1997 Rover - Austin Mini Review

1997 Rover - Austin Mini Cooper 1.3mpi from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.3mpi Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired24000 miles
Most recent distance48000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf


It's a hoot!


Several problems in it's first year, all of which were rectified under the dealer's warranty.

Firstly, it kept jumping out of reverse gear, and had a new gearbox put in at 27,000 miles.

Then, it overheated on three separate occasions before any fault was found. This was just a failed temperature sensor on the fan.

Clutch master cylinder went at 42,000 miles.

Rust has been apparent on the car from within months of me buying it. All the usual places around the headlamps and along the front seams.

Blows a greyish smoke when starting from cold, but only on start-up. Has been doing it for over a year, with no apparent effect on oil or petrol consumption or overall performance.

General Comments:

Have often laughed at the speed it can take corners (only on dry roads!). On standard 12" rims, so is not affected by the tramlining effect you get from the 13" wheels.

Interior screwed together very well, with nothing falling apart or squeaking. Suspect build quality seems to be confined to the bodywork.

Despite scoring low in reliability tests, all it has cost me for the last year or so is petrol, two front tyres and an annual service and rolling road tune.

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

Review Date: 8th May, 2003

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 1 review