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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

This question may have been asked a million times before so feel
free to direct me to those posts.

however,

I wish to ask all the forum members out there which
year BMW MINI is the best

and maybe which bits work better on which model?

I was told that the 2003 mini cooper s is the best
by someone on another forum.
Cheers
 

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In my opinion the "early"-02-04 Cooper S is the best drivers car of them all!

Has everything from the rawness,direct steering to the beautifully balanced chasey.

**This is also aggreed in the latest Modern Mini magazine!!**

To this day, it is the thrown of all "Hot Hatches"
 

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race car maybe an old one but an every day car definately an r56 there so cheap and basic and just ugly on the inside of the old shape the new ones knocked it up a level then the brand new face lift look much nicer on the inside but ruined with horrible exterior bumpers
 

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Work'd Up !
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race car maybe an old one but an every day car definately an r56 there so cheap and basic and just ugly on the inside of the old shape the new ones knocked it up a level then the brand new face lift look much nicer on the inside but ruined with horrible exterior bumpers


depends how much you payed ;)
Im biased but i think mine looks good having had the "old shape"
 

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Range Rover SDV8!
Range Rover SDV8, Triumph Tiger & Triumph Trophy
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Hi

This question may have been asked a million times before so feel
free to direct me to those posts.

however,

I wish to ask all the forum members out there which
year BMW MINI is the best

and maybe which bits work better on which model?

I was told that the 2003 mini cooper s is the best
by someone on another forum.
Cheers
It's impossible to say without knowing what you would be looking for in your MINI.

What is most important to you? Performance, economy, handling, raw driver appeal, comfort, looks, space, longevity, reliability, plenty of head room for serious tuning and modification, etc, etc....

I know my priorities and there's only one model and age of MINI I would make a Beeline for, but you might feel differently. Give us your top 4 or 5 priorities and we'll give it a go...

Tigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I guess my top 4 priorities would be

1. Performance (as MINI has had both turbo and supercharged engines)
2. Handling
3. longevity and reliability are kinda the same thing if they are reliable they last
4. modification and tuning....I thought any MINI could have that?

I also to some extent think the JCW was/is over rated? or has this changed? *runs and hides*
I knew there were some cosmetic changes between models but I am no too sure on all of them only really had older minis thanks
 

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Range Rover SDV8!
Range Rover SDV8, Triumph Tiger & Triumph Trophy
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5,173 Posts
Thanks for the replies.

I guess my top 4 priorities would be

1. Performance (as MINI has had both turbo and supercharged engines)
2. Handling
3. longevity and reliability are kinda the same thing if they are reliable they last
4. modification and tuning....I thought any MINI could have that?

I also to some extent think the JCW was/is over rated? or has this changed? *runs and hides*
I knew there were some cosmetic changes between models but I am no too sure on all of them only really had older minis thanks
Oh, that list makes it nice and easy then! :D

You'll be looking for the latest possible, post-facelift, R53 Coopers S with the proper mechanical limited slip diff (LSD). Look for the latest and best possible condition version that you can afford. They were produced between July 2004 and July 2006.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the JCW version. However, if you are happy to spend a few pounds on modding it yourself then the JCW kit doesn't really offer much advantage as a starting point. Get a standard one and then go and see one of the reputable tuners. All MINI's can be modified, but some more than others. There is just so much more that you can do to an R53! :D

Here's a very good start:

GT TUNING MINI PARTS & PERFORMANCE CONVERSION
 

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The best MINI for overall enjoyment,looks and fun. It is the "Early Cooper S" 2002-

Once again there is no difference in reliabilty from Gen-1 to Gen-2. Both have their own problems!

*Best overall MINI* Modern Mini Magizine. The R53 Cooper S 2002-2005. Enough said!
 

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Just got a 2005, 125K, non supercharged convertible. Paid $3750, put on new cheapo tires ($300). A little clunk from the front suspension, but otherwise seems like everything is working, except one key. Power steering needed a topping off. SOLID BLACK! no stripes, looks elegant, Can't wait for spring and top down. This thing is a chick magnet ! (too bad I'm 74) Looks brand new from 20 feet; nobody can believe I've only got $4K in it. PS: My initials are BMW
 

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Sour Mash
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Just got a 2005, 125K, non supercharged convertible. Paid $3750, put on new cheapo tires ($300). A little clunk from the front suspension, but otherwise seems like everything is working, except one key. Power steering needed a topping off. SOLID BLACK! no stripes, looks elegant, Can't wait for spring and top down. This thing is a chick magnet ! (too bad I'm 74) Looks brand new from 20 feet; nobody can believe I've only got $4K in it. PS: My initials are BMW
Minis must be great in America with the roads designed to take big American cars you could probably filter in traffic like a motorbike lol
 

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I did a lot of research on this before buying mine end of last year and the consensus i found was that the R53 facelift 2004-2006 Cooper S was the best mini to date for upgradability and performance. Also I paid £2250 for it and it came with a spare set of mini wheels that i managed to sell on ebay for £360 meaning that technically i paid £1890 for it with 96k on the clock. It had a lot done to it already but still needed more doing to it to get it how i want (road/track weapon). Mine unfortunately however has an ECU issue that no one in the history of these minis has had apparently so shouldn't be a problem for you, but i have spent more than the car trying to fix it so far, I have however found the cure now. :)
 
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