Buick Riviera I replaced. Got a lot of laughs from friends and family when told then I am getting it, but the last laugh was on them when they actually saw it and sat in it.

The car has ridiculous interior space, granted it becomes a 3 seater with me driving Posted Image

The car handles like it is on rails and drives live a bandit. Fit and finish is amazing for a $19K car.

Quote:
I would be getting just the regular model. I've been looking at the features they are offering and I'm very interested in the 8 speaker system they.

The stereo system pretty much is the only thing that is not that great on the car, but then again this is not why I bought it. My suggestion is to stick with the standard stereo and then just get aftermarket electronics.

Check out www.mini2.com and www.minicooperonline.com .. two great sites for Mini Owners.

Go and test drive one, it is definetelly the best car for the money. I went from obliveon to rock star status in NYC in 10 days Posted Image

Here it is with my old Riv:

Posted Image

#4 of 44 John Watson

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Posted July 21 2003 - 01:35 AM

I especially like the return of real two-tone colour schemes.

Red and white, That's a beauty, congrats!

#5 of 44 Lee L

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Posted July 21 2003 - 01:52 AM

I have been interested in one for a while. Definitely go to mini2 and minicooperonline. Also if you go to the MINI website www.miniusa.com and can ge over the borderline obsession with flash they have you can get quite a bit of info there.
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#6 of 44 brentl

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Posted July 21 2003 - 02:19 AM

Nice car Aurel, but can you handle the WEE little antenna after that HUGE antenna on the RIvPosted Image??

Brent

#7 of 44 Mary M S

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Posted July 21 2003 - 03:34 AM

I own a 03 S. with the HK upgrade.
Regarding that system here is a review which is invaluable for tweaking the SS as the author points out) the owners manual is slim to nill on the details.

http://www.angelfire...nihkreview.html

As a owner and a recent convert to sound systems, weight my opinion, but I disagree with the author that this is a system for ‘audiophiles’. If you ‘tweak’ car systems like some their in-home and demand the absolute BEST response possible from the install in your vehicle, I would recommend (IMO) the after market route. IF you want a step up from the standard install, and would rather put your money and (headache tweaking) time into your home system; it’s a satisfying upgrade.

The bass is anemic if you’re a ‘thumper’. (I’m not). And it’s very HARD to get any kind of decent full-range effect from the rear seats. Of course the interior has less cabin than some so this is not as large a drawback as it could be. If you ride alone it’s much easier to tweak this system for the front seats satisfactorily. For me I’m still learning to tweak (in the home) and did not want the risks of meshing together a new seamless aftermarket. In addition I don’t trust the installation depts. of many aftermarket locations. ….too easy to end up with wiring glitches that gremlin you elsewhere in the vehicle.
Since I would not install myself and husband is otherwise occupied, it would not be a self-install, (which I’d feel better about).

Be aware if you order the system with a vague idea you might upgrade your head unit alone, you’ll run into some hitches. The amp in the HK upgrade (also carrying the DSP modes) has to be triggered by the headunit. I’ve seen (somewhere) a workaround for keeping a pin connection, which will cont. to trigger the HK amp if you replace the head unit, but can not remember the details.

As regards the DRIVE of the ‘wee’ Posted Image car:
I read once: “heightened my desire to resolve my little traffic problems in ways other than slowing down”
…which is an accurate description of one (drawback?) while driving a mini. They practically beg you to scream around any available corner with a grin on your face at high rpm. The #1 strength of a mini; agility and stick.

I’ve raced mine at an SCCA schooling class, and its built-in advantage with the stiffer “sports susp” pkg. Short WB over the likes of a stock Miatia, or the cobra (guy had trouble with his turning ratio and powerband and tended to go THROUGH the cones) was greatly apparent. I easily best the untrained due to the built in head-start the mini provides. I’d need more HP once reaching the upper escalations of equally matched seasoned drivers.

