Last post on Mar 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hatchbacks Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#464 of 2671 Here's What I Think...
Apr 05, 2002 (9:12 am)
Here are some facts and opinions related to Mini Cooper. I have not read all postings, so please pardon any repetition:
- BMW makes attractive, well engineered, high performance products, if somewhat expensive. My wife and I enjoy our 2000 323iT and 2001 525iT wagons, both with auto trannys. The 323iT replaced a 1991 G20 manual that was a great car with 110k miles. The 525iT replaced a 1989 Dodge Grand Caravan LE (not so great at the end, but lasted 115k.) We get around 23 mpg combined city/highway mileage with both wagons, mostly city use.
- I am considering a smaller, less expensive car to replace the 323iT for in-town use. We are empty nesters and don't need as much room now.
- I wonder if BMW will resurrect the 2002 model?
- I plan to test drive a Mini next week, though I have no intention of buying one at this time for various reasons.
- This is a fairly new product with limited distribution. Many states do not have a dealer. Those living in LA, San Fran or Miami are well covered. There are two dealers in the Atlanta area. Mini dealerships are affiliated with existing BMW dealers, so this will help establish the Mini line in short order. In my experience, it is wise to wait 2-3 years in this kind of situation.
- 787 Mini Coopers were delivered (sold?) in March. BMW are on track to deliver the projected 20 thousand in the first year.
- I saw one 2002 Mini Cooper on the road near my home during the first week of introduction. It didn't strike me as overly small, and was certainly more visible than a motorcycle. There are at least a couple of vintage Minis in Midtown Atlanta, one in baby blue. Those are SMALL cars!
- For those who wait until 2004 or 2005, and aren't as picky about colors and options, a less expensive alternative is to buy a Certified Pre-Owned 2003 or 2004 Mini standard with low miles and most of the remaining new warranty. Some folks will trade their standard models for new S models. There will probably be very few used Cooper-S models at dealerships.
- The BMW CPO warranty adds 24 months / 50K miles on top of the new warranty. It covers more than the powertrain. I bought a like-new 2001 525iT with 9k miles (42 months left on new warranty) for less than invoice, plus the dealer offered a good trade in value on the G20. If I buy another BMW, it will be a CPO.
- The Mini website is fantastic. The 3-D views explain the technology very well.
- At 2524 pounds, with 97" wheel base and 143" length, it is smaller than the Civic/Protégé/Corolla, but about the same weight. I trust this extra weight helps make the chassis stiffer and safer.
- With the stock engine, it has less HP per pound than the above mentioned small cars.
- With the S motor, it has an even better power/weight ratio than most so-called "pocket rockets." Yet, I have not read any review where the driver was impressed with the S model performance. The S is supposed to do 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds. Apparently, the sport suspension is harsh.
- I wonder how the power will feel when the A/C compressor kicks in on the Standard Mini?
- Official EPA numbers are not available. On the Mini site, they estimate mileage will be 26 city / 43 highway. The city figure is not good for such a small car. The Civic EX has more power and better EPA numbers. The 2003 Civic Hybrid costs about the same as the Mini and gets almost 50mpg Hwy. I would expect more like 30-32 city and 38-40 highway for the stock motor and 5-speed manual. Perhaps this is what we will get when the official numbers are in.
- Regarding safety, Seattle Post-Intelligence Reporter recently published the article "Hefty SUVs Drive Home Safety Concerns." Here is a notable quote: "Statistics examined at the University of Michigan show that for every SUV occupant who dies after a head-on collision with a car, even a large luxury car, five car occupants die. In crashes in which the utility vehicle slams into the side of a car, there are 30 car deaths for every SUV death." Apparently, if a Ford Explorer crashes into us we are doomed whether we are in a Mini or a Lincoln Continental. So, we may as well enjoy the ride!
- Here's the link to that article: <http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transportation/62071_truck13.shtml>
- I would choose a Mini color to be as visible as possible in bright Yellow or Red with a white roof.
- I live intown, have a short commute, and seldom have passengers when I go on errands. I think a practical but fun car would be a small 2-door hatchback with around 140hp & 140ft-lb torque, CVT or SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox), 15" wheels and 40mpg average fuel efficiency. I can't get this with any current Mini model. The Mini S has enough power, but is not available with the CVT, and the suspension is said to be harsh.
- The US market is not expected to make up more than 20-30% of sales. Therefore, US customer wishes may not have much priority in determining future features.
- BMW's new Valvetronic technology is used in the 1.8 and 2.0 liter four cylinder engines for the 3 series compacts available in Europe. Perhaps we will get these engines in a future Mini? The 1.8 liter has 115hp 5500 and 129 ft-lb 3750. The 2.0 liter has 143hp 6000 and 148 ft-lb 3750. These engines have a wide power band and excellent fuel economy. Here is the brochure:
- The upcoming BMW 1 series (2006?) may be the real small car ticket. It will be rear wheel drive and cost less than the 3 series, but more than the Mini.
- Asian and other European companies build great small cars and could decide to bring them here if the US market buys into Mini. A friend who travels often in France likes the small Peugots he gets to rent. BMW will need competition to help keep them from charging too much!
- On the other hand, Ford and others are about to introduce Hybrid gas/electric SUV models that get much better gas mileage, approaching that of the current Mini. SUVs will be around for a long time, so we best get used to it.
#465 of 2671 The Mini Cooper 'S' is NOT slow.
Apr 05, 2002 (9:47 am)
How can you call 0-60 in 7.4 seconds slow?
So what if it "only" has a 163 h.p. engine, it's still a light car (compared to many others) and will outhandle most cars, period. It's a gokart and it WILL get you ALOT of attention.
The world would be a very boring place if everyone liked the same thing. I'm glad you Mini nay-sayers are passing on the car. Step out of line and let the thousands of others gladly take your place.
I'll be thoroughly enjoying my Cooper 'S' this May.
#466 of 2671 brechbeil -- Excellent points
Apr 05, 2002 (10:06 am)
Hadn't thought about the Cert. Pre-Owned program. Since MINI is letting people drive through short term lease program, there should be a few CPO MINI's available in 2004 if you can wait.
For those that have a dealer charging a mandatory $1500 in options/accessories on a purchase of a MINI, why not complain to MINI/BMW via email or a letter? From the MINI site, it appears that BMW is really trying hard to keep the MINI at MSRP without the dealer/market mark-ups. (Yes, I know how the dealer network runs in the US....) A little pressure from the MFR never hurts though...
#467 of 2671 brechbeil - BMW 1-series
Apr 05, 2002 (10:26 am)
BMW is most likely going to have this car in mid 2003 as a 2004 model from what I have seen, so its not much more of a wait. This car looks awesome, has an SMG transmission, and they have already mentioned the possibility of an M1 using the 3.0 6-cylinder engine. A car this small with RWD should be fun even with the base engine. For more details, check out the May issue of Automobile, the concept is on the cover. Also:
Apr 05, 2002 (10:31 am)
They are pretty cheap brand new nevermind pre owned. If they would offer a cvt in the S version I wouldent think twice.
Apr 05, 2002 (11:12 am)
How many times did you forget