2007 MINI Cooper S Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Central Exhaust Pipes? Oh, Right, It's About Nostalgia.

July 15, 2008

During a walk in Dresden, Germany, today, I was reminded of Dan's central exhaust tattoo post on our 2007 Mini Cooper S. You'll note that the pipes on this well-preserved old-world Mini (ill-fitting driver door excepted) stick out, too.

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Central Exhaust Tattoo

July 09, 2008

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I've never been a fan of the central exhaust on or 2007 Mini Cooper S, or any example of this layout, for that matter.

For one, it looks weird. I can't get used tot he fact that the central location is somehow too ... biological. At least there are two exhaust ports instead of one.

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Tow Rating

May 23, 2008

Everyone talks about how fun to drive our 2007 Mini Cooper S is. But I've found it has an amazing towing capacity. Look at this trailer I lugged around with our Cooper.

Not...

Actually, I used the Mini to block in a trailer being used by our contractor. He said parked trailers are targeted by thieves in Los Angeles so he asked me to park my car in front of it for the night.

Philip Reed, Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor, @ 15,532 miles

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Blasting Past 15,000 miles

May 07, 2008

Yesterday our 2007 Mini Cooper S zipped past the 15,000 mile mark. Considering there are still three months to go before it must be returned to Mini, I'd say it'll pass the 20,000 miles mark during it's 12 months in our fleet. And that means we like this little hatchback.

In case you haven't noticed, if a car doesn't make the 20,000 mile mark, it's for one of two reasons...

1) Nobody on our staff like driving it so the car sits in our parking garage like an agoraphobic.

2) It's liked, but has a flappy canvas roof which prevents its from being enjoyable on long drives and is called the Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited.

But back to Mini, which has yet to need a single unscheduled pit stop and never ceases to put a smile on my face. This car is dead reliable, stupid fun and it's averaging 26.5 mpg. If there's a better small car on the market I'm unaware of it.

Scott Oldham, Edmunds.com Editor in Chief @ 15,008 miles

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Can't Annoy Neighbors

April 22, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

When ILSenior Editor Erin Riches and I took a road trip to Central California this past weekend, we stayed at the (low) Quality Inn in Pismo Beach. This ended up being a big mistake as this particular motel seemed to attract nothing but college kids.

So from 10pm to 2am, these kids were running up and down the walkway outside of our motel room on the 2nd floor as their party was going off two doors down from ours. Sometimes they would even bang on our door and run away...

Erin had considered calling the front desk to complain but then decided that they probably wouldn't have cared enough to do anything about it.

Anyway, the next morning we wanted to hit the road early so we got up at 6:30am. Still pissed off about last night, I entertained naughty things I could do to get back at those kids. Leave my leftovers from last night outside their door? Write them a nasty note on motel stationary? Knock on their door and dash? Surely they were sound asleep having partied for most of the night.

And then I heard a car beep outside giving me an idea. I know! I'll hit the panic button on the Mini key fob! That'll wake 'em up! But when I grabbed the Mini key there was no panic button to be found. And the Mini doesn't beep when you unlock or lock it with the key fob (usually a blessing).

I know. I wouldn't have really done it anyway because I wouldn't want to disturb the other motel guests but it would have been nice to even think I had that option.

When I was sitting in the Mini waiting for Erin to come down, I thought about maybe parking in front of room 407 and honking the horn signaling her to come down...but then chickened out.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Negative Focus

April 09, 2008

The crack. It's mesmerizing. Much like the Tide-To-Go ad where the guy is in an interview and all you can look at is the coffee stain on his shirt.

When you drive at night you think there's a twig lodged under the wiper...

During the day your eyes repeatedly give it a worried look. It's very distracting. I know you guys are sick of repetitive posts. The endless complaining. The whining.

That frustration you now feel with this post is the same I feel while driving this thing.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2007 Mini Cooper S: What Caused the Crack in the Windshield?

March 26, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

I don't know if you can see that in the picture up there but that's a crack in our 2007 Mini Cooper S's windshield. I saw it when I took the Mini home last night and was instantly saddened. I wonder how that got there considering there's no mention of it happening in previous Mini posts. There doesn't seem to be a point of impact like where a rock might have hit it...

Did the Mini look a not-as-cute-as-itself vehicle in the face?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,194 miles

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Go-Kart Racing Temptation

March 12, 2008

Photo by Caroline Pardilla

Last night as a friend and I were leaving Pasadena, we took this long, wide speedway of a shortcut to get from the 134 freeway to Hollywood. Everyone seemed to be ignoring the 40-mph speed limit and zooming past. I was just driving along in our 2007 Mini Cooper S minding my own business when at the corner of my eye I saw this car hanging out at my passenger side door.

