2007 BMW Mini Cooper S 1.6L DOHC 16v turbo from North America


Has potential, but a long way to go in engineering and dealer support!


In the winter of 2007/08, there was an intermittent cold start cam tappet clacking.

Cam timing jumped after 8 months in June of 2008, two dealers could not figure it out including a factory owned store, and it took them over 40+ days (no loaner either). After trying to charge me for diagnosis because of a few aftermarket items I had in the car, that had nothing to do with the problem, I asked for the car back. Within three hours of getting the car back to my employers office, aftermarket auto parts manufacturer, I had the problem diagnosed thanks to BMW's online factory manual resource site.

I told the dealers it sounded like cam timing, but they just kept pounding away that it was the ignition amplifier I had installed and because I spliced into the wiring. Needless to say it's been almost 6 months and the car runs flawlessly now, although I still get the intermittent cold start clacking, but I'm not going back to the dealers because they couldn't change a light bulb without a GPS.

The moonroof also sticks closed when the weather is hot.

General Comments:

It's a shame BMW/MINI's dealer network is so horrendous, because I think the car is a good baseline for what other manufacturers should offer. The problem is the pricing is way too high for what you get, and there are too many compromises in quality for the price being asked. BMW/MINI also fail to allow improvements to be added to earlier models like auto up window feature found in late 2008 models.

Traction control and stability control should not be in one button like it is now; all or nothing. Many times you want the stability without the traction.

The moonroof should have an auto open/close feature. And for goodness sake, how about a real sunroof shade.

The Cooper S is too high even with sport suspension, as it looks like a tiny SUV.

This is the last BMW/MINI product I will ever own. I've had two VW Jetta's, 2001 Wolfsburg and a 2006 GLI, and they kill the MINI in fit and finish, and for thousands less. And their performance is on par, if not better. Even my 2005 Legacy GT seemed a better overall package, except for the fuel economy!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th December, 2008

4th Oct 2010, 18:47

To be honest, after test driving a 2010 Mini Cooper S, I was disappointed with the performance. Despite being a brand new 1.6 DOHC turbo, it was noticeably slower than the 1091 SAAB 900 Aero I currently drive. What did you think of the Mini's power output/acceleration?

2007 BMW Mini Cooper S 1.6 litre turbo from North America


Great performance with great economy + comfort - what else can you ask for?


Only 5000 miles so far, so no problems yet! (it IS British built, after all ;).

General Comments:

The car has proven, thus far, to be remarkably capable.

It never seems to be wanting for power, and the handling is spot on. True, the ride is a bit tight, but as expected with this type of car.

I am 6'4", and wanted a sports car with power and reasonable economy. I fit in so few vehicles (SUV's were useless, and certainly not sporty) that I despaired at finding one to suit my needs. My '99 Audi A4 V6 quattro was great, but a little tight as well as pricey with repairs. I thought about a used VW Beetle Turbo S or a new GTI, but after driving a base Cooper, I was hooked.

Once I tried the "S", it was over.

Well built (but not like an Audi, though), it's a remarkable package. Superb handling, 2 inches of head room left for me - remember, SIX FOOT FOUR! - loads of power, tenacious grip, lightning handling, and really balanced. Oh yeah, 30 MPG on average, 36 MPG on the freeway. SWEET!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2008