2003 MINI Cooper Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 MINI Cooper Hatchback


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MINI Cooper Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 115 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 MINI Cooper

  • Think of the born-again 2003 Mini Cooper as an affordable, luxurious go-kart for adults. Is this your dream car? Better get in line.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    The thrill of owning a piece of history with modern underpinnings, BMW-engineered suspension and steering, chock full of comfort and safety features, hatchback utility, scheduled maintenance on-the-house for 3 years/36,000 miles.

  • Cons

    Not enough horsepower in base model, questionable seat comfort, not much room for passengers and cargo, price goes up quickly with options, limited supply encourages dealer mark-up.

  • What's New for 2003

    For their second season in the U.S. market, the 2003 Mini Cooper and Cooper S will now come with a second remote key and pre-wiring for a…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (330 total reviews)

Nice drivability but horrible reliability

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Like many others, I have had nothing but problems since I purchased this car used less than a year ago. When I got it I seemed to be in ok condition even after 2 previous owners and 140k. Starting in the 2nd month o ownership I began having to replace things--each time a cost of $500-$600 mainly due to the high price of the parts. Every time I fix something, I have another problem. I am looking to get rid of the car as soon as I can because I cannot afford to keep fixing it nor can I spend all of my time at the shop. Great car in its younger years--definitely not a primary vehicle or one that will hold up over the years.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Cute on the outside, scarey

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I was given this car in 2004 as a gift from my parents. I could not have been happier. After having it for over eight years now, I am ready to drive it into the Hudson. This car has been nothing but one major problem after another. The first year I got it I was on the highway and the car just stopped switching gears above third gear. Luckily that was covered under warranty. Since, I have had the air conditioning go out twice, the power steering go out, windows stopped, door locks stopped, numerous overheating episodes, etc. My poor father has spent numerous hours and dollars repairing this thing. Thank goodness I have him though, because I would have spent several thousands by now

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Miss it, but glad it's

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I bought my Cooper used w/ 68,000 miles. W/in 4 months this happened: First the key fob quit locking/unlocking door & would instead spontaneously open all the windows. Then the driver's side door handle quit working so I had to roll window down to get out, until window quit too, then I had to crawl out passenger side. Electrical issues caused all windows + sunroof to open when it rained which ruined the cloth seats. Then it started running out of gas before it was on E. Doors locked shut once so my bf had to crawl out window & I had go out trunk so I could roll window up. Then the tranny quit! $5k for a rebuilt! So then I had to give car back to bank 6 months after I got it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Won't drive anything but a

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

Bought my Mini new in 2003. There have been a few issues with squeeks and rattles, but the dealership has remedied them all. I rated the comfort at 4 only because the Sport Suspension is a bit stiff, with the run flat tires, but it is NOT a complaint. The design is rated at 4 only because of the cup holders. I drove my car everyday, 70 miles round-trip to work, on wet and icy roads. The front-wheel drive is amazing! I'm getting ready to sell my baby for a new one -- 2011 Mini Countryman. Can't wait!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Cons outweigh the pros

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased this car used in 2007 and I didn't even get 5000 miles on it before the clutch went out on it the first time. Six months after that replacement, I had to have it back in the shop because the clutch pedal had a master/slave issue and I had to have the cylinders replaced. Then, just this past week, after approximately 21 months and 9,000 more miles on the car, I had to have the clutch replaced again. Seriously, while the car looks really cool and is sometimes fun to drive, it is *not* worth all the extra money it will cost you for ownership. I can't wait to pay this thing off and go back to driving a VW again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Super fun but also expensive

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Vehicle: 2003 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)

After owning a MINI S for 2.5 years and 15,000 miles I can say this is the most fun car I have ever had. However, it has been the most troublesome car for me to date as well with $2000 in repairs, and that is parts only because I can repair it myself. Now, this is a car that was owned by the lead MINI tech at the dealership for its first 70,000 miles and maintained religiously since new. And now it has rust, yes rust on a 7 year old car. There are two big holes in the sheet metal just below the taillights. Keep in mind when buying one that you are buying a BMW product and thus comes with BMW prices for parts and service.

Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 MINI Cooper Review

What's New for 2003

For their second season in the U.S. market, the 2003 Mini Cooper and Cooper S will now come with a second remote key and pre-wiring for a dealer-installed alarm system. Anthracite (smoke gray, that is) interior trim is available as a no-cost option for both cars, and the Cooper S is eligible for the high-gloss silver interior treatment found in the base Cooper. Sound systems will be satellite radio-ready this year, and the rear cargo area now has a power point.

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