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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
Apr 08, 2003 (1:00 am)
Here's my update for what it's worth:
I purchased my 2002 Cooper S from MINI of Hawaii in October of 2002. I've got 6000 miles on the odometer (I'm on an island, after all...). I use the car to commute to work about 4 days a week (average commute = 26 miles round trip), ride my motorcycle the 5th day. I go through the Koolau mountains every day (mostly considered "city" driving) and have been getting 25-26 mpg per the odometer. The computer says I'm doing much better at 28 mpg. It seems as though I'm getting a little better mileage than when the car was first picked up, but only by 1 or 2 mpg.
I bought my car from the dealer's inventory. I was prepared to place an order when my salesperson mentioned nonchalantly "oh, we've got 5 more in the back..." I paid MSRP, which is rather surprising given the MINI hoopla on the west coast, but initial demand here in the land of Honda seemed moderate at first. My car has the 16" rims and tires, the premium package (the sunroof's a must in Hawaii), the fog lights (no fog here...hmmm), electric blue paint top and bottom (love it), the DSC, and factory alarm. Xenon's would have been nice, but I really don't drive that often at night. To be fair, the halogens/fog light combination does a good job.
I haven't added anything to the car yet, but I'm interested in how the simple addition of a BMP air intake would affect how the car feels... I feel the 16" rim and tire combination offer excellent handling, while providing a touch more insulation from some of our rough city roads.
I've had excellent service from MINI of Hawaii, part of BMW of Honolulu. The buying experience was terrific. The actual purchase took less than an hour since they said "MSRP, take it or leave it." What a bargain! I had the car in for one service appointment so far. Items covered: two nuts securing the "bonnet" air intake were missing. I had a cracked turn signal bezel in the front bumper, passenger side. I had a rattle in the rear hatch. My radiator coolant reservoir was leaking at the middle seam. I also asked the dealership to program the key remote to open the windows and sunroof when I hold the open button down for 4 seconds. The dealership needed the car overnight, but they had all things repaired (bezel was backordered, it's being installed on Friday), they washed and vacuumed the car and covered all requested service on warranty or gratis. They actually replaced the rear hatch striker with a new, highly polished (almost chrome) one per a service bulletin.
Interesting cargo experiences...hmmm. I teach for a community college here. We had a computer-aided design demonstration to do away from the main campus. I fit several PC computer main units (4 or 5, I think) 2 19" monitors and a digital projector in the car with me. Don't want to do that again.
My overall impressions reflect those of my MINI comrades. I love this car! For me the driving position is perfect, the build quality is top notch. The stock CD stereo cranks. I love the little tech touches and features. I enjoyed the initial attention given by non-MINI drivers, but am also thankful that it is diminishing. An analogy that comes to mind is this car is like a 4-wheeled sportbike. I might get into some serious trouble if the thing had more power than it does. It feels good, smells good, sounds good, looks good... Down boy!
I only have 2 nits and one isn't even the MINI's fault. In my first week, someone dinged my passenger door and I'm entertaining hiring a professional "dent masseur" to rub it out for me.
Second, since the day I brought the car home, the doors panels have had a minor buzz near the reflector/door jamb that I've not done anything about. It's such a small thing on such a wonderful car.
Apr 08, 2003 (8:45 am)
MSRP seems the norm for most places, though a few people have started reporting saving a few hundred off it in the ocasional random place. The west coast is still pretty popular, so that's the exception.
Electric Blue is an S color only, as is Dark Silver. It can't be ordered on a Cooper.
I would say whatever the price of that 2600mi S, don't buy it. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was a demo car, in any case, a car with such low milage seems very sketchy to have been driven 'nicely' Electric Blue was also one of the first colors to arrive, so the car's probably pretty old as well.
If you are interested in pricing it, just take the MSRP for all of the options, (it can be difficult if you don't know what you're looking for, since the leatherette looks like leather, etc...) and then discount it a bit, like 5-10% for such few miles. Sports is easily noticed by the Xenon lights on an S, (they have little headlight washers on the inside trim of the lights) or the 17" wheels. Heated seats (for the Cold Weather pack) are buttons below the e-brake. Of course that assumes its an '03, if its an '02 I'd expect a higher discount off MSRP, but its still a very poor deal considering you can get a new one at MSRP with exactly what you want with a bit of a hassel finding a dealer, in electric blue.
Apr 08, 2003 (9:44 am)
Thanks for the thoughts. That sucks they don't offer the electric blue on the base Mini! I absolutely love the color, but can't swing the price of an S (plus I would prefer not to have the expensive runflats). The color would work great for where I live too since my road is dirt and I only have a carport, not a fully enclosed garage. The other colors I like would look like crap all the time (indi blue, velvet red, british racing green). The one time I prefer a color besides black and I can't get it
On another note, has anyone tried to trade in a car for the Mini? Did they give you reasonable prices since you were paying full price for the car? I probably won't even attempt to trade my car in for another 6 months but it's good to know if they treat you ok in this respect or are like every other dealer.
Apr 08, 2003 (5:03 pm)
You should expect book wholesale or a little less. With the current market value of the Mini at MSRP, the fact you're paying full price for the new car doesn't really affect the trade-in price. They know what the market is for the new car (MSRP) and they know what money they need to get for the used car to make it worthwhile to take it in (wholesale).
Good luck with the negotiations.
#1311 of 2671 Speaking of trade-ins
Apr 09, 2003 (6:07 pm)
I was seriously considering the Works S retrofit but they want your old parts in addition to the outrageous price. It's the straw that broke the camel's back. Forget it. If I need something faster I'll trade the MCS for the new WRX STi.
#1313 of 2671 A post was just deleted.
Apr 10, 2003 (8:00 am)
To Everyone - We appreciate your insights, however please be aware that attacking others for their opinions is not allowed in our discussions. It's okay to take issue with someone's comments, however we ask that our members keep the debate civil/friendly.
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And let's get back to the subject of the Mini Cooper!
Hatchbacks & Wagons
#1314 of 2671 BMP or other Intake mods
Apr 11, 2003 (2:17 am)
Has anyone tried replacing their new Cooper or Cooper S air intake to use BMP's or other manufacturer's aftermarket air intake? Saw the BMP unit at the MINI dealership and found some literature on the web and BMP claims a 12 hp increase. No indication or torque increase, nor if measurement is at the drive wheels or not...
Anyway, wondering if the $170 is worth it. Only saw a Cooper S version. Cooper version is supposedly "coming soon."
#1315 of 2671 Just for information...
Apr 11, 2003 (7:22 am)
EU will get a Diesel version of the Mini this year The engine will be an extrapolation of the one found in the Toyota Yaris.
#1316 of 2671 Gotta get a MINI
Apr 23, 2003 (8:32 am)
I have been researching MINIs for about a year now and have not lost my interest in these marvelous cars. I last tried to buy one in the 1970s (from Canada) but discovered they were "illegal" in US.
Now they're legal. I am already trying to customize "my" MINI's paint job...but I don't know if the dealer handles that or I will have to take the car to a paint shop. Any advice? I am so naive...I just want the car delivered to the dealer the way I want it to look...unique! Thanks for any input.