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

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

Author
Discussion

JRaj

43 posts

31 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.😭



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07

s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
nunpuncher said:
They aren't particularly fast but they can be quick when driven properly. You certainly aren't thrashing anyone at the traffic lights or having an adrenaline pumping charge down a slip road in one but a well sorted one is the very definition of a momentum car for UK roads.

Very much so - the later 170bhp ones are pretty much GT86 performance thanks to their light weight - as everyone will confirm, that’s enough performance to have some real fun on interesting roads - with the optional LSD and the standard skinny 195s ( normal tyres better than run flats in my opinion ) they are pretty nimble and responsive in the corners

Here’s the figures from when EVO tested the 170bhp version


cerb4.5lee

16,435 posts

138 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.

Looking at yours just makes me want to jump in it and drive it. driving

JRaj

43 posts

31 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.

Looking at yours just makes me want to jump in it and drive it. driving
For a 'modern' day car with safety features, it's mega rare to have four wheels with little overhang. That's what made it such a point and shoot car. They got the balance right with the 05/06 model.

jonwm

1,579 posts

72 months

Sunday 18th October
quotequote all
Ok so I purchased one yesterday, collecting tomorrow.

90k, 12 months MOT, 2 owners, some service history, 2004 LCI, full leather, chilli pack with heated seats.

Spontaneous to say the least, wife doesn't seem massively impressed but hey ho.

Not my ideal spec but last owner has had it since 2011 and has been garaged so bodywork looks great (from pics and his photos).
Ideally wanted sunroof / Harmon Kardon / chrono dials but my budget was not stretching to that yesterday smile plan was to keep it till a decent lease turns up, then just my luck a decent one on the Kuga turned up last night, exactly what the wife wants so might just keep it in the garage and tell her I've sold it smile

Dickie-D

44 posts

27 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
Elmariachi said:
Really like these and seriously looked at buying one, but was put off but the many tales of woe relating to serious and expensive engine failures. Shame.
Mine has been very reliable over the 15 years I've owned it and has never broken down. Now approaching 70,000 miles, it has suffered from some of the common faults though: power steering pump failure, door lock assemblies replaced, minor leak from cam cover gasket, oil dipstick and guide tube replaced.

Regarding the run flat tyres that geo1905 mentioned "allow the driver to keep going, albeit at reduced speed, for a reasonable period of time until they can drive home or to the garage...", the final straw for me with the run flats was driving 1 km to a garage at 20 mph with a punctured run flat, while it felt like the tyre was going to come off the rim at any moment. The garage agreed there was no way the car was safe to drive at up to 50 mph. I ditched the run flats and have never looked back - far better ride quality and far fewer punctures. Holts Tyreweld has worked well on the two occasions I've had to use it in 9 years and if it didn't, that is when I would use my breakdown cover.

I bought a Golf R a few months ago and now I'm completely torn between selling my R53 or NB MX-5. While objectively the Golf R is a better car than the Mini, it is a more relaxing drive, much heavier, and does not feel as sporty or characterful.


s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.
The latest ones certainly seem a lot bigger than the earlier R53 but looking at the dimensions it’s about the width of your fist more overhang at the front and only an inch and a half at the back. I’d certainly agree it seems a fair bit more

The height of both surprised me too

R53




F56



JRaj

43 posts

31 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.
The latest ones certainly seem a lot bigger than the earlier R53 but looking at the dimensions it’s about the width of your fist more overhang at the front and only an inch and a half at the back. I’d certainly agree it seems a fair bit more

The height of both surprised me too

R53




F56

Very deceptive. The F56 seems like a step up in size. Wonder what magic they sprinkled onto the R53? Looks dinky, well certainly not dinky to the original!

cerb4.5lee

16,435 posts

138 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
JRaj said:
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.
The latest ones certainly seem a lot bigger than the earlier R53 but looking at the dimensions it’s about the width of your fist more overhang at the front and only an inch and a half at the back. I’d certainly agree it seems a fair bit more

The height of both surprised me too

R53




F56

Very deceptive. The F56 seems like a step up in size. Wonder what magic they sprinkled onto the R53? Looks dinky, well certainly not dinky to the original!
Yes and that has really surprised me as well. Everyone seems to moan about the F56 being massive in comparison to the R53, but the reality is that there isn't really that much in it. The R53 does actually look miles smaller though to my eyes. I do wonder if the silly oversized front and rear lights don't help the F56 though.

blue al

273 posts

117 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
F56 is bigger on the outside but feels smaller on the inside
Seems the seat won’t move as far forward to allow adults into the back...
A pillar feels thicker also
Had all 3 the r53 is the best....

s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
JRaj said:
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
JRaj said:
Miss mine a lot. Best fun for 2 yrs. Small, turn in was wonderful and bags of character. Needs must and the boot beginning to rust, the family growing it had to go.??



