Used 2003 MINI Cooper Consumer Reviews - 339 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2003 MINI Cooper Consumer Reviews

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Never again
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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By Commando
on

Vehicle

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


Review

After seeing the reviews I was very excited to purchase my Mini....I don't think I have ever regretted something more in my life. I don't know why this car is rated so highly. This car has given me nothing but problems. And no one wants to work on it. All the auto shops don't want to work on it. And when I found one that would he told me mini's have problems all the time. That the check engine lights always come on and always have oil problems. The only good thing is that it is cute and gets good gas mileage. Other then that I really have nothing good to say about this car. After mine gets out of the shop I am selling it immediately.


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Great buy
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By Gabriel Gonzalez
on

Vehicle

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


Review


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Good for a while...
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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By socalpv7
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I had my 2003 Mini Cooper S for just over a year. It was a good year of ownership but not without it's major hiccups. I, too, was one of the people that thought I would be amongst the "lucky ones" and not have any of the issues that the other reviews mentioned. I wish I was wrong. The Mini was not bad at first...I got mine with only 57K miles. It was fun to drive, gripped like a go cart, had decent acceleration, and got okay fuel economy. Just over a year later I am glad it is gone (with 64K miles). I miss it, but it was far too expensive to maintain. Here is my list of the things that went wrong while I owned the car (I kept up on maintenance, or at least tried to): 1. Engine would occasionally randomly have issues idling and sometimes shut down. 2. The A/C is basically non-existent. Even with a fresh re-charge it never blew cold or strong enough to make a difference (say hello to sweaty back on hot days). Also, don't know if it was just mine, but anytime the A/C was on, even on low, the car was much harder to drive and would sometimes stall when idling. Acceleration was also drastically decreased. 3. Everything creaks and rattles from the interior plastics, cheap door sound, etc. 4. Clutch/flywheel started making screeching sounds, come to find out flywheel was burning ($1,800 for clutch and flywheel). The dealer said this is a common issue. 5. A/C compressor went out in the middle of the summer ($900). 6. Two days after the A/C went out, passenger window motor regulator failed, couldn't roll window down or all the way up. 7. Headliner was sagging since the day I got it and got worse on cold days. 8. Power steering fluid reservoir always had a leak no matter how many times it was fixed (common issue). 9. Two weeks after the A/C and window regulator went out, the power steering failed. It was a nice August summer turning around the weight of the car with no A/C or passenger window. Luckily enough that was under recall and got fixed. 10. After the recall got fixed I got a list of $3,600 worth of repairs that the dealer said "red--required attention soon". Add on the "yellow--will soon require attention" and it was up to about $5,200. I decided to part with my MINI at this point. Needless to say, it was hard to sell with such a long list of issues. If you are a college student or are tight on money, this is probably not the car for you. You can get a similar driving dynamic and performance for other cars that will not cost you as much to maintain.


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Need space in the garage?
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
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By Chazz
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Here was the challenge: Find a decent performing car that would fit in my two car garage along with an electric golf cart and a Chrysler Town and Country. At the time – about three years ago - the Fiat Abarth was out of stock at the local dealers and the current Mini was about an inch and a half too long. However the earlier Mini, being a little shorter, would work just fine, so I bought a used Cooper S to replace my Porsche. The previous owner had installed 18 inch wheels which allowed the car to corner as if on rails but resulted in a really rough ride. After about a year of this, I changed to 17 inch wheels. Much better. Any car with over 100,000 miles is going to need a lot of things replaced, and the Mini is no exception. Maintenance cost can be greatly reduced by not using “genuine Mini” parts. For example, I just had the clutch changed (for the first time) at 160,000 miles. The dual mass flywheel used as original equipment by Mini is made by Luk in Germany. Buying the replacement genuine Luk part from Rock Auto cost me $254.79 whereas had I bought the same part with a Mini sticker on it, the price would have been $734.75. I think of this Mini as a two person and a dog sports car that surprises many people with how fast it i


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Research the quality issues before you buy
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Build Quality
Reliability
By Paul Chiang
on

Vehicle

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


Review

The Mini Cooper is the car to get if you value the unique blend of sporty handling, appearance and cargo space above all else, including reliability issues and the high cost of maintenance and repairs.

I have lived with a stuck driver's side window and a windshield stress crack for many years. When I brought my Mini in for a recent power steering recall, I was informed that coolant and oil was leaking. It would cost almost $3k at the dealer or $1.5k at an independent shop. There is no shortage of class action lawsuits for various problems that Mini refused to resolve.

It's a fun car to drive under the speed limit. I can squeeze a lot of stuff into it. I have been able to transport a folded queen memory foam mattress.

I decided to sell my Mini rather than repair everything and risk facing other issues (clutch, transmission, etc.) popping up in the near future. I paid the MSRP of $17k in 2003 and sold it for $3k to the local franchise dealer in 2016 after another mechanic corroborated the repairs that were needed. I was not able to get anyone on Craigslist to pay more than the dealer.


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