We are considering the John Cooper “Works” upgrade (about 4500) but if I cont. to race in the future this would knock me into a mod class I’d rather not enter with the mini.

Drawbacks: CUPHOLDERS. (forget it ..you don’t have a usable except for reaching back and using the one between the fronts intended for back passenger usage. The front has two slots (one starts with a removable ashtray insert) that are hilariously unusable. Must have been all male engineers who laid out that very nifty row of switches about 5 inches above the base of the CH’s. You can get a 12oz traditional can into it, but are in danger (if its full) when you pretzel tilt to seat it. (Big gulps live between your thighs).

Bog/Lag in first gear (I own the 6-sp tranny). ITs TERRIBLE, takes a lot of gas on the throttle to get it rolling in 1st tending to make that a less than ideally smooth startup, since 2nd on down do not require it at all.
It is so aggravating a default (while putting on my seatbelt) I flip traction control to the off position (resets every time you kill the engine) as TSC appears to greatly depress the throttle response in 1st.

45 series tires (my first) really feel the bumps in the road, not a plush ride.

6.2 males fit easily but your going to scrunch the rear seat into not available. We have ridden 4 in the thing and for 40 min drives (3 male) and they haven’t complained too bitterly but they all rather be the driver.
The Mini is a weird mix of niceties (luxuries) with stiffness and a killer dose of “blast to drive”
I heard someone call it a ‘chic car’ which I find completely inaccurate if the men around me are anything to go by. (the men go nuts for it). While the women do say ‘cute’ men ranging from 18 on up end a test drive by stating, “I’ve got to get one of these”. And I’ve been stopped by countless males on the street who want to know what it is, who makes it, and where can you buy it.

Hope any above is helpful?!

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#8 of 44 Malcolm R

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Posted July 21 2003 - 03:57 AM

Apparently they're the toughest cars ever made, since they still keep running despite the beating they take in high-speed chases a la "The Bourne Identity." Posted Image
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#9 of 44 MarkHastings

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Posted July 21 2003 - 04:08 AM

Quote:
Apparently they're the toughest cars ever made, since they still keep running despite the beating they take
or like Mr. Beans car Posted Image
Quote:
The stereo system pretty much is the only thing that is not that great on the car
Speaking as a BMW owner (which I believe is the parent company of the Mini): Their stereos suck. They use great speakers (i.e. HK), but the radios are pretty crappy.
Quote:
The car handles like it is on rails and drives live a bandit. Fit and finish is amazing for a $19K car.
If I couldn't have afforded a BMW, I would have definitely looked into a Mini. The Mini is to the Beamer as the VW is to a Porshe. Posted Image

#10 of 44 Mary M S

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Posted July 21 2003 - 04:09 AM

a la "The Bourne Identity
I drive like the girl in "The Italian Job". Posted Image
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#11 of 44 MarkHastings

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Posted July 21 2003 - 04:16 AM

Quote:
but can you handle the WEE little antenna after that HUGE antenna on the RIv
LMAO Posted Image

It DOES look like that car has a gigantic antenna mounted to the back windshield.

For those who don't get the joke: it's in reference to the wire holding the telephone pole in place. Posted Image

#12 of 44 Matt Gordon

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Posted July 21 2003 - 04:46 AM

Quote:
Must have been all male engineers who laid out that very nifty row of switches about 5 inches above the base of the CH’s.



How could you tell, Mary?
Spoiler tags are cool.

#13 of 44 Aurel Savin

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Posted July 21 2003 - 05:37 AM

Quote:
I heard someone call it a ‘chic car’ which I find completely inaccurate

I find this rather funny ... more of a "babe car" Posted Image

In the last 10 days I have given rides to countless women, my friends girlfriends, and even my ex was planning a trip back to the States from Europe upon hearing the news of me buying one.

Definetelly do not feel like a chick driving it, alhtough the first few days the attention was rather annoying, now I am used to it and cherish it.

