2006 MINI Cooper Review | Edmunds.com

2006 MINI Cooper

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 24/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 MINI Cooper

  • Replete with British charm and German engineering, the born-again 2006 Mini Cooper is a stylish, affordable go-kart for adults.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    It's a piece of history with modern underpinnings, BMW-engineered suspension and steering, chock-full of comfort and safety features, hatchback utility, free scheduled maintenance for three years/36,000 miles.

  • Cons

    Not enough horsepower in base model, questionable seat comfort, not much room for passengers and cargo, some low-grade interior materials.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the Mini Cooper can be equipped with a new Checkmate package, which includes special wheels, stability control, unique trim and graphics, HID headlamps and foglamps. The John Cooper Works package, formerly a dealer-installed option, can now be fitted at the factory.

Full 2006 MINI Cooper Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the Mini Cooper can be equipped with a new Checkmate package, which includes special wheels, stability control, unique trim and graphics, HID headlamps and foglamps. The John Cooper Works package, formerly a dealer-installed option, can now be fitted at the factory.

Introduction

In 1959, Alec Issigonis designed a vehicle that combined minimal exterior dimensions with a surprising amount of interior space, thanks to a transverse-mounted engine and a boxy shape. Mini's decades-spanning history may be biblical, but it boils down to a car that was affordable, compact, stylish and fun to drive. Sales in the U.S. were limited to the years between 1960 and 1967, but those who have some connection to Europe always seem to harbor some tender recollection of the British icon.

Then, as now, the Mini Cooper had a wide appeal and reached a diverse audience, its style lending itself to artistic interpretations by pop stars, while its price allowed the middle class to own and enjoy it as well. In 1994, BMW acquired the Rover Group, which included the Land Rover, Rover, MG and Mini brands. BMW wanted entry into the lucrative high-end sport-utility market and sought Land Rover as a foothold, but the acquisition proved to be ill-fated. The company unloaded Land Rover to Ford in 2000, but kept Mini around so it could extend its reach into all segments of the marketplace, including that of the economy hatchback. BMW's goal was to retain the Mini's basic philosophies while raising the engineering bar to Bavarian standards. Enter the latest Mini Cooper. It merges British heritage and facade with German innards (much like the Windsor royals) in the form of technology and construction.

Although the 2006 Mini Cooper can be rather slow in base trim, it has all of the things that made it so popular in the first place: an accessible price, miniature dimensions for urban convenience and fun -- in both its style and its go-kart handling. Mini made a bold move for 2005 -- chopping the top off the Cooper. The convertible Cooper successfully takes the "cute" factor to yet another level. With a soft canvas top that can be lowered in just 15 seconds, the Mini convertible combines the fun of open-air driving with the one-of-a-kind style that made it famous. The Mini's soft top not only folds completely away at the flip of a switch, it can also slide back up to 15 inches at the front for those days when you don't want to go completely topless. And even when you do decide to drop the top, there's still over 4 cubic feet of cargo space in back (six with the top up) -- not bad for a four-seater that's less than 12 feet long. Allow us to suggest that you option your Mini Cooper sparingly -- they are eligible for most BMW-grade content, but even with just a few options, you'll end up with one enjoyable hatchback or convertible.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mini Cooper is available as either a two-door hatchback or a two-door convertible with a power-operated top, and both are available in two versions -- base and "S." The base Cooper is outfitted with 15-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery (cloth is a no-cost option), a tilt steering wheel, a centrally mounted speedometer, air conditioning with micron filtration, a six-speaker stereo with CD player and power windows, locks and mirrors. The Cooper S adds 16-inch wheels with run-flat performance tires, seat-height adjustment and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A wide range of customizing packages and options are also available.

Powertrains and Performance

The base Cooper is powered by a 1.6-liter inline four that makes 115 horsepower. This isn't much power by today's standards, but with only 2,300 pounds of car to propel, it's not dreadfully slow. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with an automanual mode is optional. The sporty Mini Cooper S is aided by a supercharger, allowing it to pump out 168 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a six-speed automatic optional. For those who need more performance, Mini offers the John Cooper Works package, which on the S increases output to 207 hp and also includes upgraded brakes and a limited-slip front differential.

