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

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

Author
Discussion

TartanPaint

1,831 posts

97 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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dukebox9reg said:
For such a small, light car and with a tiny forced induction engine, it really is dire on fuel. Have to say though, its one of those cars that always encourages you to actually drive it and it seems to hate pottering. Doesn't help the fuel economy in the slightest.
It's partly enthusiasm, but even timid driving doesn't yeild good MPG.

The 'charger whine and strong torques, but not exactly crazy power/speed, sort of wills you to hold gears for longer. It feels like it's still pulling strongly up into the revs, so you don't feel like it's time to change up yet. Also, the blower means there's not a lot of engine braking, so you shift down more too, if that's your thing.

My wife is much less interested in driving as anything other than A-to-B transport, and tends to be 1 gear too high all the time in my opinion. Even still, she could maybe only do 5mpg better than me with her style, which doesn't make much difference at the pump, so might as well enjoy it.

howardhughes

451 posts

162 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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This is mine. Had it for 5 years. Absolutely love it





Challo

5,729 posts

113 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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HeMightBeBanned said:
Is it possible to make these things ride properly? Wife had a Cooper. FiL has a Cooper S. The ride is unacceptable in both and they replaced the runflats ages ago. Is there aftermarket suspension available to bring some compliance to the ride quality?
This is the only issue I have with mine apart from sometimes needing more interior space. Apparently the very early cars (mine included) had sports suspension from the outset which made the ride very unforgiving.

AdamGP

193 posts

82 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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TartanPaint said:
EDIT: Oh yeah, 23mpg normal, 20mpg very fast road run, 33mpg steady 70mph cruise.
I'm averaging 28.8mpg out of my GP!

s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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k3ybo said:
One thing I will pass on - ditch the standard runflat tyres. Switching to normal tyres softens the ride, gives you lots more grip and feel, and even the finest "normal" tyres cost less than the runflats. Stick some tyre gunk in the boot and you're good to go.
On the OE spec 16s it's nicely adjustable as well if you lift into a corner, reminded me of the old 205Gti/Astra 16V

Worth getting one with a LSD imo

MajorProblem

4,700 posts

122 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Nothing about wheel bearing, steering pump failure, cracked thermostat housings or coolant tanks, airbag cables damaged by moving seats...

article said:
The power steering pump of the R53 Mini makes a distinctive high pitched noise when the car is at a standstill. It's nothing to worry about and just the electric steering pump working.
roflroflroflroflrofl

leedsutd1

770 posts

144 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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I had one the JCW loved it ,was the only car I owned, my mates son knocked on door wanting me to take him out in it[

Edited by leedsutd1 on Wednesday 30th April 14:24

Cassius81

276 posts

147 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Love them - still the best of the "new" Minis to my eyes.

I had a black 53 plate S years back and the old man bought a dark green JC Works S at about the same time.

OE53 HXH and M200 WKS (!), where are you now?!

Triumph Man

6,798 posts

126 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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BeirutTaxi said:
I helped replace a head gasket on an early 1.6 (with the Rover/Chrysler engine) and there were a few design flaws.

From memory (so I could be wrong) the exhaust valves are too small and therefore burn out from getting too hot.

Fuel economy not amazing either. Probably not helped by the rough as proverbial inlet path through the cylinder head.


Other than that, a good car and I think BMW did a good job of making a fun, practical car for consumers who need something to use daily and yet have fun when they want.

Because of that I've never understood the hatred towards BMW for making it the way they did.
I used to hate the idea of them. Then I drove one. Now I feel like a wally for hating them. God they are fun!

On another note, if you switch from run flats to normal tyres, do you have to notify the insurance company?

leedsutd1

770 posts

144 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Did not see another with these seats but must be some

s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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MajorProblem said:
Nothing about wheel bearing, steering pump failure, cracked thermostat housings or coolant tanks, airbag cables damaged by moving seats...
Not had a wheel bearing or airbag cable go as yet.

