R53 or r56 supercharger or turbo - MINI Cooper Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 2019, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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R53 or r56 supercharger or turbo

Hi folks. New to this but I really can't decide. Do I buy an R53 supercharged or R56 turbo. Pros and cons both mechanical probs etc, way they drive etc. Drove the turbo other night and loved it but not tried the s.charged one. Help pls!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2019, 10:17 AM
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Ok ... firstly..... All mini's are minipits .... whether its R53/R56 they both have their issues.

The drive on the turbo is nice, but I personally feel its less involving than on the supercharged model. They feel very different to drive, Both handle very well, with the R53 feeling more solid, go kart like and connected to the road. And the R56 feeling more modern and less of a wrestle.

It's personal choice really. For me, the R53 ticks my sensory boxes. Steering as if your holding the wheels in your hands, Eager engine with plenty of punch down low in the rev range. And then you have the noise...You simply cannot beat the wail of the SC on the power and the crackle crackle pop bang when lift your foot/come down the gears.

Fuel economy is better on the turbo model with the charged model guzzling gas by the gallon...Seriously, economy is macca ( my bmw 330 was better on fuel )

problems wise... dont know about the r56 turbo model... but R53.... look out for the usual stuff clutch, brakes stops starts, smoke from the exhaust etc. Engines can weep oil from rocker cover and crank pos sensor. Cam chain tensioners seem to need replacing a lot and make sure the cam chain itself has been changed if the engine is pushing 80-100k. Front suspension strut mounts can split and or have mushrooming( google this term to see what i mean ) ... if it has a sunroof, check it hasnt been leaking into the passenger footwell. Otherwise they are pretty solid if been taken care of.

Thats about it.

Google, schmoogle, test drive, enjoy, purchase and Grin, grin and grin again.

P

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou for that! Smashin
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2019, 08:20 PM
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I currently have one of each generation in my house. My R53 was bought new in 2005. It currently has 264000 kms. A high mileage car. It is lightly modded. Over it's 15 year history, other than the normal routine maintenance, unexpected maintenance items include accessory belt tensioner (on it's 3rd one), Top engine mount (on it's 4th one), front windshields (on it's 7th one), fuel pump (was replaced under warranty), Power steering fan (replaced under dealer recall). Recently replaced an alternator, but at 260,000 kms, that is a very good lifespan. Driver side rear fender marker light melts when the bulb burns out so you can't just replace the bulb. Other than that, my particular car has been extremely reliable, though I maintain it fairly meticulously. I've seen other MINI R53 owners have a lot more trouble. Extemely fun to drive. Best overall car I have ever owned, for my purposes, in my lifetime of driving.

R56: Bought by my kid who paid for it herself because we have had good experience with my R53. Rear light fixture circuit board melts. It is not covered under warranty. Dealer we bought it from was kind enough to pick up 80% of the tab since they sold us the car with the fixture already having issues. Other than that, just oil changes and routine maintenance. Drives more like a BMW and less MINI like. If you go for an R56, you should consider the GP. The brakes themselves are worth the price of admission.

F60 Countryman Cooper S with All4. Very BMW like and not at all like a MINI. Best carlike handling small SUV of any I have driven, but still an SUV. Engine drones a bit when cruising. The bottom transmission mount under the car seems a bit fragile, as my wife has managed to break one. Since she bottomed it out on a parking curb, it was not covered under warranty. It's very expensive to replace. The sport seats are really really good.

As far as engines go. The super charged is the most fun to have. If you have a reduction pulley, the super charge whine above 3000 rpm is so intoxicating. The turbo engines, you don't really know there is a turbo there. The turbo has been integrated into the power band very seemlessly. It makes good power, and you get better fuel economy. From about 2010 on, they were pretty good. You should probably avoid the 2007 Turbo motors unless you know the recalls and updates have been taken care of.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2019, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Just can't decide. S. Charger cheaper than turbo from what I've seen. Drove the turbo tother night n loved it. Felt difference with sport button. Does the s.charger model have this? Is the fuel difference really that noticeable between the two?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2019, 07:56 AM
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Turbo is prince engine, pleanty in here about it.

Supercharged is tritec engine alot stronger. Driven both own the r53. R53 much more fun, cant beat the sound of a screaming charger.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2019, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DesiM1975 View Post
Thanks for the advice. Just can't decide. S. Charger cheaper than turbo from what I've seen. ....
That's because the Supercharged cars are older cars. They should be fully depreciated by now. With high mileage, be careful that you will probably have to spend some money on routine maintenance. I'm looking at things like suspension bushings, super charger rebuild, engine gaskets, engine mounts, oil pump, fuel pump and other things that move.

There is no "sport mode" in the R53 cars. They come built in with sport mode. There is no eco mode or "normal everyday driver" mode. My car has sport suspension +. The R53 is easiest to work on as fewer things are electronically controlled. When I bought the car, my impression was the R50 (Cooper, not the S) 5 speed manual, was more fun to drive. The engine, though with a bit less power, felt like it begged to be flogged.

The Prince engine with the Turbo is more refined. Outside of sport mode, it has been electronically set up to meet fuel mileage targets, so less fun to drive. Having it in sport mode and you might see that it is nowhere near it's fuel consumption rating. Still a fine car, though.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2019, 10:33 AM
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I have a 2013 R56 JCW and it's a superb car. In all fairness, it's a low mileage (26,000) and well looked after model.
It has it's oil changed every 12 months/5,000 miles and it's never abused.
I suspect these well looked after vehicles are quite difficult to find. Obviously, being a Mini enthusiast, I always look
after my Mini's!

I find it great fun to drive, reliable and, being all Black, it looks lovely too. So, you know what gets my vote!!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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How do I post a new topic? Can't remember how!!! Lol
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 2019, 07:55 AM
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How do I post a new topic? Can't remember how!!! Lol
forums drop down list select a forum then near top left its says to write post


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 16th, 2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your advice. In end I got an R56 2008 black with white roof and matching wing mirrors. Bit thirties than what o thought it would be but I absolutely love it!!!!! And wifey has called it BB!!! (Can't moan.....BB King rip)
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