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Old 12-03-2011, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mini cooper for the gf?

So, some idiot decided to hit my girlfriends corolla last week and since we're pretty sure its totalled, we are looking for another car. Right now the top car on the list is a 2002 mini Cooper. What do you guys think about the mini and do you have any suggestions/recommendations on what to look for?
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

cooper is a fun car.
is it a cooper s?
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

My sister had a first gen Mini Cooper S for a while. Drove nicely. Rear seats are useless except for very small kids or people you hate. Beyond that I'd say just look for the usual, good condition with maintenance records if possible.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Powersteering fan failures in the 02-03ish. My friends pump about caught fire.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

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Originally Posted by phillyb View Post
cooper is a fun car.
is it a cooper s?
I'm hoping for an s but in the end, its all about how much money the insurance company pays her.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

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Originally Posted by adamvanxxx View Post
Powersteering fan failures in the 02-03ish. My friends pump about caught fire.
Hopefully this is fixable.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Get her a Miata, that way you guys could 'Miata' together.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

She's a real estate agent (devil) and she needs a back seat for clients.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Stay away from cvt and 5 speed midlands coopers. The trannys fail all the time. 05+ coopers and any S newer than 03 is a good buy.

The power steering failure is only an issue on early cars and most have been repaired if they went into a dealer at any time.

Really, any 05+ MINI is a safe bet. I've had 3 now with zero issues.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Thank you. She has her heart set on a BRG metallic 04 non s. I'm going with her soon for the test drive and inspection. Hopefully I can talk her into getting an S.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

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She's a real estate agent (devil) and she needs a back seat for clients.
Her clients will Hate her if the have to sit in the back of a Mini.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

True but if you get out of a mini, every property will look huge
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Try to avoid 07-08 S'. There is a common problem where the timing chain fails and parts of it end up in the oil pan, some needing for the whole engine to be replaced. There isn't a recall for it so id highly advise you to stay away from them unless theyre under extended warranty..

This happened to my sisters recently, luckily we're still under warranty and the timing chain/tensioner got replaced with a extended warranty. On cold starts the car will have a VERY rough idle.. it almost sounds like a tractor. Be sure to check that out when test driving some Mini's.

The rear seats aren't too bad, as long as the front seats arent pushed all the way back a full-sized adult should be able to sit back there, just a little tight. Besides that, theyre very fun cars!
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Yeah my gf is short. So am I. She is only 5'2" . Her seat will most likely be all the way forward. The back seat is going to be used for her clients kids mostly. I doubt they will have a gripe about it.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

I hear clutch jobs are $$$ (that is if you take it somewhere). I've had some fun times in s's and JCW's though. Neat cars.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

She lucked out. I'll be doing all of the service work.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

I would have to say no if she will be using it to carry clients around. People usually go house shopping in pairs, so someone is getting stuffed back there at some point. If I was asked to "hop-in" to a Mini by someone who uses their car for carrying people around for a living, I'd have to pass and I'd question their decision making skills.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

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She lucked out. I'll be doing all of the service work.
Godspeed to you sir. The build quality on these cars is kinda ehh.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

I drove an 03 mini not too long ago, it was fun. only thing I didn't like about it was the shifter
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

I am not a large person by any sorts (5ft 9) and it is to small for me to sit back there for anything more than around a block. A co-worker has one and I tried to get in the back and after stuffing myself in it I only lasted like 30 seconds.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

I'm going to have to compare the back seat against the scion tc and see which is worse. If its equal to or greater , I think it'll be ok.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

OK I just compared the two and the scion TC has 33.6" of headroom and the mini has 37.6" I'm 5'9" and the TC was about an inch too low for me. When we go for the test drive I'll sit in the back seat while she drives and see how I feel about it. Her main concern is about baby seats....women.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

2010 MINI:
Second Head Room (in)37.6
Second Leg Room (in) 29.9
Second Shoulder Room (in) 44.7

2010 TC:
Second Head Room (in)36.6
Second Leg Room (in) 33.6
Second Shoulder Room (in) 50.0

Its dramatically larger once you get in them the TC vs the MINI. However I hate TC's and love the MINI....from the front seat lol.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Fml.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:52 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

If the budget is large enough for a 2002 Mini, why not a 99-2000+ bmw or a lexus, something with four doors/leather/luxury image to impress clients
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:58 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

She doesn't want another Toyota and I'm not working on a BMW. We also want a car that can double as an autox car.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:24 PM   #27 (permalink)
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She doesn't want another Toyota and I'm not working on a BMW. We also want a car that can double as an autox car.
Um, believe it ir not, a Mini IS a BMW. It's block is basically from an M44. Albeit slightly modified (mounting points, oil galleries, etc.), it's still rooted from the E36/E46 four banger engine. Just an FYI!


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Old 12-03-2011, 10:27 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Right but its a bit easier to work on the mini. I pulled a motor on a 325 once and swore I would never own an inline 6.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:41 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mini cooper for the gf?

Get a Clubman or the newer Countryman. Both have more rear leg room.

I have a Clubman-S and just love it !!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:50 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Right but its a bit easier to work on the mini. I pulled a motor on a 325 once and swore I would never own an inline 6.
Hmmm, really? The M42/44 and the M50/52 motors have the same amount of mounting bolts. Same with an S50/52 as well. What exactly did you encounter that made you allergic to the BMW 6's? It couldn't have been the weight issue cause the 4's were know to be heavier (to lift out) than the 6's.

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Get a Clubman or the newer Countryman. Both have more rear leg room.

I have a Clubman-S and just love it !!!
Plus the Countryman has the extra doors to provide better ingress/egress for the OP's wife's clients!


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