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MINI Cooper, Convertible, Hatchback
#12 of 35 Re: Is Mini S a good car for a new manual tran driver? [thelibrarian]
Nov 10, 2006 (11:12 am)
First of all, I'd strongly recommend getting a 2008. The 2007 is new from the ground up--engine included--and Mini/BMW hasn't been stellar on brand new releases with regard to reliability. The 2005-2006 Mini's are substantially better from an overall quality standpoint than their 2002 predecessors--from such mundane things as the quality of the dash to more substantial things such as gear ratios. Let them work the bugs out of the car and engine the first year, then get a 2008...
As for shifting, the MCS isn't the easiest car to shift, but it's not the most difficult to shift either (The plain Cooper on the other hand is easier to shift smoother than the MCS, but it's the nature of the beast). That being said, you'll be able to get the hang of shifting the MCS relatively quickly and easily. Take a 2006 for a spin; if you can shift it, you'll be fine--the new gertrag on the 2007 from every account I read is a better gearbox than on the previous generation MCS.
As for driving in the snow, with traction control, you should be fine--I drive mine in the snow, you do have to adjust a little--the traction control makes takeoffs slow, but does a good job of preventing slides. Tires are very important here as well--at the very least, get all seasons if you're driving in snow.
Front wheel drive cars do just fine with the occasional snowfall; you can also add LSD if you're really concerned, although it's really not necessary for snow alone--comes in handy for spirited driving though.
#13 of 35 Re: Is Mini S a good car for a new manual tran driver? [cct1]
Nov 13, 2006 (8:16 am)
Thank you so much for the reply. I appreciate your comments! I think I could get used to the shifting. I actually learned to drive a stick on a 20-year-old Porsche, which I didn't think was that easy to drive anyway. My rental was a new Peugot, which was easier to drive all around (shift, clutch, and brakes). I don't want to be sliding around in the snow (or slush), so it's good to know that you think there won't be too much trouble. It's the one thing I really worry about with a car like a Mini, since I have zero experience driving a stick in the snow. Thanks for the advice.
#14 of 35 Re: Is Mini S a good car for a new manual tran driver? [thelibrarian]
Nov 14, 2006 (11:47 am)
Good luck with your decision--let us know what you decide! On other thing about driving in the snow: once you're comfortable shifting, it's actually easier to drive a manual in the snow than an automatic--you've got more flexibilty in gear choice/shift points.
#15 of 35 Why the shift to Peugot engines?
Jan 29, 2007 (5:17 pm)
Anyone know the 'real' reason BMW/Mini shifted their engines to Peugot? Had not heard about any reliability problems with the 05/06 "S" types only issues with the 02/03...?
#16 of 35 Re: Why the shift to Peugot engines? [shel6290]
Jan 29, 2007 (6:17 pm)
The Tritec (the engine in the earlier Mini) was developed outside of BMW by a competitor--Daimler-Chrysler, so here you've got a Mini, built by BMW, with an indirect link to Mercedes--that's a bit much for BMW to stomach.
The new engine isn't just a Peugot--it was developed by BMW in partnership with Peugot; there are several variants of the engine going into several different cars (including the Clio if I'm not mistaken).
The Tritec engine (which is in all cars from 2002 to 2006) is a great engine; the supercharged variant found on the S has won several awards. It's bulletproof--there have been very few problems with it, including the 2002's (the issues with the early models centered on issues other than the engine, perhaps with the exception of the dreaded yo-yo, which was later fixed with reprogramming). I love the Tritec, and the supercharger--I think it fits the quirky personality of the Mini better than a twin scroll turbo (everything has a turbo in this day and age). It's why I bought a 2006 rather than a 2007.
But the Tritec has its limitations. It's not nearly as refined as the new engine, and probably more importantly, it's much, much more thirsty--for Mini to remain competitive in the small car market, it needed a much more economical engine--and the new one certainly accomplishes this. The new engine, by all accounts, is a better engine for everyday driving--it's quieter, more sophisticate, better mpg, and slightly more horsepower, and quite a bit better torque. It will appeal more to the everyday driver, which is exactly what Mini was trying to accomplish.