Edited by JRaj on Sunday 18th October 10:07
What I love about the earlier ones like yours is how the wheels are right at the front and rear of the car. My F56 is nothing like that, loads of overhang at the front and still a fair bit at the rear too.
The latest ones certainly seem a lot bigger than the earlier R53 but looking at the dimensions it’s about the width of your fist more overhang at the front and only an inch and a half at the back. I’d certainly agree it seems a fair bit more

The height of both surprised me too

R53




F56

Very deceptive. The F56 seems like a step up in size. Wonder what magic they sprinkled onto the R53? Looks dinky, well certainly not dinky to the original!
Yes, it is quite deceptive isn’t it

The new one appears a lot bigger - certainly roomier inside

I noticed parking in the garage there’s about a handspan extra length overall

cerb4.5lee

16,435 posts

138 months

Monday 19th October
quotequote all
blue al said:
F56 is bigger on the outside but feels smaller on the inside
Seems the seat won’t move as far forward to allow adults into the back...
A pillar feels thicker also
Had all 3 the r53 is the best....
I was given an opportunity to drive my mates brand new R53 Cooper S back in 2002, and I turned it down because I didn't want to risk marking it in anyway. I wished I'd said yes with hindsight though, so I could have experienced the supercharger. cool

s m

19,802 posts

161 months

Tuesday 20th October
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
blue al said:
F56 is bigger on the outside but feels smaller on the inside
Seems the seat won’t move as far forward to allow adults into the back...
A pillar feels thicker also
Had all 3 the r53 is the best....
I was given an opportunity to drive my mates brand new R53 Cooper S back in 2002, and I turned it down because I didn't want to risk marking it in anyway. I wished I'd said yes with hindsight though, so I could have experienced the supercharger. cool
People generally seem a lot more positive about them now than 15 years ago Lee.
They were scorned to a certain extent when new but I think more people have come round to liking them as they’ve aged - people are finding them more fun than the latest 700bhp hybrid barge/supercar as a car to actually enjoy

Challo

5,729 posts

113 months

Tuesday 20th October
quotequote all
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
blue al said:
F56 is bigger on the outside but feels smaller on the inside
Seems the seat won’t move as far forward to allow adults into the back...
A pillar feels thicker also
Had all 3 the r53 is the best....
I was given an opportunity to drive my mates brand new R53 Cooper S back in 2002, and I turned it down because I didn't want to risk marking it in anyway. I wished I'd said yes with hindsight though, so I could have experienced the supercharger. cool
People generally seem a lot more positive about them now than 15 years ago Lee.
They were scorned to a certain extent when new but I think more people have come round to liking them as they’ve aged - people are finding them more fun than the latest 700bhp hybrid barge/supercar as a car to actually enjoy
I think when they first came out, people didn't like them because they where the 'new' mini and people still loved the old design. They kept coming up with the 'BINI' and 'Its not a Mini its a Maxi' comments. I loved mine, and would have another if i could.

I have gone back to a Mini recently with the R55, but potentially might go for a new F56 next year.

and31

487 posts

85 months

Tuesday 20th October
quotequote all
I love my R53-never selling it!!
-15% pulley,GRS intercooler,ST coilovers,induction kit and a miltek cat back-such a fun car .need to sort out the engine mounts soon though,and possibly some lightweight wheels,although I like the fact it looks stock apart from the ride height.

Dickie-D

44 posts

27 months

Tuesday 20th October
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
I was given an opportunity to drive my mates brand new R53 Cooper S back in 2002, and I turned it down because I didn't want to risk marking it in anyway. I wished I'd said yes with hindsight though, so I could have experienced the supercharger. cool
The supercharger is a lovely thing and has played a big part in my decision to keep the car for so long.

MightyBadger

308 posts

8 months

Tuesday 20th October
quotequote all
hammo19 said:
We currently have a 2019 Cooper S Auto it’s a fabulous competent car but not as much fun as the two R53 Cooper S we have had before. Whilst the new one is quick the R53 just felt more sportier and fun to drive.
Were your r53s auto as well?