Mini, oh dear

by Volker Weber

Mini Cooper S
Photo: vowe

I love the Mini Cooper. I got this close to buying one. Great ride, nice look. But not for the owner who has to look at this ridiculous dash board. And the exterior is getting worse with each new model. The Clubman with impractical doors all around; you can't see a thing in the rear view mirror. The Countryman, a Mini USV. And now the Coupe, a car so ugly they released photos with a camouflaged read end.


I've never had any problems seeing everything in the rear view mirror of my Clubman. I must be doing something wrong then.

Armin Grewe, 2011-06-22

So you don't have the split back doors with two door frames meeting right in the middle. OK.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-22

Is the Mini Countryman really a Mini USV? --> Mini SUV ;-)

Tamer Alipek, 2011-06-22

I'm still waiting for the big tailgating Chelsea tractor able to hide behind that...

Armin Grewe, 2011-06-22

Some call it a chick-car.

ingo Harpel, 2011-06-22

Thanks, Tamer. Fixed that.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-22

You're holding it wrong.

I still drive my 8 years old New Mini One with the interesting Chrysler engine. 90 HP, but never ever all together at the same time. 10 l/100 km. Besides that, the catr

I would love to upgrade to a current Mini Cooper D or - because of my three children - to the Mini Countryman Copper D. You have to drive it.

Sven Richert, 2011-06-22

That coupe is nasty but it’s not as bad as the Countryman. Now that is one hideous-looking car.

Ben Poole, 2011-06-22

Sven, hold on to your Mini One as long as you can. May not be fast, but who needs fast these days? It's much prettier than today's models.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-22

You missed just one thing.

Awesome, unparalleled cornering.

Sorry that's two :)

Lived with a S version for a few years and the horrible dashboard also disappears going around corners. The control layout is almost as bad btw.

P.S. I believe the low slung nature of the seating was a contributing factor to a *severe* back pain episode for me. Like screaming like a baby kind of pain. And that was AFTER the ambulance attendants had already given me the "laughing" gas.

Stephen Hood, 2011-06-22

I had the Cooper S for three years. Lovely car. I didnt have a problem with the Dash or Controls, as I was looking out the large picture window at the front at the time.

- Fantastic drivers car. Grinned every time I got in.


- New tyres, brake pads and *disks* every 10k miles. Ouch.
- Run-flat tyres at ¢180 each
- Very hard suspension and run flat tyres. Excellent for racing, bad for long distance.
- Very low in the road. A van tried to run over the top of me.
- Miniscule boot.
- Huge doors.

I now have a VW Scirocco 2.0 petrol GT. As fast, as good to drive, fantastic reliablity, big boot.

You trading in the Porche?

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2011-06-22

Bill, you had a first generation New Mini. Much prettier interior than today's. And yes, the ride is fantastic. Brake and disk wear is a driver's thing. I am on my second set at almost 160,000 km.

Volker Weber, 2011-06-22

I love owning my Mini Cooper because it's a hell of a lot of fun to drive, not because I want to look pretty to others while driving it... but to each his own.

Tim Tripcony, 2011-06-22

We were not talking about your beauty. :-)

Volker Weber, 2011-06-22

The Countryman.

Buy one and look like the first syllable.

Stephen Mooney, 2011-06-22

I was just as close, but found I am much too old for this type of "comfort".

Thomas Merchel, 2011-06-22

I like my Mini very much.

But I have nothing against the latest models. I like the sport seats in pipe design with the contrast colour edges, the genuine wooden English Oak dashboard, the multi function buttons in the steering wheel, the iPhone integration and of course the energy consumption of the new models. They are some good arguments...the price isn't.

I would need to drive approx. 250,000 km before it would pay off - that is about 25 years for me.

Sven Richert, 2011-06-22

niedlich sind die Dinger ja, aber das Motoren-Sammelsurium finde ich etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig. @sven: das waren keine chrysler Motoren. Diese wurden von Tritec in Brasilien gebaut (joint venture von BMW & chrysler). Die Diesel stammen vom Toyota Yaris, die neuen Motoren kommen von PSA, also Peugeot und Citroen. Allerdings werden die in England gebaut, was die Sache aber nicht besser macht ;)). Am schlimmsten war aber die Idee den guten Krawallmotor vom Cooper S (ein Kompressormotor von Tritec) gegen den PSA Turbomotor zu tauschen. dieser Motor werkelt u.a. im Citroen DS4... Dadurch ist der Fahrspaß und der Sound sehr zurück gegangen (beim Kompressor brabbelte es herrlich, erst richtig viel Gas geben und dann runter vom Gas.... unvergleichliches Geräusch). Leider merkt man dem Cooper an das er aus vielen Regalen zusammen gebaut wurde. Das ist zwar in der Autoindustrie heute normal, beim Cooper aber extrem. Schade eigentlich...

Martin Blunck, 2011-06-22

I agree... since the R56 came out in 2007 they lost a lot of "MINI" je ne sais quoi. It's much more expensive and difficult to mod, too. Us R53 owners are actually wondering what we are going to get next when the 02-06's start dying off. Though I actually like the look of the Coupe, I don't want a turbocharged car, and they killed off the decent limited slip option. Boo.

Jess Stratton, 2011-06-22

One gripe my wife had about the mini cooper S when we still had it (not much place for a pram inside) was that although it was really fast, it didn't *look* really fast.

The porsche and Bmw drivers on the motorway would just not let her pass when they saw her zooming up to her. Fun, but frustrating!

Andrew Magerman, 2011-06-22

@Andrew: hilarious. thats typical Porsche and BMW drivers. My wife had the same problem, but with an unmarked Audi S4 4.2 V8, not the FSI but the previous model. A little attention getting from the head lights always helped...

Chris Frei, 2011-06-23

Oh. They build these just down the road from me, so I ought to be loyal. But that Coupe is indeed ghastly.

Nick Daisley, 2011-06-23

A friend used to work at BL/Lucas (just around the corner) and one of his mates helps run the line at Cowley.

its - by far - the most profitable car line that BMW has. To the extent that the production managers have a huge amount of budget to ensure that the line never stops. Something that they were very unused to from their BL days...

But yeah, the new Coupe, and the suicide door on the estate. Bad.

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2011-06-29

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe