RE: Mini Cooper S (R53): PH Buying Guide

RE: Mini Cooper S (R53): PH Buying Guide

Author
Discussion

Baileyk

86 posts

22 months

Thursday 15th October
quotequote all
Owned a r53 Cooper s 2005 plate for 5 years. Bought it 2012 for £5500 and sold it 2017 for £1500.

Bought it with 50k on the clock sold it with 120k on the clock. Pretty much faultless. Most expensive bill was a non Oem exhaust manifold [£300] and a new exhaust system £300.

Ditch the run flats ASAP as they don’t last, ruin the ride and cost double the price of a standard tyre.
17 inch alloys are so easy to Kurb on this car!

The gear change is gorgeously heavy, the supercharger whine is very addictive! The pops and bangs mapped into the car as standard are subtle but still cool.

The factory seats are not the most comfortable for long journeys and if your six foot plus, the car becomes a 3 seater when the drivers seat is adjusted.

Boot space will fit a single persons shopping (the battery for the coopers s is in the boot).

34 mpg on average = approx 350 miles a tank. 400 miles if using super unleaded. Hoon (which is encouraged) and it drops considerably! Road tax is high £300 +.

The design is awesome and is based on lady parts (watch the Netflix documentary ‘chasing perfect’ for more details).

Edited by Baileyk on Thursday 15th October 20:39

buccal

461 posts

150 months

Thursday 15th October
quotequote all
Timely article for me as I’m potentially in the market for one in a few weeks.

Been watching minitorque and the classifieds for the last week or two. However, when I see the later cars at 4K ish I can’t help but thinking I could get a 2012 swift sport for a grand or so more.


buccal

461 posts

150 months

Thursday 15th October
quotequote all

KGP04

7 posts

13 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
would love to know where the strut brace is for my GP, according to this 'guide' they are standard fit, but none of the cars had them. they were an accessory. so much wrong information in this... really poor from PH. Get on facebook and ask in the owners groups

ch37

6,357 posts

179 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
Prices do seem a little all over the place for these, cars broadly around the 100k mark seem to range from £1200 to £3000 with no particularly obvious reason for the vast difference.

Leins

7,614 posts

106 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
KGP04 said:
would love to know where the strut brace is for my GP, according to this 'guide' they are standard fit, but none of the cars had them. they were an accessory. so much wrong information in this... really poor from PH. Get on facebook and ask in the owners groups
Do you mean the luggage brace behind the front seats, or something under the bonnet?

dukebox9reg

1,416 posts

106 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
ch37 said:
Prices do seem a little all over the place for these, cars broadly around the 100k mark seem to range from £1200 to £3000 with no particularly obvious reason for the vast difference.
As with any Mini they come with so many different specs. Late ones can be had with a LSD and had better headlamps, power jump. On top of that loads of interior, seat options, wheels, bodykits etc.

Mine (2004) has the vision package I think which has heated windscreen and auto dimming rear view mirror etc but that's about it.No heated seats, no audio upgrade, no pano/sunroof, lists go on.

There are some sort after specs, especially if they have any JCW bits. Handbrake and gearknob for example goes for 100's and 100's and 100's (which is barmy).

Seen some people already speculating on these. R52 with all the options ticked, 50k on clock but they wanted 9k for it.

J4CKO

31,642 posts

158 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
dukebox9reg said:
ch37 said:
Prices do seem a little all over the place for these, cars broadly around the 100k mark seem to range from £1200 to £3000 with no particularly obvious reason for the vast difference.
As with any Mini they come with so many different specs. Late ones can be had with a LSD and had better headlamps, power jump. On top of that loads of interior, seat options, wheels, bodykits etc.

Mine (2004) has the vision package I think which has heated windscreen and auto dimming rear view mirror etc but that's about it.No heated seats, no audio upgrade, no pano/sunroof, lists go on.

There are some sort after specs, especially if they have any JCW bits. Handbrake and gearknob for example goes for 100's and 100's and 100's (which is barmy).

Seen some people already speculating on these. R52 with all the options ticked, 50k on clock but they wanted 9k for it.
That is a factor, but a lot is down to very optimistic sellers, especially traders.

But as well, at the age these are, some can range from utter dungheap thats on its last legs to pristine with every scrap of maintenance taken care of and four brand new Michelins.

Then there are the rough and ready looking, but well looked after cars, not forgetting tiny milers up for three times the price but have 15 year old tyres and just haven't been used enough.

Loads of modified ones out there as well.

Its a minefield buying cars this age, worth going to see a few and get a feel for it, really do the research and if you find a good one, dont be afraid to pay more, will likely be worth it in the long run, I have bought a doggy car this age thinking would sort it out, its painful and expensive.

Dont fixate too much on mileage at this age, condition and whats been done, am sure clocking these was a thing back then, so chances are many will have inaccurate mileages logged.

nunpuncher

1,743 posts

83 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
I don't think specs have much to do with prices now. Pano roofs cause issues, if you want full leather you can buy a complete interior delivered for £150, a set of £50 speakers will be better than the HK upgrade and the most basic system is the easiest to upgrade. Xenon's v halogens... both are like candles. The only spec that will significantly affect price is being a factory JCW, maybe aero kit adds a few hundred and sparco seats probably double the price.

You can snag a good one for £1k but the majority at that price have multiple issues from being run on a shoe string. The ones at 2-3k are at that price because those owners have put £ into these cars.

Jamescrs

1,314 posts

23 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
millen said:
I'm tempted - the styling has aged well and they look so much better than the bloated successors.
One practical question - do the rear seats fold forward and could I squeeze in a road bike with front wheel removed (or at a pich both wheels out)?

Thanks
Rear seats do fold forwards, the boot is pretty hopeless with the seats up to be honest but it makes a decent space with them down.

