For drivers who preferred their MINIs with plenty of power, the MINI Cooper S two-door hatchback was equipped with a 1.6-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine that produced 163 horsepower (up from 115 horsepower for the standard MINI). A six-speed manual transmission was standard. No automatic transmission was available for this model.
The 2004 MINI Cooper S was essentially unchanged from the vehicle that first hit showrooms in 2002.
Minor upgrades included a new digital speed readout as well as an optional three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel. But the essentials that made the MINI so popular with drivers, such as its BMW engineering, retro styling and well-thought-out interior inspired by the classic Minis of the 1950s and '60s, remained the same.
The MINI Cooper S was well-equipped with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, dual front and side airbags, an AM/FM stereo system with a CD player, remote keyless entry, and anti-lock brakes. The S model was also equipped with 16-inch tires, a functional hood scoop, traction control, and a sport suspension. A sunroof, leather seats, and a navigation system were among the options.
Other features included a lighted entry system, a tilt steering wheel, a rear split bench seat, and power exterior mirrors.
The MINI Cooper S'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 typical BMW model. Drivers were impressed with the MINI's power, and the fact that it was easy to park just about anywhere. 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.