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.
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