Problems from new ( 55 plate )

Leaking thermostat housing - replaced under warranty ( checked header tank and all well )
Driver's side engine mount ( oil filled ) failed - done under goodwill as common fault
Module that controls central locking failed after 2 weeks from new - replaced under warranty
Driver's side front wheel speed sensor failed - replaced it myself

No PAS pump problems as yet but followed guide to clear out carbon dust buildup which can cause problems so hopefully put that off ( touch wood )

One thing I'd do is buy a new dipstick as soon as you get one ( they can break leaving a piece in the tube ) - bought a new one as a precaution as £15 seemed cheaper than the hassle of fishing out a broken piece smile ). Or buy an all-metal aftermarket one for £50

Changing the 16" RFT tyres to non-RFT saved 10kg in weight and improved mpg slightly

jackh707

2,113 posts

114 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Having moved from a cooper to an S, the ride is nothing like a a good as the cooper.

I'm buying some 16"s off eBay to replace the 17"s.

I'll be loosing about 3kgs a wheel, and gaining a load of sidewall, and cheaper tyres too!

Winwinwin.

Cracking cars though, a real proper drivers car, ignore the facts and figures and just drive one.

For what is a 15 year old design, they are remarkably still fresh, (apart from the fuel consumption. ) I'm averaging 30mph, and can get 43 on the motorway.

Challo

5,729 posts

113 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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One thing I wish I had held out for was a version with the sunroofs. Really opens the car up and makes it feel a lot bigger inside.

Contigo

3,046 posts

167 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Bough the missus one a few months back off Ebay and she loves it.


gkw90

109 posts

93 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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Below is my other half's JCW with my 330D (sorry). It's a cracking little car. A few minor parts needed in nearly a year of ownership and the JCW badge faded out. Oh and an air hose connector broke, causing it to pop and crackle like a bowl of rice krispies for a few days. All fixed under warranty though so happy days. She didn't buy the car for economy but can just about edge 40mpg on the motorway but 30 is about realistic. As a previous poster has said, it almost eyes you with disdain if you potter about in it.

We're gonna keep it until it's ten years old and potentially convert it to a trackcar at that point. It was a more sensible idea than putting a V8 in the three anyway, so she says.


dalzo

651 posts

94 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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This was my cooper

Loved it as it was my first car, go kart handling and a nice place to sit(compared with usual first cars fiesta,corsa's and clio's)
Fuel economy was terrible
It broke constantly with me having replaced the gearbox 3 times, top mounts , window wiper motors and loads of other suspension bits.

Wouldn't buy another again but loved mine

brizza

20 posts

109 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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The worst car I have ever owned - HS02 CAA. a 2002/3 Mini Cooper S with Sat nav computer.
Rattled like hell, returned awful fuel economy (combined 29/30), performance and handling were uninspiring even replaced the runflats which lasted a year a peice on the front. ended up fitting a GRS intercooler ($$$) and Lohen induction kit to help. Started failing last year, ended up going through a new gearbox (£1,500 from 1320) and then the electric locking failed on the passenger door.

Best thing I ever did was get rid. an absolute lemon.

Pip1968

1,097 posts

162 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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leedsutd1 said:
Did not see another with these seats but must be some
Yes, my wife has them on hers. I love the retro look to them. They are possibly just on special editions as her is a 'Park Lane'.

Pip

Bionic Billy Nav

138 posts

124 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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I had a Cooper S a few years ago fun little cars but agree crap on fuel for a small car, I had a BMW 328i Coupe at the same time which I swear was better on fuel! And then track days it literally ate front tyres!! I would buy a Clio RS of similar budget over a Cooper S everytime..

Neil_M

687 posts

142 months

Wednesday 30th April 2014
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dukebox9reg said:
Not the best is it doing a buying guide and getting a lot of it wrong
You too noticed the points on the Supercharger and Gearbox being reliable... LOL?