Monday, October 1, 2007

2008 MINI Cooper Review

The 2008 MINI Cooper doesn't look all that different from previous year models, but it's actually been through a complete re-engineering. Still small, despite being 2.5 inches longer than the 2006 model, it's also surprisingly comfortable and spacious for a car with such a tiny footprint. It's available as a base or S-model (base model coupe has a starting MSRP of $18,700) coupe or convertible.

Outside, the car still has the sturdy, squat shape that its maker refers to as the "bulldog stance," but it also has larger tail lights and tail pipes (there are two), and the turn-signal indicators have been moved from their previous position on the bumper to be part of the headlight array. In addition the S-model has fog lights now standard.

The Cooper is known for being a car that is fun to drive, and it comes equipped with a 118 horsepower, 1.6 liter aluminum alloy engine that is mounted transversely to conserve space. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, but you can upgrade to a 6-speed automatic that comes with paddle-shifters mounted on the steering column, as well. This kicky little car has pretty good fuel efficiency also, offering 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission (30 city/37 highway on the automatic), which comes out to roughly 525 miles on a single 13.2-gallon tank of gas.

Inside the car, the MINI Cooper has no fewer than six airbags protecting the driver and passengers, along with an anti-lock braking system. It's also got seats that adjust six different ways, and power-controls for the mirrors. There's an on-board computer system that tracks fuel consumption and outside temperature, as well as a pollen filter for the air conditioner.

The 2008 MINI Cooper comes standard with a six-speaker AM/FM radio and CD player standard, but is pre-wired to accept the optional upgrade to a Sirius satellite radio, or to a high definition radio system, either of which expand to include 10 speakers.

No comments: