2007 MINI Cooper Overview

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2007 MINI Cooper Overview

Even though the MINI Cooper hardtop received a complete redesign for 2007, and grew slightly in size (for safety reasons), it was still the shortest car in the U.S., but also one of the widest. The manufacturer calls this a bulldog stance -- short and wide, with the wheels pushed all the way out to the corners. And it's this short, wide stance that gave the MINI its nimble, go-cart-like handling and impressive stability over the road.

Although the new design of the 2007 MINI hardtop resembled the models of the previous years, every exterior panel was updated and reshaped, according to the manufacturer. The 2007 MINI was a little more than two inches longer than previous models, with a new grille, hood, headlights, and taillights, as well higher shoulders and a reshaped roof designed to improve aerodynamics.

Power was increased as well, if only slightly. The standard MINI Cooper hatchback was equipped with a 1.6-liter, 16-valve, fuel-efficient aluminum engine that produced 118 horsepower, up from 115 hp for the previous year. The MINI Cooper S pumped up the power a bit, thanks to a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter engine that produced 172 horsepower, up from 168 hp for the previous year.

The standard transmission for both versions of the MINI hatchback was a six-speed manual Getrag transmission. A six-speed automatic was optional. Paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel were optional with the automatic transmission.

Inside, design updates included a centrally located speedometer, which also displayed the fuel and temperature gauges, as well as the odometer and warning lights. It was a throwback to the MINI's racing heritage.

Other features included an interior ambient lighting system, six airbags with side protection, automatic stability control, a two-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, a start/stop button, power windows, air conditioning, and a six-speaker AM/FM stereo system with a CD player.

The 2007 MINI Cooper was also available in a convertible version, in both standard and S trim packages, though the convertibles retained the engine, transmissions, and exterior styling of the previous year's models.

Drivers highly approved of the MINI's redesign, citing its pumped-up power, improved gas mileage, more refined interior, and new features as among its positive points. Drivers also noted that the MINI held its value well at resale time. On the downside, some drivers thought the suspension could be too stiff, making for a rough ride at times, and the back seat was cramped. But overall, drivers loved the new MINI's style, sportiness, and fun factor.

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