2005 BMW Mini Cooper 1.6i 16v from North America


A functional, beautifully designed toy


ABS sensor damaged when washing car.

Suspension "A" bushing needed replacement at 60,000 (steering had play).

Other than tires, brakes, oil and fuel filters, nothing else.

General Comments:

This is not the Cooper S.

The Mini Cooper is a lot of fun. It's the kind of car that makes you smile when you have to drive. It handles extremely well, and has a lot of power for a 1.6 liter engine. The engine is made in Brazil by Chevrolet, and was tuned by BMW. It's a modified version of the 2.0 Dodge Neon engine. The only time I feel it lacks power is when I'm lugging 4 people up a hill in San Francisco (not often).

I was told that the 2007+ models have a Peugeot engine, which are more prone to failure than the 2001-2006 models.

The handling is very tight, and it feels like a sports car. Suspension is tight too.

The Mini Cooper is great for running around about town, but not so great if you're taking your parents and your grandmother out for a Sunday roast. It's also downright uncomfortable for trips of over an hour. Back seat space is very cramped. Trunk space is very small. But hey, it's meant for a couple without kids.

Amenities are very generous: heated seats, great sound system, Xenon headlights.

People smile when they see my car. They never did that before.

It's great on gas.

I average 31 MPG (US) / 37 MPG (UK) / 7.6l/100km for mixed highway/city driving, and 40 MPG US / 48 MPG UK / 5.9l/100km for highway.

Get this car while you're young and don't have kids. Also, sell before 100,000 miles as I'm told that auto transmission problems are the norm. A manual transmission will last a lot longer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th January, 2013

2005 BMW Mini Cooper S Convertible 1.6 Supercharged from UK and Ireland


Flawed fun


Engine failure, brought about disintegration of main bearing at 34K miles.

General Comments:

Great fun to drive, especially in the summer with the roof down. The engine made a lovely sound, especially with all the pops and bangs on the over-run, and the distinctive sound of the supercharger. Throttle response in the mid-range was very good, and the car was very quick if you're prepared to change down a couple of gears every time you want to accelerate hard.

Running costs were high due to poor fuel consumption (28MPG) and cost of repairs. I was originally charged £6200 after the main bearing failed. BMW UK stepped in and I only had to pay £1500, but it was still enough to make me fall out of love with the car. Run flat tyres were also a major running cost, especially as they can't be repaired after a puncture and cost a fortune.

The accommodation inside the car is OK, in that you can fit two small children in the back, but there's just not enough space to take them any distance, because their feet were very cramped.

The folding roof worked well, but did add a lot of wind noise, on top off all the engine noise and tyre noise!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th December, 2010

17th Nov 2022, 16:14

Had one of these, terrible cars to be honest. Water pump failed as well, twice in a couple of years! Flawed indeed.

2005 BMW Mini Cooper S from North America


Expensive and fun, lots of repairs


4 run-flat tires needed replacing at 60,000 km - $800.

Power steering pump at 67,900 - $1475.

Catalytic converter at 77,100 km - $1200.

Now needs R rear muffler, probably a CV joint, can hardly wait for the cost on that.

General Comments:

Great fun to drive, handles magnificently, great acceleration. Fuel economy only fair for such a small car, rough ride. Very expensive to repair, and needs a lot of repairs. Worth the cost? Only if you can afford it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th August, 2010