Safety

All Mini Coopers come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes. The S model also includes traction control, and should you equip either model with the Sport package or Checkmate package, you'll get Dynamic Stability Control. Other standard safety features include a flat-tire monitor, side airbags for front occupants and head curtain airbags for the front and rear. The convertible version features fixed roll bars perched just behind the rear seat. In government crash tests, the Cooper hatchback earned four stars (out of five) for frontal impacts and four stars for side impacts involving front occupants. In IIHS frontal-offset crash testing, the Mini Cooper was named a "Best Pick" among small cars.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Cooper's petite cabin looks stylish with its metallic trim, tubular structures and Frisbee-size speedometer in the center of the dash. Although everything looks good, some of the plastics used are low in quality. Passenger and cargo space is predictably tight -- there's just 5.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats in use for the hatchback. Amazingly, the convertible has roughly the same amount of cargo space.

Driving Impressions

You can expect lively handling from the 2006 Mini Cooper. Additionally, the more performance-oriented Cooper S gets reinforced antiroll bars and firmer springs -- its setup may be too stiff for some, but enthusiasts will love its tight reflexes around corners. Engine power is modest in both Coopers, but they get by just fine in traffic and the Cooper S loves to rev.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Too much fun

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

if you don't like strangers looking,asking questions,or huddled around your car when you go to get in it at the bank,store, restaurant ect . this may not be the car for you because trust me it will happen !!! if you love to drive ,have fun driving,love life,are a happy person then you need to own one !!!!



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Beware

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper S 2dr Convertible (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)

This car was too expensive to own. Between having to pay for run flat tires and synthetic oil changes, a broken timing belt at 50k and a busted head gasket at 100k, this car cost me just a hair under $15,000 in repairs and maintenance over a period of seven years. I bought it brand new in 2006 for $28,000. Couldn't even allow myself to sell it privately because I was so angry at the cost of owning this vehicle.



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Love my scooter!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback w/John Cooper Works GP Kit (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)

I have owned many cars in my day, but this scooter (Mini Cooper S) is the most fun to drive. This car is quick, roomy (I am 6'2", 200#), a sure head-turner and financially economical. Warning: If you are looking for a smooth ride and back seat roominess, pick another car... I bought it 2 years ago w/21000 miles on it and now it has 50000 miles. I have had few issues w/it; (thankfully, I did purchase a good aftermarket warranty) most major issue was w/carbon dirt build-up/clogging up the fuel injectors, but a fuel system flesh ($100.00) and 93/100 octane gas cleared that right up. I am very well pleased w/this blend of Mini/BWN.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

My favorite car i've ever

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback w/John Cooper Works GP Kit (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)

My 2006 MINI Cooper S was the second MINI Cooper S that I owned, my first being a 2003 There were so many improvements made to the 2005 and 2006 body style over the 2002-2004 models. The 2002-2004 models are just as fun but not as easy to live with. The MINI is a car that you buy if you love driving; it simply puts a smile on your face every time you get in it, even the non-S models. I particularly like the cheeky British styling altho not everyone does. It was tied for highest resale value (w/Honda Civic) for compacts! If reliability, interior space or a quiet ride (MINIs have lots of interior squeaks/rattles) are at the top of your shopping this, this probably isn't the car for you.



3 of 18 people found this review helpful

My mini has driven me

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I bought a 2006 mini cooper hatchback automatic and have had nothing but HORRIFIC problems from the start! Where to begin, well all of the internal accessories have either fallen off broke, or cracked within the first year, including: cup holder, visor, change cup holder lid, and cigarette lighter!! Then someone smashed into my car and nearly totaled it, Prestige mini was responsible for fixing the damage and had me drive up there three times because they could not fix it properly. After the third time, it still was not fixed, the better business needed to get involved and still to this day, 4 years later, my car still is the most unreliable car imaginable. Terrible customer service!




Mini, test drive one to

by on
Vehicle: 2006 MINI Cooper 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

This is my first MINI & I would buy another, given the chance. Fun to Drive, always. Reliable? After logging 73,000 miles without incident, I can say yes. Great service from the dealer from new. As Small as it seems, I can easily carry 8' pieces of lumber inside if needed. Plenty 'o' leg room in the front. Fine for my young one in the back. Glued to the road. I slid on some gravel on a back country road moving at a good pace, yep! handles like a go-cart, I felt safe.



Talk About The 2006 Cooper

2006 MINI Cooper Discussions See all Started By

hockeyfreak4
hockeyfreak4
08-07-2006
I am deciding to either buy a 2007 Eclipse GT or a 2006 mini cooper S. I love both cars. I was wondering what you guys think is the better buy....


husker03
husker03
10-21-2008
I have a 2006 Mini Cooper with 15" wheels. Would 16" wheels from a 2008 "S" fit without modification?...


ldt66
ldt66
02-01-2013
Class action lawsuit was started against Mini Cooper in 2011 seek and yee shall find .... it's not just a transmission issue it's bigger ....



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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