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MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper Clubman, MINI Cooper Countryman, Coupe, Hatchback, SUV
#502 of 1491 Re: need advice on options for Mini [tica]
Nov 17, 2006 (1:45 pm)
First thing: I'd strongly recommend a manual. The automatic Cooper is a CVT, and it's a dog. It's almost dangerous the way it accelerates from a standstill. I own an S, but a Manual base Cooper is also a blast to drive--although I prefer the S, the Manual base Cooper is a hoot too, and if the S wasn't an option, I'd get one in a second.
1. I love the sunroof. It's so large, in comparison to the roof, almost like having a convertible when it's open. The premium package is also desirable, and will make it easier to sell down the road.
2. Ditto on the aux/in. Very easy to install; I did it in less than 10 minutes.
3. No problems with semis--the car has such a wide stance, and low center of gravity, I get less blustering than I do with my relatively higher SUV.
4. DSC is great when you're moving, but it makes taking off scary at times, it slows you down so much. Overall it's worth it though, and will help with resale. It's fine in snow and slick weather--the only exception being deep snow.
5. Get the fog lamps if you can afford them, if for nothing else, the cosmetics. The front of the car looks significantly better with them; otherwise you have two black holes, and the car looks unfinished.
6. I have the armrest, and I like it, but it's only good rather than great. It's a little creaky; it's not very good for storage (the european parcel shelf is though, and you might want to consider getting that instead); they could have made it a bit more solid. I use it all the time though; if you're only going to use it occasionally, I'd skip it.
7. Get sport seats. Of all the things you listed, it's probably the single most important thing. The regular seats are dreadful--you feel like you're going to slip out of them; they lack support. The sport seats are good--not great, but good and are definitely worth it.
8. The H/K is significantly better than the stock stereo. Unfortunately the Mini is not the most favorable car to put an aftermarket stereo in--it's not impossible, but it's not as easy as it is in a more conventional car.
9. I don't think there's going to be a huge depreciation--supply and demand are still way far apart. There will be a hit in depreciation, but it won't be dramatic. I'd wait for the 2008's like was mentioned if you want the new model though--BMW's track record with the first Mini wasn't so hot--it took several years for all the bugs to get worked out. And don't forget, there are a number of people who like the 2006's (Myself included) over the new model; and there is a school of thought that the initial generation is going to be the one the collectors go after in 20 years...
I'd disagree that the Mini is a fad car. It has a fanatical following, unlike anything I've ever seen; here the 2006's are at the end of the cycle, and demand is as high as when the car was introduced in 2002. It's anything but a fad car--it's here to stay.
#503 of 1491 thanks
Nov 18, 2006 (2:11 pm)
thank you all for the info.
Just a few reply comments--
unfortunately, manual is not for me. I've barely ever do it and it terrifies me. Plus I think that NYC stop-start driving, means that it's not a good choice for here. I feel like I'd get into crashes by not being able to react quickly enough. I've had 26 years practice driving automatic though!
I did test drive the basic mini and went on the Hudson freeway. I didn't notice any lag or lack of power. I'm no car expert so maybe it was there, but it certainly wasn't anything that was evident to me. So I have a feeling it just for you serious-car people out there...
So HOW did you put your own iPOD in the car stereo exactly?
I like the idea of having one, but this seemed like an awful one, no storage to speak of, didn't look very sturdy and just didn't seem worth $200 or whatever it is.
4. FOG LAMPS
It seems iwth the fog lamps that they have to come from the factory and not many cars seem to have them, (at least the cheaper cars>) So I may hav eto miss those anyway.
This still confuses me as there seem to be an equal number of totally opposing opinion in favor and not about them!
6. Now I'm just at the place where I either take the next step and get the thing, or decide that I don't 'need' a car in NYC and should save the money instead! (and just vow to take more taxis or soething)
#504 of 1491 Re: thanks [tica]
Nov 20, 2006 (4:27 pm)
tica, if you're dead set on getting an automatic, then I'd order a 2007. The 2006 and earlier automatics are a CVT transmission--there is a reason Mini did away with the CVT on the 2007's--it's not just bad for enthusiasts, but it's bad for everyday drivers as well.
