2008 MINI Cooper S

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$21,200

starting MSRP

2008 MINI Cooper S

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 MINI Cooper S trim comparison will help you decide.

2008 MINI Cooper S review: Our expert's take

By Sherrice Gilsbach


Mini has created the perfect toy for grownups with the Mini Cooper S. It’s so fun to drive you won’t even notice the shortage of storage space, although other drivers might wonder why your groceries are on the car’s roof – but hey, what are they driving?

With its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, you’ll be able to take on even your longest list of errands with ease. You’ll be zipping here and there and laughing at how easy it is to park the Mini – even in the most awkward spaces. With its small size and four-cylinder engine, you’ll use just a little bit of gas. I honestly don’t know how the Cooper did it, but after driving it 100 miles, the gas gauge hadn’t even budged! Yippee – the Mini offers fun and guilt-free driving!

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

SENSE AND STYLE

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great

Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Groove On

Despite its small stature, the Cooper offers an abundance of character. I wouldn’t call it “cute,” because it does have some machismo to it. Actually, I think the Cooper is a flirt. The rounded headlights seem to be winking at you. The heavy doors smack you on the bum if you don’t get into the car fast enough. I think I’m onto something here.

Seriously though, the Mini Cooper S that I test-drove came with black bonnet stripes that add to its racy-rally appeal. Shiny chrome accents give it just enough sparkle. There’s a circular theme on the exterior that’s carried out subtly but effectively. Lastly, the Cooper’s low profile makes it easy for the kids to get in and out of the car without any scrapes or bruises.

Mini incorporates a wide range of circular shapes throughout the Cooper’s interior to give it a bubbly aura. It’s as if you’ve been dropped into a glass of champagne. No wonder Mini drivers seem to have an eternal “buzz.”

The control panel, with its exaggerated proportions, is centered between the driver and passenger seats and adds to the unique Cooper experience. Other features, like the window controls and light switches, sit above the rearview mirror.

The seats were a bit disappointing at first because they didn’t offer a wide range of adjustability. As I got more acquainted with the Cooper, however, I was pleased that I could adjust the seat height (I like to tower over my ride) and that the lumbar support was strong. There wasn’t really a center console to speak of, but the simple armrest that came in its place was movable – neat! But I really wanted the armrest area to have some storage. I looked for more places to put things, but soon gave up that scavenger hunt.

My sons and I enjoyed the dual-pane panoramic sunroof, which helped open up the Cooper’s small interior, but my boys were bummed that their portion of the sunroof didn’t fully open. Sorry kiddies; there’ll be no jumping out the roof on the Mini’s watch. Safety first!

Our biggest beef with the Mini Cooper’s interior was a lack of cupholders. There are two ample cupholders for front passengers, but none in the back for my Mini-mes. Other models do have rear cupholders, but our Cooper S didn’t.

At 5 feet, 4 inches tall, I’m short but not that short. I was annoyed when I had to keep reaching back in the Cooper to find my seat belt. Because I moved my seat up so far, I wasn’t able to use the side sun visor. If I tried to flip it down, it just kept hitting my headrest, which rendered it useless.

Like a responsible parent, Mini knows it’s enticing you (ah, so you did notice the little “sport” mode button, did you?) and plans ahead for your inevitable misgivings. Secretly hidden within its candy shell, the Cooper has lots of safety features, including six airbags, traction control, antilock brakes, Corner Brake Control and Latch anchors that are easy to find and use.

IIHS Crash-Test Ratings

Frontal-Offset (Good, Acceptable, Marginal, Poor): Good

Side-Impact (Good, Acceptable, Marginal, Poor): n/a

Rear-Crash Protection/Head Restraints (Good, Acceptable, Marginal, Poor): Good

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value for the money 4.0
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 3.9

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Can always contact on this little car to just Go!

I love love 💕 love it!!! So so much fun! Why just drive when you can super charge drive!!! How much fun would it be if everyone drive a Mini!!!!

2.7

Nice toy but very expensive to own for what it is

I purchased this car as a graduation gift for my Daughter. While she is very happy driving it every day (when it works) I start thinking that this is the most unreliable car I ever owned. Spent las year $ 6500 to buy and almost the same amount to fix everything that failed around the car and I am talking here about a car that only has 85k KM on board . Below a list of items I had to fix so far : Timing chain Oil filter housing Front suspensions Water Pump Auxiliary Water Pump Pressure Temperature Sensor Breather Hose Turbo Hose Thermostat Housing If you do a little research on the internet it looks like all the parts above are expected to fail exactly around the number of miles this car collected (80-85k). Just WOW, what a perfect timing . Who know what's lurking next under the hood. Regular Maintenance (no issues with that) Spark Plugs Brake disks Brake pads/sensors Also there are a couple of low priority things that I did not get a chance to address yet : Remote entry not working. Looks like i need to replace the rear view mirror. Panoramic Sunroof partially working. Opening only if pushed a bit by hand. Plastic trim needs to be replaced because the plastic retainers disintegrate.

4.4

Zippy mini Cooper S with a 6-speed manual

This car is a lot of fun to drive and very reliable! It gets great gas mileage, would be a great commuter car! Great car to learn to drive a stick shift too!

See all 32 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by MINI
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/unlimited distance
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles after the expiration of the 4-year/50,000-mile MINI new-car limited warranty
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
Yes
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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