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2003 MINI Cooper

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 484 Ratings for the 2002 - 2006 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.3/10
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Love / Hate my 2003 MINI Cooper S

By on Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, easy to park, handles like a go cart"

Cons: "Expensive to repair, lots of expensive breakdowns"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"There are some really strong points of these cars and then there are some really not so strong points. We've had the car for just over two years. When we bought it in 2011, it had 72K miles on it. The cars strong points are that it's super fun to drive. It's zippy, handles like a go cart (just like the ads say), is crazy easy to park (especially parallel), and gets decent gas mileage. Although small, you'd be surprised at how much you can cram into these cars. The weak points are that it has needed a lot of major work since we bought it and it's not cheap to fix. First off, this model is supercharged, not turbo. The supercharger's bearings wear out by about 75-85K miles. When we bought it, the supercharger was already noisy, but not knowing these cars, I didn't know that it was an issue at that time. We had to put a rebuilt supercharger in it at about 95K miles as it was sounding like there were marbles rolling around in the engine by that point. I bought a rebuild from a company on eBay for $700. Mind you there are no brand new superchargers left available for these cars, they are all rebuilds. The BMW rebuilt supercharger was $2,000. I had it installed for $400 labor (the whole front of the car has to come off to do it) and wound up putting a new water pump and belt tensioner on it as well to avoid any problems in the near future. All in all, that ran $1600. The car now has 115K miles on it and the supercharger is noisy already and will likely have to be swapped AGAIN soon. Don't buy rebuilds off eBay, lesson learned. The clutch also went out at about 105K miles, another $2,000 for that to be fixed. The latest problem was that a fuel injector went bad, leaned out the fuel mixture in the #3 cylinder, and burned the exhaust valve in that cylinder. $2,300 for a new injector and complete valve job at the nearest MINI dealer I had to have it towed to. All in all we have invested nearly $6,000 in repairs over the $9,300 we paid for it two years ago. We've gotten 43K miles on it since we bought it and that's cost us $6,000 in repairs. Way too much. Not happy with how often this things broken down and how expensive it's been to fix. Our 2001 Honda CRV got $230K miles on it before the valves went bad and we sold it instead of getting a valve job done for $2,000. I'm wishing we would have kept it now and just fixed it instead of getting the MINI."

29 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Coopers are Cool

By on Sunday, August 19, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"The Coopers been amazing...never a problem, runs like a Swiss watch (Bavarian?), sips gas but hauls A55...a fun combo. The S is faster, but the Cooper is so peppy I could not justify the extra (few K) bucks to shave 2 seconds off a 1/4 mile, etc. The real surprise was in the snow...the traction control works so well I didn't miss the 4wd I had traded in on it...I was astounded at the traction...it just nibbles its way out of what would normally be a "plowed in" situation, etc. It has a safety cage and more air bags than passenger seats...its a tough beast, very safe. I saw a video of a crash of a Mini Cooper intoa Ford F150...it tore up the Ford, and completely protected its own passenger compartment...the doors even still opened etc...The Pick up truck looked like it had been hit by a bomb. :D All in all, its an amazing piece of machinery that becomes your best freind."

19 people out of 19 found this review helpful

I <3 My Mini - but they aren't for everyone

By on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "FUN! Great unique styling, gas mileage good"

Cons: "repairs/tires never cheap, basically a 2 seater"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The car rides like a box of rocks. It is noisy. When it breaks down it is never something cheap and easy. But This little car has so much personality I can not help but love it. It is quirky and fun. The convertible is probably its saving grace. Tall people will not ride with you. People will balk at the idea of climbing into that back seat. If you are driving, however, it is FUN! Lots of pick up, great response (I have a 6 speed manual.) Gas mileage rocks for a 6 speed manual sportster! Next I will upsize to the Countryman because I love the look but need some space."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Not Something I would buy again

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "over rated and you get nothing for the price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have had problem after problem with this car I could have paid for it 3 times over in the cost of repairs in just 18 months never again would I buy or own one if someone offered me this car for free I would have to turn them down because it has been nothing but a headache as far as driving it when it is running well it is a fun ride but every month something new is coming up to be fixed and the fact that it is a $1000+ just to fix basic maintance issues like a clutch radiator leak (not to replace whole unit) I Find it a turn off and leaves me to say because of this car BMW and all of their products will never be considered again!"

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

It's all about fun

By on Tuesday, January 15, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

"If you count cupholders - don't buy a MINI S If you don't know how to drive - buy a Honda - really! If you want a comfortable ride - this is the last car on the planet you want to own. If you spend lots of time on the cell phone - forget about it! The MINI Cooper S is a pure driver's car - period. Don't buy it for any other reason. It doesn't get great gas mileage, it burns premium, it's not particularly quiet (because of that cool supercharger whine); and it's absolutely a great car for someone who really loves to drive. Closest thing I've found to an Indy car with turn signals. Even when you're not going fast, it sure feels like you are......... I you're the kind of person who likes diving into corners, punching the throttle through 4 wheel drifts, and rowing through the gears right at the peak of the power band, this is your $20K passport to big, big fun. NO WAY you can have this much overall performance in any car that is similar in price. Most who read this will not understand. I love the MINI. I'll just keep buying tires and brakes and going back for more. Automatic transmissions should be illegal."

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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