I have never tried putting a bike in but I would guess my road bike would fit if I tried it.

Leins

7,614 posts

106 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
That is a factor, but a lot is down to very optimistic sellers, especially traders.

But as well...
Very good post Jacko, that would be my take on it too


nunpuncher

1,743 posts

83 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
jonwm said:
Thanks all, spent the last 4 hours on eBay and autotrader smile it's one of these or a Saab convertible for the winter!
Have just drafted the ad up for mine if you want a good one complete with a set of wheels with winters for the front. 2002 90k £1500. Used daily for 2 years, been utterly reliable. Taken VERY good care of it doing the following in that time...
supercharger service at 87k miles with new oil and seals,
both crankshaft oil seals
rocker gasket
crank position sensor seal
oil filter housing seal
sump gasket
Cooler spark plugs
auxiliary belt
rear calipers
discs and pads
water pump
thermostat
thermostat housing
alloy expansion tank
clutch and release bearing
single mass flywheel
track rod ends
inner and outer front ball joints on both sides
Poly bushed refurbished front subframe
Facelift shift assembly (less slop)
stainless direnza cat back
15% pulley
Modified airbox (housed k&n)
Bluetooth stereo (music streaming)
MG straights + OE wheels with falken euro winters.



nunpuncher

1,743 posts

83 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
Jamescrs said:
Rear seats do fold forwards, the boot is pretty hopeless with the seats up to be honest but it makes a decent space with them down.

I have never tried putting a bike in but I would guess my road bike would fit if I tried it.
I can get my large road bike in mine with the wheel off and the seats down. The problems start only when there's 2 of you and 2 bikes. But tbf that's asking a bit much. The clue's in the name.

J4CKO

31,642 posts

158 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
nunpuncher said:
Have just drafted the ad up for mine if you want a good one complete with a set of wheels with winters for the front. 2002 90k £1500. Used daily for 2 years, been utterly reliable. Taken VERY good care of it doing the following in that time...
supercharger service at 87k miles with new oil and seals,
both crankshaft oil seals
rocker gasket
crank position sensor seal
oil filter housing seal
sump gasket
Cooler spark plugs
auxiliary belt
rear calipers
discs and pads
water pump
thermostat
thermostat housing
alloy expansion tank
clutch and release bearing
single mass flywheel
track rod ends
inner and outer front ball joints on both sides
Poly bushed refurbished front subframe
Facelift shift assembly (less slop)
stainless direnza cat back
15% pulley
Modified airbox (housed k&n)
Bluetooth stereo (music streaming)
MG straights + OE wheels with falken euro winters.
Folks, this is one you should buy !

Someone who knows it, takes care and improves it, not someone who wears it smooth and then wants to offload it and you get to do all the above.

£1500 sounds very competetive.

coded2112

13 posts

179 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
KGP04 said:
would love to know where the strut brace is for my GP, according to this 'guide' they are standard fit, but none of the cars had them. they were an accessory. so much wrong information in this... really poor from PH. Get on facebook and ask in the owners groups
Luggage brace in the rear was standard, strut brace under the bonnet was not.

I have owned my GP from new and it was not fitted with a strut brace, but had GTT one fitted years ago which really improved the handling!

Just love my GP

spreadsheet monkey

3,734 posts

185 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
That is a factor, but a lot is down to very optimistic sellers, especially traders.

But as well, at the age these are, some can range from utter dungheap thats on its last legs to pristine with every scrap of maintenance taken care of and four brand new Michelins.

Then there are the rough and ready looking, but well looked after cars, not forgetting tiny milers up for three times the price but have 15 year old tyres and just haven't been used enough.

Loads of modified ones out there as well.

Its a minefield buying cars this age, worth going to see a few and get a feel for it, really do the research and if you find a good one, dont be afraid to pay more, will likely be worth it in the long run, I have bought a doggy car this age thinking would sort it out, its painful and expensive.

Dont fixate too much on mileage at this age, condition and whats been done, am sure clocking these was a thing back then, so chances are many will have inaccurate mileages logged.
Good advice for buying any car at 10+ years old. Buy on condition not mileage, and look for a good honest private seller.

Doubly important for image-led cars like Minis, TTs, Fiat 500s etc which can be way overpriced.

Drekly

146 posts

16 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
buccal said:
That looks like a really good un, one worth paying over 4k for if it's as good in the flesh as it appears in the pictures. Just needs a pulley and intercooler upgrade and some Sparco seats to be perfect spec.

ch37

6,357 posts

179 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
I know there are a lot about but these almost seem too cheap now? Surely only a matter of before they follow the trend of 172/182s and start heading upwards, especially as more are written off/scrapped/track car etc?

LordGrover

31,568 posts

170 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
Don't know numbers, but there was a heck of a lot of them produced.

buccal

461 posts

150 months

Friday 16th October
quotequote all
nunpuncher said:
Have just drafted the ad up for mine if you want a good one complete with a set of wheels with winters for the front. 2002 90k £1500. Used daily for 2 years, been utterly reliable. Taken VERY good care of it doing the following in that time...
supercharger service at 87k miles with new oil and seals,
both crankshaft oil seals
rocker gasket
crank position sensor seal
oil filter housing seal
sump gasket
Cooler spark plugs
auxiliary belt
rear calipers
discs and pads
water pump
thermostat
thermostat housing
alloy expansion tank
clutch and release bearing
single mass flywheel
track rod ends
inner and outer front ball joints on both sides
Poly bushed refurbished front subframe
Facelift shift assembly (less slop)
stainless direnza cat back
15% pulley
Modified airbox (housed k&n)
Bluetooth stereo (music streaming)
MG straights + OE wheels with falken euro winters.
PM’d