If you're not familar with it, CVT stands for continuos variable transmission--it doesn't have gears, like a standard automatic does. When you drive it, you'll notice no gear shifts. In theory, it sounds great, and it works relatively well on some cars, but it's a disaster of a transmission on the Mini. Just wait when you need a quick burst of acceleration--either starting from a standstill, or on the highway merging--and it's not there. It's borderline dangerous.
I had some work done on my car, and was given the auto (CVT) manual for a couple of days as a loaner. I talked with the salesman about how bad I thought it was--and he agreed. It's the least desirable Mini to own...
On the other hand, the 2007 will have a conventional automatic, with gears--and the reviews I've read have been very favorable, especially in comparison to the older CVT. Again, it's your car, but if you're definitely getting an automatic, I'd definitely get the 2007 (or 2008 if you can wait that long).
As for the ipod, there are two easy ways to do this (there are several more ways, but they are more difficult). You can have dealer installed ipod adapter, which is expensive, 150 bucks or so NOT including instillation, but has the advantage of being controlled through the steering wheel. Or you can buy and install a cheap aux/in yourself--that's what I did--or have the dealer do it (albeit for an outrageous fee, considering it takes all of 10 minutes to install. You could also try to negotiate a free installation--the aux/in is only 40 bucks or so (I actually got mine on sale for thirty), and it's so easy to install, I doubt the dealer would want to lose a sale over it). I've also got Sirius, and the dealer installed ipod interface--the one controlled via the steering wheel--isn't an option with Sirius. The aux/in is though, and it works great. The only downside is you have to control your music through the ipod, but you can use anything in that aux/in--it doesn't have to be an ipod.
#505 of 1491 Re: thanks [cct1]
Nov 20, 2006 (7:41 pm)
thanks for that info..hmmm...well all this gears and CVT info is definitely boy knowledge--You know, like bugs, tractors and electrical stuff So I REALLY appreciate this feedback. I definitely cannot do manual, but hmmm wait for the 2007..I hadn't thought about that since everyone seems so down on doing this first-year cars.
Does anyone know how much more expensive the base price on the 2007 will be?
#506 of 1491 Re: thanks [tica]
Nov 21, 2006 (9:59 am)
The price of the base Cooper goes up six hundred bucks, but it comes standard with a few extras that weren't on the previous generation (traction control being one of them, which you're going to want anyway). You'll have to add 1350.00 for the automatic (which is about what it was on the previous generation, if I remember correctly).
All in all, if you're going for a Cooper, and an automatic, I'd strongly recommend the 2007 over the 2006--you're going to have a much better transmission, and for the other goodies you're getting, as well as an overall improvement in the car, that extra 600 is worth it. Personally I'd wait for the 2008 if I could, but I'd be more comfortable with a 2007 with a standard automatic transmission than a 2006 with the CVT. You'll also do better with depreciation when it comes time to sell, which will offset some of that 600 bucks. Just my 2 cents....
The other advantage of ordering the 2007 is that you'll be able to order EXACTLY what you want, and personalize it to your liking--that's half the fun of getting a Mini! There are some very cool new interior options (many of which are simply choices rather than extras--you can set up a unique interior, and have it not cost you a dime extra).
#507 of 1491 Re: thanks [tica]
Nov 22, 2006 (11:36 am)
Hi Tica ~
Okay.... I had to say something in support of the MINI with the CVT transmission. I have a 2006 Mini Cooper S with the CVT transmission. Both my husband and I drive it, and we haven't noticed anything that I would consider "dangerous" in the 6,000 miles we have put on it. I've had previous cars with automatics (Honda, Audi, VW, Porsche, etc.) and think the transmission in my MINI (manufactured in July 2006) shifts good and hard when put into "Sport" mode or when you stomp on the gas pedal in the "normal" mode. However, occasionally I've noticed the "lag" when starting off at a stand-still. Again... I wouldn't label it as dangerous. One bummer thing is that you won't get as good of gas mileage with the automatic. I average about 28 mpg with all around driving. The highest MPG I got was 31 and that was strictly highway speeds (60-80+ MPH).
I hope this helps,
P.s. Anyone else out there own a MCS with the CVT transmission care to comment?
My new love's specs: 2006 Mini Cooper S, Hyper blue w/white top & bonnet stripes, chrome exterior & chrome interior, Premium/Sport/Convenience/& Cold Weather pkgs, black panther English leather interior, cockpit chrono pack, Harmon Kardon stereo, etc. We've already racked nearly 6,000 miles on it. I had a nice long road trip driving it home from out of state this September... I guess it's not as new anymore.
