2003 MINI Cooper Overview


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2003 MINI Cooper Overview

The MINI Cooper two-door hatchback was available in both Standard and S (supercharged) trim packages for 2003. Other than a few minor changes, such as a new interior color, new optional exterior graphics, some additions to the options packages, and an MP3 port on the CD player, the 2003 MINI was virtually the same as the previous year's model.

Power for the front-wheel-drive MINI was provided by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine. For the Standard model, horsepower was rated at 115, while the supercharged engine in the S version pumped that up to 163 horsepower. The Standard version received a five-speed manual transmission, while the S version upped that a notch with a six-speed manual. A continuously variable automatic transmission (also known as a CVT) was optional in the Standard model.

Design-wise, the MINI retained many of the elements of its iconic ancestor, which first appeared in Great Britain in the late 1950s, although the new MINI gave those elements a decidedly modern twist. For instance, the new MINI's taillights, fender, and roofline all mimicked similar elements in the 1960s-era Minis, while interior components such as the center console, instrument panel, switches, and air vents all drew inspiration from the classic Minis.

The MINI Cooper was well-equipped with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, dual front and side airbags, a CD player, remote keyless entry, and anti-lock brakes. The S version received larger 16-inch tires (as opposed to 15-inch tires in the Standard model), as well as a hood scoop and a sport suspension. A sunroof, leather seats, navigation system, and traction control were among the options.

The MINI Cooper's BMW heritage appealed to many drivers, who felt they were getting a BMW-quality car at a cost that was considerably lower than that of a standard BMW model. Some drivers were put off by the MINI's small size, but most drivers found the vehicle to be fun to drive, nimble, reliable, economical, and comfortable, as well as a head-turner on the road.


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