2006 MINI Cooper S

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$1,155–$12,523 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 MINI Cooper S. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    26-28 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    168-hp, 1.6-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling, agility and braking
  • Drivetrain performance
  • Fun to drive
  • Strong resale value
  • Fully automatic powered top in convertible

The Bad

  • Backseat legroom
  • Seat adjustments
  • Rear visibility in convertible
  • Turbulence with convertible's sunroof open

Notable Features of the 2006 MINI Cooper S

  • Choice of two supercharged engines
  • Manual or automatic
  • Hardtop or convertible
  • Retro British styling

2006 MINI Cooper S Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Early in 2002, a modern front-wheel-drive Mini arrived in America under BMW auspices, though it's manufactured in Britain. Minis come in regular Cooper and Cooper S trim levels; the S model holds a higher-powered supercharged four-cylinder.

For 2006, a new Checkmate package features an exclusive exterior appearance with decals and hood stripes. The Checkmate interior includes uniquely patterned cloth and leather sport seats and a high-gloss dashboard panel. Fog lamps, Dynamic Stability Control and an exclusive wheel-and-tire package are also included. English leather upholstery is newly optional.

Mini continues to offer the high-performance John Cooper Works tuning kit, but it now comes as a factory-installed option, complete with a sport brake kit and a limited-slip differential. The kit includes a higher-speed supercharger compressor with coated rotors.

A Mini Cooper S Convertible went on sale in September 2004 as a 2005 model.
(Skip to details on the: Cooper S Convertible)


Exterior
Despite its bigger dimensions and more contemporary appearance, the modern Mini reflects the square shape that characterized the original. All four wheels are positioned at the far outside corners. Short overhangs result in a wheelbase that's only about 4 feet shorter than the entire length of the vehicle. A rear spoiler is standard.

The Cooper S comes with standard 16-inch run-flat tires or optional 17-inchers. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are optional, and many ...
Vehicle Overview
Early in 2002, a modern front-wheel-drive Mini arrived in America under BMW auspices, though it's manufactured in Britain. Minis come in regular Cooper and Cooper S trim levels; the S model holds a higher-powered supercharged four-cylinder.

For 2006, a new Checkmate package features an exclusive exterior appearance with decals and hood stripes. The Checkmate interior includes uniquely patterned cloth and leather sport seats and a high-gloss dashboard panel. Fog lamps, Dynamic Stability Control and an exclusive wheel-and-tire package are also included. English leather upholstery is newly optional.

Mini continues to offer the high-performance John Cooper Works tuning kit, but it now comes as a factory-installed option, complete with a sport brake kit and a limited-slip differential. The kit includes a higher-speed supercharger compressor with coated rotors.

A Mini Cooper S Convertible went on sale in September 2004 as a 2005 model.
(Skip to details on the: Cooper S Convertible)


Exterior
Despite its bigger dimensions and more contemporary appearance, the modern Mini reflects the square shape that characterized the original. All four wheels are positioned at the far outside corners. Short overhangs result in a wheelbase that's only about 4 feet shorter than the entire length of the vehicle. A rear spoiler is standard.

The Cooper S comes with standard 16-inch run-flat tires or optional 17-inchers. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are optional, and many Minis are sold with a contrasting-color roof.


Interior
Up to four people can fit inside the Cooper S. Leatherette upholstery is standard, and cloth or leather is available. A navigation system is optional.

Under the Hood
The supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the Cooper S delivers 168 horsepower and teams with a Getrag six-speed-manual gearbox or a six-speed-automatic transmission with paddles for manual-shift capability. Mini says the Cooper S can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. Engine output with the JCW tuning kit grows to 207 hp and 180 pounds-feet of torque.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain-type airbags are standard in the hardtop Cooper S. Dynamic Stability Control is optional.

Driving Impressions
Fast-moving fun describes the Cooper S. You get tight, quick maneuverability and sizzling performance. These little hatchbacks cling to the pavement as if they're magnetized. Ride quality is less appealing, though the Cooper S's ride seems less harsh than the base Cooper's with run-flat tires.

Only enthusiasts need to consider the higher-powered Cooper S; its impact is most noticeable at relatively high engine speeds. Performance with the JCW tuning kit isn't enormously stronger than that of a regular Cooper S.

Despite very short bottoms, the sport seats are comfortable and supportive. The backseat is quite comfortable and offers abundant headroom; however, legroom is minimal when the front seats are positioned rearward.


Cooper S Convertible
When the Mini Convertible went on sale in September 2004, it became the smallest soft-top model in the U.S. market.

Both supercharged Cooper S and regular Cooper Convertibles are offered. The Mini's fabric top can be rolled back 16 inches to serve as a sunroof. Equipped with a heated glass rear window, the fully insulated top opens in 14 seconds. Aluminum roll hoops behind each rear seat feature integrated head restraints. Convertibles have a reinforced frame and include side-impact airbags for the front seats. Dynamic Stability Control is optional. The drop-down tailgate is fitted with external hinges.

The Cooper S Convertible feels a lot like a go-kart. A small tug on the wheel yields instant directional changes. You're kept aware of suspension activities, but the ride isn't bad for run-flat tires.

Compared to a regular Cooper Convertible, the big difference in engine response comes when passing or on upgrades. Exhaust sound is much more noticeable and can hurt sensitive ears. The convertible's sunroof is innovative, but it yields annoying wind noise. Back to top



Latest 2006 Cooper S Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

A blast to drive

by tightymitan from PA on July 7, 2018

Anyone who has one knows that this car is too fun. Lots of horsepower. Easily upgraded. It has its quarks but you still love it. Read full review

(5.0)

Lots of fun in a small package

by Mark from Pepperwood on June 18, 2018

The R53 era of MINI is a blast to drive. The screaming supercharger whine, go kart handling, and power to weight of a MINI makes this model my favorite by far. I've owned and driven all models of MINI... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 MINI Cooper S currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 MINI Cooper S has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Cooper S received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker