How the MINI Cooper Works

By: Jonathan Strickland

MINI Cooper Cost, Reliability and Safety

Limited Edition Rally MINI Cooper
Limited Edition Rally MINI Cooper
Photo courtesy BMW World

The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the 2007 MINI Cooper models are:

  • MINI Cooper: $19,150
  • MINI Cooper S: $22,300
  • MINI Cooper Convertible: $22,600
  • MINI Cooper S Convertible: $26,500

The amazing variety of options and packages available for the MINI Cooper can significantly impact the price of a car. For example, a MINI Cooper S Convertible with the optional Sidewalk Package, limited slip differential, universal hands-free kit and 18-inch double spoke wheels has an MSRP of $35,500. The MINI USA Web site has a "Design & Build Your Own MINI" feature with over 10,000,000 possible variations.


On the other end of the price scale, the MSRP for a 2002 MINI Cooper is $16,300. You can research MINI Cooper prices and search for a car of your own on the Consumer Guide Auto.

Owners and mechanics have reported a few common, minor issues with MINI Coopers. However, at least one issue is very serious: some drivers reported a failure of the 5-speed manual transmission for the standard 2003 MINI Cooper. This required a mechanic to repair the transmission. Owners did not report a similar problem with the continously variable transmission system or the 6-speed manual transmission.

MINI Cooper Safety Recalls

Here's a breakdown of MINI Cooper safety recalls.

  • 2002: Certain cars lacked tire information labels, which must be present to indicate the relationship between the tire size and maximum tire pressure. BMW provided owners tire information placards and installation instructions. Owners could opt for a dealer to install the placard for them. The shift cable for some 2002 vehicles would detach from the transmission shift linkage while the driver attempted to change gears. At that point, gear changes became impossible and the transmission stuck in the last gear selected. Dealers would place a retaining clip over the end of the shift cable, preventing it from detaching.
  • 2003: Some vehicles experienced a failure of the lower screw connection of the rear struts to the chassis. Dealers would replace the lower screw connection.
  • 2004: On some vehicles, the flat-tire monitoring system was not correctly programmed. The audible signal indicating a flat tire would not sound. Dealers would reprogram the alarm software.

The MINI Cooper had assured its place in the United States market. BMW followed the pattern of the original Mini line and few changes were made from one year to the next. Owners became enchanted with the stylish little cars, and car customization became more common. The 2007 model would bring owners new options and make personalization of vehicles even easier.

Learn about the MINI Cooper community in the next section.