"Check out those boys...They're excited that you have the same car they do," my friend laughed. Sure enough when I looked over, there was another red Cooper S with a black top, 'cept with a sunroof. The 20-something boys in it were excitedly gesturing at us through their driver side window but I couldn't really make out what they were saying since I had to keep my eyes on the road. Hello!

They moved forward a little and then moved back. "They want to race me...but I ain't gonna!" I told my friend. The road was tempting though. There was hardly anyone on it and it had nice turns and hardly any traffic lights. The boys kept baiting us, gesturing, zooming ahead and falling back. I kept my speed constant and my eyes forward. Finally they gave up and zoomed past. I'm sure if I was a 16-year-old boy I would have followed. But I'm not. ....I sooo would have smoked them anyway.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Detours & Closures? No Problem!

March 03, 2008

If I'm offered a car for the night, I usually pick from the available wheels based on vehicle size as I have to park on the crowded streets of West LA. So when I saw the Mini was open, I jumped at the chance.

This time my choice wasn't based on the fun factor or my neighborhood's parking situation, but rather for the fact I was going to cheer on friends at this Sunday's LA Marathon. There were predictions of crowds nearing the one million mark in downtown plus there was a Lakers game... Having a small car to navigate the chaos would be key.

So, thank you to my coworkers for not picking it before me!

I was able to navigate through the cluster, well, mess, with no problem. While waiting for my friends to run by at several locations along the course I overheard plenty of people talking about the problems of parking, traffic and crowds. With the diminutive dimensions of the Mini, I didn't have issues.

Thanks little buddy!

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Mind the Pipes

February 27, 2008

Photo by Scott Jacobs

Note to self: After a drive, if you happen to be wearing a skirt and are trying to get something out of the 2007 Mini Cooper S's trunk, make sure to steer clear of the dual-exhaust pipes down below. Those things burn like the dickens!

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 12,091 miles

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Devil In the Details

February 15, 2008

I dig our Mini's wheels. Wheels are one of those obvious details that can really make or break the looks of a car. I think our Minis' wheels really up its sporty looks and fun factor.

In fact, out of all the manufacturers out there, I think the Mini had the best selection of wheels available...

They might not be cheap, but I think they have the right idea of offering all kinds of accessories to the consumer to make your car more personal.

Cars can say a lot about a person. Wheels can be the exclamation point.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Toy Story

November 26, 2007

The 2007 Mini Cooper is like a fun little toy that you love killing time with. With its peppy engine, it's just as much of a blast to pilot as an RC car. And its miniature dimensions -- which came in so handy during this holiday weekend of crowded parking lots -- only heighten this impression.

Unfortunately, though, the Mini is also toylike in one way that's a bit less impressive...I'm talking about its doors. Seems like even the cheapest economy cars these days manage to serve up solid doors that close with a satisfying thunk. Not so with the Mini. I found myself wincing at the tinny sound made when I slammed its doors shut. Sounded like they were about to fall off the hinges, and I swear I wasn't slamming them that hard.

Toys have their pluses and minuses, I guess.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 7,314 miles

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2007 Mini Cooper S: TGIF

September 21, 2007

2007 Mini Cooper S -- Brent Romans

It's Friday afternoon. It's TGIF, Miller Time, etc. So what recent Edmunds.com long-term car would you want for the weekend?

Limited to small, sporty cars, your choices would include: The 2007 Mini Cooper S. Our previous 2002 Mini Cooper S...

A 2006 Mazda Miata. A 2006 Honda Civic Si. A 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT.

Or maybe the 1984 Ferrari 308. If you could get it out of Oldham's hands, that is.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2007 Mini Cooper S: Spotting the Changes

September 10, 2007

When Mini redesigned the Cooper coupe this year (the convertible remains the same as last year), it was great that they kept the same loveable retro style. But so subtle were the generational changes that it was somewhat frustrating to car nuts like me to try and tell it apart from last year's coupe.

So, to save all you Cooper enthusiasts from embarrassment when the epic question "Is that the 'new' one?" is posed, herewith are a few exterior clues for y'all. The photos are of the Cooper S model: our red 2007 and a white 2006.

From the front, you'll see that the grille's chrome surround is more cohesive (last year the lower portion looked like a decal that was slapped onto the bumper). On the Cooper S, the insert is now blacked out. Note also that the turn signals moved into the headlight shells.

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