Overview & Reviews
Few cars are as instantly recognizable as the Mini. Loved for its diminutive dimensions and cheerful good looks, the British-born car has inspired passionate devotion both in the U.S. and abroad. The brand was briefly discontinued, but was revived in 2002 with help from BMW. Successfully paying homage to the original Mini Cooper of the 1960s, the reincarnated Cooper combines an athletic, BMW-engineered chassis with a space-efficient interior and a generous standard features list.
The history of the Mini make began in 1959. The original Mini car was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in England and its mission was to be a lightweight, agile four-passenger car that took up minimal space. In a sense, the brand was born out of necessity. The United Kingdom was subject to fuel rationing in the wake of the Suez crisis, and British consumers clamored for vehicles that offered optimum fuel efficiency.
The car was originally sold under BMC's Austin and Morris brands; the Mini name didn't make an appearance until 1961. Although it had just 34 horsepower, the Mini was the ideal urban car and proved popular in crowded European cities. In 1961, John Cooper, a man who built Formula One racecars, put his magic hands on the Mini and the result was the ferocious Mini Cooper. His Cooper S model had (at 76 hp) more than double the output of the standard Mini. That infusion of power, along with suspension tweaks and some really good driving, had Mini winning the Monte Carlo Rally four years in a row (1964-'67). The marque landed on American shores in 1962.
The '60s truly was the decade of the Mini. New variations on the car's theme came with the introduction of vehicles like the Mini Pickup and the Mini Moke, a vehicle that resembled a quirky cross between a Mini and a Jeep. The car's abbreviated proportions are even rumored to have played a part in sparking a fashion trend; the miniskirt raised hemlines and became emblematic of an era. Mini motorcars tore up the asphalt on the silver screen, with the brand's appearance in the 1969 film The Italian Job. By the end of the decade, more than 2 million Mini motorcars had been produced. Sadly, the vehicle was pulled from the United States in 1968, in the wake of strict new emissions regulations.
Though no longer available in the U.S., Mini remained in production in Europe through the '70s and '80s. By the mid-'80s, more than 5 million Minis had been produced worldwide. In 1994, the brand was acquired by the BMW Group. The marque went on hiatus in 2000, but was resurrected (and brought back to American shores) in 2002 with the launch of the entry-level, front-drive Mini Cooper hatchback. Thoroughly modern in every way, right down to its BMW-engineered suspension, steering and brakes, the Mini Cooper is sold alongside its cousins at BMW dealerships.
Today, Mini's offerings include various derivatives of the Cooper, including a coupe, a roadster and a convertible; the slightly longer Clubman; high-performance John Cooper Works variants; and even the crossover SUV-inspired four-door Countryman. With such a diverse, fun-loving lineup, it's no wonder that Mini has become one of America's most desirable small car automakers.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,575.00
Seniors love Mini! - 2005 Mini Cooper
By Handy Andy - December 29 - 2:30 pm
Our Mini has been a wonderful car. It fits everything that we need to put in it. It is FUN to drive, and we get alot of comments from people who want to know how we like it. Even though we live 125 miles away from the dealer, it is not a problem because the Mini only needs to be serviced once a year Many of our friends and relatives have driven the car and all of them love it. There is alot of room in the front seats. Following the production of car on the internet was great fun.
2 months old - 2004 Mini Cooper
By sjcrino - December 29 - 2:00 am
great car. a real head turner. runs great. not much storage or little nooks and crannies. manuel transmission drives itself. run flat tires are a misery. way too stiff. don`t buy this model if you have back or kidney problems...or use a pillow. having a great time with this car.
Cool - 2002 Mini Cooper
By Jared Royce - December 27 - 10:00 am
I love this car, everything is so perfect, it hadels like a dream. I recommend this car to anyone who wants preformance at a reasonable price. If i had to sum up my experience with the Mini it would be "Damn." If you have the chance, buy the car.
only one problem - 2002 Mini Cooper
By minicooperbob - December 22 - 10:00 am
this is the second cooper i have purchased.the am radio has been terrible.
DRIVING THE MINI - 2003 Mini Cooper
By WHL - December 22 - 10:00 am
I WAS JUST GOING TO LOOK BUT AFTER DRIVING A DEMO, HAD TO HAVE ONE. THE CAR IS FUN TO DRIVE, MY WIFE LOVES IT. I WOULDNT RECOMMEND LONG TRIPS IN IT.
Sports car in sheeps clothing - 2003 Mini Cooper
By EBMCS - December 22 - 10:00 am
I have had my car for about 2 weeks, and while I find small things here and there that could be improved, I LOVE this car. The car is everything I expected for the money I paid. Transmision is excellent as is handling. I drive the S and the HP is plenty for a car of this weight, and it is about as quite as can be. I cant believe the review by mcoMINI. If I rated cars on his scale 70% of the cars would have to come out with negative numbers, 20% below 5, and the rest would be out of 95% of the populations price range. Reviews like that ruin the average for a good car.
excellent - 2005 Mini Cooper
By dustyduckl - December 18 - 10:00 am
I have owned a new 1973 Lotus a 1964 Jaguar xke, a 1971 jaguar xj6 and several cadillacs. I find that the Mini is by far the most fun car to drive. Its like driving a go-kart, Which I have also owned. The confort is not the qualty of the cadillac but then how many cars are.
Mini nightmare - 2007 Mini Cooper
By Dissappointed - December 14 - 10:00 am
This is not going to be your normal review since, though Ive owned this car for just 2 months now, Ive actually only had it in my possession for half a day and have only driven it 15 miles. Why? Because it keeps having problems which the dealer either cant identify or fix, and which Mini seems to care nothing about since they seem to have a problem sending parts to repair what they find wrong. My ratings are based on the 15 miles I drove the car. The problems seem to have started when they forgot to remove the gas tank vent plugs on arrival. But after replacement of the entire fuel system its still having problems. Yes, its a lemon and in frustration Ive asked for my money back.
My Mini has driven me off the deep end! - 2006 Mini Cooper
By jaimief - December 10 - 5:55 am
I bought a 2006 mini cooper hatchback automatic and have had nothing but HORRIFIC problems from the start! Where to begin, well all of the internal accessories have either fallen off broke, or cracked within the first year, including: cup holder, visor, change cup holder lid, and cigarette lighter!! Then someone smashed into my car and nearly totaled it, Prestige mini was responsible for fixing the damage and had me drive up there three times because they could not fix it properly. After the third time, it still was not fixed, the better business needed to get involved and still to this day, 4 years later, my car still is the most unreliable car imaginable. Terrible customer service!
Blue Texas Cooper S - 2003 Mini Cooper
By RoverRyan - December 9 - 2:00 am
Just bought this car two weeks ago and lovin it. Great dealer experience, and had a fun drive home back to Texas. Got it fully equipped, ever single option from the factory they offer. The NAV is virtually the same as in the Range Rovers that I sell here in Austin, and the only slight regret is not waiting for the DVD based NAV system Im sure they will go to. No real problems to speak of so far, other that the DSC light which comes on when I start the car sometimes (a quick restart and it turns off), and my trip odometer likes to reset to zero sometimes. But WOW what a fun, fun fun car to zing around.