2007 MINI Cooper S

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2007 MINI Cooper S

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2007 MINI Cooper S review: Our expert's take

By Mark Glover

It still looks cute.

Just want to make that clear about the redesigned-for-2007 Mini Cooper.

But if you’re one of those people who gags at hearing the word “cute,” let’s just say it still looks stylish.

When the Mini Cooper’s BMW ownership announced changes for the current model year, fans of the oh-so-adorable car wailed loud and long, fearing that the two-door compact’s mix of 1960s cool and modern-day flash would be ruined.

Talk about angst! You would have thought they just announced that future contestants on “American Idol” would be judged on their ability to play the kazoo.

Relax. In a nutshell, BMW didn’t mess up a good thing.

Truth be told, from the outside, the new Mini looks virtually identical to the old Mini.

The 2007 version is slightly longer, although most won’t notice the difference.

The front grille, headlamps and taillamps have been tweaked.

On the tested Mini Cooper S hatchback, an air-intake scoop adorned the front end of the hood, what the Mini builders so charmingly refer to as “the engine compartment lid.”

What’s under that lid is where changes in the ’07 Mini start to become apparent.

In the tester, change came via a new turbocharged version of the Mini Cooper’s 1.6-liter in-line 4 engine.

It’s rated at 172 horsepower, and the maximum torque of 177 foot-pounds comes charging in at a mere 1,600 revolutions per minute.

If your right foot asks for maximum power right now, a turbo overboost briefly raises torque to 192 foot-pounds.

Let me assure you, on a car weighing less than 2,800 pounds, those types of performance numbers deliver a kick in the pants. But maybe not the type of kick you imagine, since the Mini Cooper is a front-drive car.

What you get when stomping on the gas pedal is the sensation of being yanked down the highway. Think of an impatient dog owner pulling the leash on a recalcitrant Jack Russell terrier, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Performance from the small car was so robust that I had to be careful not to let the tester slip-slide into unwanted lateral movements when the turbo kicked in.

A blast? Absolutely, but you need to work up to fast starts to get the turbo’s rhythm.

And when you glance at the speedometer (mounted on the dashboard’s center-top) to see how fast you’re going, you’ll have no problem because it’s the approximate size of a pie plate.

Why the Mini Cooper’s builders opted to put such an enormous speedometer in a car so small (a mere 146.2 inches long) is beyond me.

Sure, other car functions are monitored on gauges within that giant frame, but the big Frisbee just looks out of place inside the Mini Cooper.

It’s as though the Rolls-Royce factory had a surplus of speedometers, and officials at the Mini assembly plant in Oxford, England, decided to take the extra gauges off their hands.

And speaking of the car’s small size, it will forever be a two-seater in my mind. My 6-foot-4-inch frame had no problem wedging into the driver’s seat and the front passenger seat.

But as for those two back seats … puh-leeze! Two squirrels would develop claustrophobia within minutes.

The cool interior includes nicely arranged touches of wood and leather. Interior noise can be bothersome when the Mini Cooper S is at full song. Otherwise, conversations can be carried on at near-normal volume.

The tester started at a somewhat pricey $21,200, but a base model starts at only $18,050.

While the 2007 Mini Cooper is changed, its appeal remains the same, in my view. This is a great, responsive, agile car for a couple motoring along on an open highway, with nothing more on their minds than the fun of a carefree drive on a sunny day.

And if you opt for the convertible version of the Mini Cooper, so much the better.

Some folks would call a car driven almost exclusively for such relaxing pursuits a toy.

To which I reply: What’s wrong with that?

2007 Mini cooper at a glance

Make/model: Mini Cooper S Vehicle type: Four-passenger, two-door, front-drive, compact sports coupe/hatchbac Base price: $21,200 Engine: 1.6-liter, turbocharged in-line 4 with 172 horsepower at 5,500 revolutions per minute and 177 foot- pounds of torque at 1,600 rpm EPA fuel economy: 27 miles per gallon city; 34 mpg highway (premium unleaded) Transmission: Six-speed automatic with overdrive Steering: Power-assisted rack and pinion Brakes: Four-wheel discs (ventilated on front) with anti-lock Suspension: Independent, MacPherson strut-type on front; independent, with longitudinal struts on rear Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons Passenger volume: 77 cubic feet Maximum cargo volume: 24 cubic fee Curb weight: 2,723 pounds Height: 55.4 inches Length: 146.2 inches Wheelbase: 97.1 inches Width: 66.3 inches Track: 57.2 inches on front; 57.5 inches on rear Ground clearance: 4.8 inches Tires: P195/55R16 radials Assembly point: Oxford, England

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.2
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.1

Most recent consumer reviews


My favorite ever.

When it was newer the engine had some issues and a couple of recalls. I had the engine replaced because of a piece of metal getting into a cylinder. That when it was 10 years old and had 105,000 miles on it. Since then mostly maintenance. I do some myself. I enjoy driving it more than any car I've had before. The fastest, best handling and most economical, gas wise of any of them. I've gotten as much as 44mpg with it on a trip. Only mods I made to the engine are a K&N air filter cleanable cartridge and a blow off valve for the turbocharger.


The Manny Pacquiao of cars!

I got this Mini Cooper S with a manual trans 6 speed convertible. I guess the S stands for Super Fast! This tiny car will increase your heart rate so be careful driving it if you have cardiac issues .


Always wanted Mini now I am really disappointed

Look to look at. Has a lot of pickup for small car. Pretty small except for two adults in front seat. Back seat would not be comfortable except small children. Does not take rough roads or bumps well.

See all 40 consumer reviews


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