Me, I'll take the relatively worse MPG--I'll take the whine of the supercharger anyday...My concern is that although the new car is more refined, it may be a bit too refined for my tastes--a certain amount of edginess has been removed from the car, which was one of the reasons I liked it so much in the first place. So for me, I'll take the Tritech, mod it (In fact my car is in the process of this as we speak), and pass on the R56. I bought my 2006 with the thought that I'd trade it in if I liked the R56, or keep my 2006 forever if I didn't--I've opted for the latter. I'll check out the R56 again this week in Chicago, and although I've seen one, I haven't driven one--but I've seen enough.
#17 of 35 Re: Why the shift to Peugot engines? [cct1]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 22, 2007 (9:59 pm)
I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a 2007 manual trans base model. I'm also disappointed that the MINI went turbo---I'm not all that fond of turbo cars myself and combined with FWD, it doesn't work for me.
The manual transmission base cars aren't available yet but I did drive the new automatic, and it's really a *great* unit with the paddle shifter. Better in every way than the old automatic!
Also I agree 100% the new engine is much more refined than the old one (in the base car I mean).
As for "new model blues" I'm going to lease and stick to a non-turbo, so I'm hedging my bets there.
Now the BIG question...Mellow Yellow with black stripes and black roof or Chili Red with white strips and white roof?
I'm not sure I really like a red MINI, but I"m not sure I don't
PS: Someone said that the new manual trans has longer gears in first and second---can't verify this one way or the other yet.
#18 of 35 Re: Why the shift to Peugot engines? [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 23, 2007 (6:53 am)
You gotta go with the Red, or else you drive around looking like a bumble bee!!
2003 Mini base Pepper White w/black roof
just had to get brake work done!!
#19 of 35 Re: Why the shift to Peugot engines? [Mr_Shiftright]
Mar 23, 2007 (1:26 pm)
Red and white is classic, it looks great--but it is very common. Its ok if there aren't a lot of Mini's around your parts, but there are two red and white mini's in the parking lot where I work--and I live in a small town. I really love the combo, but I didn't want to be the third red and white mini in the same parking lot.
I am not a huge yellow fan, but I have to admit the new yellow is very well done, and I'd probably go with that over red and white simply because it'll be less common.
But, if I was getting a 2007, I'd probably go sparkling silver/black, and do it up with black stripes. I saw pictures of this, and thought it looked awful. Then I saw it in person--it looks stunning in the flesh, especially in sunlight or under lights. There is also an unconfirmed rumor floating about that it might be a one year offering, meaning it would remain a fairly rare combination. Its my new favorite color.
Personally, if your getting a Cooper, that makes more sense to me than the S--I'd probably go with a 2007 Cooper over a 2006 Cooper, especially with the new valvtronic engine. But for the S, I like the 2006 with the supercharger over the 2007 with the turbo--the 2007 is admittedly quicker, but without the thrill of the 2006. But I added the JCW engine package to my 2006--gets me the torque I wanted, and the car is perfect now. Not exactly the mose economical way to go about it, but I'm hanging on to it until it dies; I just can't see ever getting rid of it.
#20 of 35 Re: Why the shift to Peugot engines? [cct1]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Mar 27, 2007 (10:54 am)
Yeah red is common where I live...also, it has that certain "Hey, Officer...yeah YOU...give me that ticket...I DARE you!"
OH, just kidding. Color choice is somewhat psychological...being a somewhat....ahem....mature individual...bright red seems so "mid-life" crisis for a guy with a bald head.
Almost everyone wants me to get the turbo but nobody wants to help me pay for it....it's about $3K more I guess....
But red is cute, I gotta say....
Mar 28, 2007 (6:09 pm)
I got the mellow-yellow with black roof. Without the stripes, I prefer to think it looks more like a little taxi than a bumble bee. (Especially with the checkered interior.) Have had for a week now (It's a 2007 S) and have had alot of looks and compliments on it. Six speed turbo is fun...reminds me of a 911SC Porsche I used to have (I think the Mini's a little faster, tho.) Stick is easy to drive on the turbo, although am used to reverse being over and down to the right. Keep putting it in sixth gear and then can't understand why it doesn't back up!