2009 MINI Cooper Hardtop
There are 24 user reviews for the S trim shown below
- Speed, handling, looks, gas mileage, warranty
- backseat, Mini dealer upsells, out of warranty maintenance, visors, windshield washer, radio
Purchased As New
Bought this little gem in June 2008 from an LA dealer. Could not fathom paying the markup price of 500 extra just for owning one (call around before you buy - they wanted an extra 2500 just to buy the new Clubman). Downsized from my H2 which was getting ridiculous mileage (surprise!). Negotiated what I wanted and drove off the lot. Photographer by trade, and still able to carry my gear and whatnot on trips from Las Vegas. It takes some positioning and creative packing though. Had a few minor issues so far, sunroof sticking, exhaust tips poking out too far, odd noise from the engine. Dealer service was friendly, but they try to upsell you on everything. Was amazed that I went 17000 miles before the car decided to get the oil changed (covered under the Mini warranty).
My best advice is to get the car the way you want from the factory. Even minor 250.00 options are 1500.00 installed at the dealer. Wanted Sirius radio, but it is a 1000.00 dealer install even though most of this car is plug and play. Settled on installing my own factory alarm and still had to pay an extra 150.00 to "program" it.
This is not a good car for the desert if you have the sunroof. The shade is barely adequate to keep the sun off your head and the roof itself sticks when it is over 100 degrees. Supposedly you cannot tint the sunroof as I was told it would crack the glass. The sun visors are a joke as well, way too small to block out anything.
The factory radio does not allow for much in the way of upgrades. You buy what the factory offers and that is it. I do have the 10 speaker radio and it does sound great, but adding a navigation system or satellite radio is a bit of a headache without hacking into the car. Also, the speedometer will give off a nasty glare when the sun is just right. My final complaint would be the windshield nozzles. They emit a stream rather than a spray which I have found tends to clean the window better.
Once the factory warranty expires, find yourself a good mechanic. This car does not seem to need really any maintenance, but I did notice that the dealer charges quite a bit of $$$ for service items - 299.00 for a fuel injector flush, 99.00 for a tire rotation, etc. They claim that no one likes to work on Minis outside of the dealer, but I imagine that with some presistence, you can find a good mechanic.
This car is fast (really fast!) has great pickup, can stop on a dime, very roomy for the front seat passengers (backseats are for amputees only) the dials and whatnot are well laid out. The mileage is a huge step up from the Hummer. I average 30 MPG with the automatic transmission. It handles like a dream and the run flat tires are a nice option even if they stiffen the ride a bit. Fit and finish are an A- but the engineering in this car is unbelievable. The designers stuck things in places no one thought to look, and everything in the car is laid out perfectly.
Even though it sounds like I complained alot about the car, most of the complaints are minor annoyances and just take a little getting used to. No car is perfect (ever watch a girl in a skirt try to get out of a Lamborghini?) I would consider buying a Clubman next time, the extra 9 inches in the model we tested really made a difference for the back seat passengers and the bonus cargo room. Choose your options carefully, but overall you will not be disappointed with this little car!
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