Used Mini Cooper Model/Years
I'm looking for a used Mini Cooper in the 2002 - 2006 year range. I understand that a redesign occurred in 2007. With respect to reliability and performance, are there certain years/models I should be looking for, or avoiding?
If you are considering an S, you should make sure that you service the supercharger. Most owners forget to do this, especially if the dealership has not. Also, do yourself a favor by NEVER buying a automatic Mini. The cost for a replacement tranny is around $8K!!! Besides, the manual is what makes driving one so much more fun.
2005 - 2006 is the sweet spot most of the early problem are worked out by then and you end up with a more reliable ride in the end and go with 6 speed (S,r53) or 5 Speed (base,r50) Avoid the ones that are heavily modded can be slightly dangerous.
I suggest test driving both and see what you like and hate about each as they both have + and minuses some prefer one over the other. I actually just have one of each to make it easy.
I had a 2011 Mini Cooper Base that I made better. It was a six speed and was an impeccable runner!
I love my S 2006. It is very fast. It is very fast. If you don’t pay attention to the speedometer you be going about 100mph by the time you look to see how fast are you going. It is very economic on gas. If you are looking to by one I highly recommend it. This is my second Mini Cooper S and I love it.
Between 2007 in 2009 there is an issue with the high pressure fuel pumps for the s . I have a 2009 mini Cooper clubman S and I’ve had to replace it 2 times the 2 years I’ve own it. It literally goes out after a year of use. Something to do with the seal I think? I managed to find one for $300 but they can go up to 900 possibly more. It is a six speed but with that being said that’s the only issues that I had with it, it’s even been modified. Like it’s been extremely reliable but I will tell you if something does mess up or you end up buying a bad car you won’t be able to drive it and you cannot trick mini coopers you have to buy perfect parts . A lot of offbrands don’t work.
If you need reliable and easy to use windshield replacements or repairs, you should check out this post: https://ukcarglass.co.uk/blog/mini-cooper-windscreen-replacement/ They were really helpful in sorting out my problems with my Mini Cooper and were a delight to work with.
My 2003 Mini cooper 5 Gear manual is still kicking. I only have 136,000 miles on it. I replaces the clutch once and the clutch cable. Original motor. Replaced the starter once, alternator once or twice. A few oil leaks began in year 17, after they were fixed no more leaks. Recently it started shutting off when I would slow down. The abs light, break light, flat tire monitor and check engine were all on. And my speedometer wasn't working.. My mechanic replaced the Oxygyn sensor and wiring to ABS unit /engine control and cleaned out and relearned the throttle body and I'm motoring once more. She purs like new. Repaired Under $400. Not at the dealer of course.
There’s nothing inherently “dangerous” about the MINI brand when modded - I’m sorry but the warning above to stay away from modded MINIs is misleading. MINI is one of the most modded cars anywhere for a reason and it’s not danger, it’s character, style and performance.