#508 of 1491 Re: thanks [tica]
Nov 30, 2006 (12:15 pm)
I just bought a 2004 MC with CVT and although I have only owned it for a week I felt the need to comment. I grew up driving in NY and now drive the car primarily in Philly. For NYC traffic you would be nuts to get a manual. Anyone who feels differently never drove there in traffic where you need to constantly inch along so as not to let the world cut in front of you and still cover the 1 mile distance in a hour or so.
As far as the CVT goes its far from being dangerous. Again we are talking about NYC roads, you are not overtaking cars on a twisty 2 lane roads in the country. It does have its quirks, however having "gears" is no guarantee of it being better. For example my Audi quattro WITH gears lurches forward after a stop due to all the intertia of the quattro and transmission. I'm not saying that the 2007 won't be better than the CVT, I'm saying that I would reserve judgement until driving it.
My recomendation is test drive the 2006 in the city and see how you like it. If you are ok with it and can get a "deal" or don't want to wait go for it. Also remember when you are inching along and 1 MPH it does not matter if you have a 500HP or a 50HP engine.
#509 of 1491 ha ha
Nov 30, 2006 (1:07 pm)
you are funny! I see you have fond memories of Manhattan traffic! Well, when I have been stuck in the traffic, all I need to do is remind myself that I'm in cooled/heated air, I have music on, and most importantly, I'm not lugging pounds of crap on my back in a backpack while squooshed near smelly strangers on the subway!! The minutes idling feel much better when I consider the alternative! (or being in a taxi with 4 air-freshener Christmas trees near the window behind my head triggering an asthma attack and Punjabi top 40s hits playing on the radio in front!)
thanks for these comments. I'm no car pro so all these subtelties, I don't think I will catch. I barely know what a gear is for goodness sake! All I know is that driving is much better than schlepping around town!
I'm going to Texas and am going to test drive one in Houston I think. I saw a couple of Minis in houston when I was home for T-giving last week. I was surprised to see them in Houston of all places where the last thing you need is a small car. Interesting.
#510 of 1491 Re: ha ha [tica]
Nov 30, 2006 (2:44 pm)
I'm glad the folks with CVT's are doing well with them, but again I'd strongly recommend the 2007 if you're going with an automatic. As I said before, there is a reason why BMW is getting rid of the CVT--it's just not that good. If you drive the new auto versus the old CVT, you're going to notice a big difference. Part of the fun of the Mini is that while it's not a brutally fast car, it's still exceptionally quick--and the CVT just kills that. Not to mention the 2007's have a better (softer) ride, and in general are more user friendly--the car was specifically geared to making it more accessible to the average driver in areas of comfort and convienence.
As a bonus new automatic also is equipped standard with paddle shifters--you may never use them, but they're very easy to use if you choose to, and alot of fun to boot.
Again, it's your choice, but I'd personally wait for the 2007 and at least test the 2007 versus the 2006 before purchasing, but that's just me. But this does come from someone who significantly prefers the 2006 Mini models over the 2007s with the only exception being the Mini 2006 CVT and the 2007 Mini automatic. If you buy the 2006 without test driving a 2007 first, don't ever test drive the 2007--you'll end up kicking yourself...
#511 of 1491 Re: thanks [tica]
Dec 01, 2006 (1:32 pm)
I have a 2006 base Mini with manual transmission that I drive between Manhattan and Connecticut on the weekends.
I agree that manual transmission is tough for Manhattan traffic -- it's tough when the traffic is stop-and-go and you are forever shifting between neutral and first. After one Friday with really bad traffic, I now wait until the Friday rush hour traffic clears before I leave Manhattan. (I bought the manual because I enjoy driving one and I spend a lot of time outside the city anyway, but if it's for pure city driving, I would think long and hard before buying a manual.)
I have the dealer (Mini of the Hamptons) add the aux jack and it's GREAT for ipod. I also have my Garmin GPS (with a separate bluetooth phone connected) plugged into this aux jack and can listen to the GPS directions/listen to people on the phone through the car's stereo! This definitely beats the $750 bluetooth car kit that dealers charge for a BMW X5 that does not do GPS/MP3 music, etc.
Hope my $0.02 help!