"It's a way of life" as other owners say ...

#14 of 44 MarkHastings

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Posted July 21 2003 - 05:46 AM

Quote:
In the last 10 days I have given rides to countless women, my friends girlfriends, and even my ex was planning a trip back to the States from Europe upon hearing the news of me buying one.
More like a "Chic Magnet"

ROCK ON! Posted Image

#15 of 44 Rob Gillespie

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Posted July 21 2003 - 05:53 AM

Great little cars, but the Cooper S has 50+ more bhp than the Cooper.

Not sure if it's the same in the US, but over here they're expensive cars once you start adding in the extras ( alloys, air con, leather etc etc) because you get very little as standard.

They've also been subject to a few recalls too, in particuarly dangerous one concerning the grounding of the fuel line Posted Image
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#16 of 44 Steve>Smoker

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Posted July 21 2003 - 08:18 AM

Aint all cars expensive in the UK ?

Posted Image

I used to live there and next to petrol prices was one of my pet peeves.
Then income tax ..
Then VAT ..

But I digress!

Now - the new mini .... I've owned 3 of the old style ones and I'm sorry but they ruined it!!!

The old one was a lightweight go-kart on steroids, guaranteeg to make you giggle every time you drove it.
The new one has all the tech but none of the charcter.

No 10" wheels, pushrod engine and rubber-donut suspension.

Plus it was ripped away from Rover along with Land Rover by the germhuns before they dumped the rest.
Talk about asset stripping.

Posted Image

Sore point with Brits.

#17 of 44 Rob Gillespie

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Posted July 21 2003 - 08:32 AM

Yeah but the Mini is made in the UK so we still think it's British... kind of Posted Image

Build quality is lovely, very BMW, except for the interior which tends to look a bit gimmicky. Nicely put together though, no rattles or squeeks, at least in the one I test drove.

Quote:
Aint all cars expensive in the UK ?

Ain't everything? One consolation though; we don't get asked for our credit cards when we crash them and end up in hospital Posted Image
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#18 of 44 Chad Ferguson

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Posted July 21 2003 - 09:14 AM

Some people say I should wait for next years models so they can get all the bugs out of the system of this years model? Anyone agree, and when is the next one coming out?
THank you for all the help so far.

#19 of 44 Aurel Savin

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Posted July 21 2003 - 09:23 AM

Quote:
Some people say I should wait for next years models so they can get all the bugs out of the system of this years model? Anyone agree, and when is the next one coming out?

As of September 1, the 2004 model year will be produced.

The car has been out in the US for over a year and there have not been that many problems with it. Nothing unusual really. You can wait for it but there are not that many changes in store, mostly minor interior updates.

The stereo will most likely still suck Posted Image

#20 of 44 Steve>Smoker

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Posted July 21 2003 - 09:58 AM

Quote:
Ain't everything? One consolation though; we don't get asked for our credit cards when we crash them and end up in hospital


Hehe true - BUT

You dont spend 24 hours laid on a trolley in a cold corridor waiting for some doc that doesnt even speak english to pull you around and tell you theres nothing wrong with you.

I broke my leg in the UK, had to wait a week to be seen, meanwhile they put a temp cast on too tight and cut off the blood flow to my foot.
When they DID get a decent cast on it fell apart twice and I got nothing but grief from the nurse.
Afterwards they refused to give me physio and I had lots of trouble regaining the strength in it.
All for free .... yay.

Now - my wife broke her leg (did a better job than me of breaking it too ... Posted Image)and within 8 hours she was operated on, pinned & plated and genreally well looked after.

We went home the next day and it healed really well.
She had 3 follow up appointments and proper physio.
She got to keep everything she paid for.

Total cash bill - about 300 quid after the insurance had paid its part.

I too had my apprehensions about the American way of healthcare .. but i've found it VERY superior to the dreaded NHS, and any good job will come with full benefits, so it doesnt cost much at all.


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