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The MINI Board
The Mini Cooper Forum

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2008, 06:16 PM
Mike88 Mike88 is offline
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new to the board...a few questions

I've been seriously considering a used new MINI for some time now. I've been doing my homework on the car, but I have a few questions I just can't find any answers to...so here goes:

I've found at least one source indicating that 03's get substantially better fuel economy than 02's. On a few websites the 02's seem to avg below 30 mpg, while the 03's are above...If I'm buying this relatively small car i've gotta have one that gets at least 30 mpg's. So, is it true that 02's get worse fuel economy and if so, why? Were 03's tuned for better MPG's and if so, is this tune available for the 02?

I've test driven both the Cooper and the S and while the N/A Cooper is fun to drive, I'm leaning towards S with the SC. However, I can find a regular Cooper for a few thousand dollars less than the S. I'm wondering how difficult it is or if it is possible at all to buy a SC from an S and install it on the Cooper. If this is possible, how much for the conversion and is it worth it? I ask this because someone is selling a supercharger from a Cooper S on local classifieds for $500.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-29-2008, 09:23 PM
Dave S Dave S is offline
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Mein Auto: 1988 535is
I'd like to give you a piece of advice:

Buy a new Mini, not a used one. The 3yr/36000mi warranty on them is superb and worth the extra money you're going to pay. I had my mini for 5 years and started to take notice of how much routine maintenance was going to cost on it. I sold it for $5k less than a new one would have cost and I guarantee that the person that bought it is going to put that much into it (in maintenance) in the next 3 years. Plus, the new mini is advertised at 40mpg highway.

I'd shy away from trying to upgrade a standard to an S. There are many people here more capable of explaining the technical difficulties (dare I say "impossiblities"), so I'll leave them to it. Suffice to say... a supercharger is not a bolt in upgrade.

The standard is plenty sporty for most things you need to do. I never found the car lacking for power in standard or even slightly agressive driving. It can't compete with the 200hp ricers off the line, but it can compete with most things through the turns. It's plenty fun to drive without the SC.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2008, 07:01 AM
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mtbscott mtbscott is offline
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Early first generation MINI's (02-04) had their share of maintenance issues, updates for 05-06 cleared up a bunch of them. That said, supercharged S's DO NOT get great gas mileage. My 06 averaged around 19-21 around town and the best I ever saw on a trip was around 28. Base MINIs should meet your target of 30mpg.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:22 AM
Mike88 Mike88 is offline
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Well I'd love to buy the 2nd gen new mini, but it wouldn't really fit my budget. I'm just finishing up my graduate studies, and I plan on buying the 2010 Camaro next year when it comes out. So the (02-06, whatever I end up buying) Mini is going to be my 'beater' (if you can call it that) for when the Camaro is in storage for the winter. I've only owned used cars in my life, and since I do most work myself (asides from wheel alignments and tire mounting) maintenance costs have never really been a problem for me and I can't see how the mini would be more of a hasstle to repair than my 94 Camaro or 01 Saturn. Are aftermarket parts expensive since its a BMW?

I know these cars depreciate less than most compacts on the market, which is why I'm finding it quite hard to justify purchasing a 4-5 year old car for only half what I could spend on a new one. But, I'm basically just looking for a relatively cheap, fun to drive, sporty little car with appeal and nothing on the market compares to the Mini in this regard.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2008, 09:27 AM
Mike88 Mike88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbscott View Post
Early first generation MINI's (02-04) had their share of maintenance issues, updates for 05-06 cleared up a bunch of them. That said, supercharged S's DO NOT get great gas mileage. My 06 averaged around 19-21 around town and the best I ever saw on a trip was around 28. Base MINIs should meet your target of 30mpg.
What kinds of maintenance issues? I'd consider an 05, but I definitely wouldn't be able to afford the S at that point.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2008, 11:09 AM
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mtbscott mtbscott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike88 View Post
What kinds of maintenance issues? I'd consider an 05, but I definitely wouldn't be able to afford the S at that point.
This board really doesn't get much traffic. I suggest you peruse www.northamericanmotoring.com , and check the multiple forums dealing with the first generation cars. You will find lots more specific info on what to expect owning an early run vehicle.
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2008, 12:44 PM
Mike88 Mike88 is offline
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^ thanks for recommending the other forum. I noticed this forum was a little light on traffic, but thanks for your input none the less!
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