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.
Reving the engine on the supercharged S-model is exhilarating.
I've driven many cars which are faster than this, but the engine has such a willingness that just implores you to explore the whole tachometer unlike most other cars.
The exhaust note is perfect and the 2005-2006 S have a slight burble/bark when you let off the throttle which makes it feel so much more alive.
The interior materials are fairly good and up to what you'd expect in a less expensive BMW as it is.
Due to the pedal placement you can effortlessly heel-toe. I much prefer the clutch feel to the lighter 2007+ turbo S cars in addition to the sound although the 2007+ models are quieter, ride better and get better mileage.
As much as I loved both of my MINIs, the amazing community of MINI drivers that organize fun driving events, neither of my MINIs were particularly reliable.
Even my 2006 which was supposed to be the best of the first gen R53 MINIs had its share of problems including multiple issues with the horn, ECU computer, water leaks, stuck shifter, thermostat, power steering fan, dead key, a stuck valve lifter, climate control switches, etc.
My 2003 had its sunroof leak, the emergency brake cable seize and the steering column fail(!), and the door handle only intermittently worked in cold weather.
Besides those items I'd still highly recommend any MINI if you can afford the BMW-priced maintenance.
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!
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.
Sport Package, handling, speedy at 4000 rpm & up, heated seats, Dealer service. (Flow MINI, NC)
2006 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)
I bought my 2006S in October 2010. i get about 27 mpg city and 30-34 mpg highway. Sunroof will bake the driver as there is no shade ! I am having it limo tinted. Performance is great but ride is VERY stiff. Potholes feel like craters. Great handling and fun to drive. Oil change at Mini dealer is over $100.. Had to buy a bra for it as the front attracts all rocks. I am 65 and feel like a kid again! Holds resale value well but Mini dealers are few and far away and costly. Get rid of the run flat tires but then you have no spare ! It turns heads wherever I go and is bright red.
Performance , fun to drive and fuel economy. Seating is very comfortable and accommodates tall drivers easily.
2006 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)
Bought w/15,000 miles on it. Now has 37,000.6 spd manual. Unusual instrumentation with smaller speedo and tach mounted side by side on steering wheel. Love driving the car. It's almost as fun to drive as a Porsche 911 I had. Supercharged engine has plenty of power. Handling is very good, although ride is more unforgiving than the Porsche due to the run flat tires. If you don't know, minis don't come with a spare tire, thus the run flats. Repairs that I had to deal with include a leak around the thermostat (twice), a leaky hydraulic motor mount, a minor oil leak, and a faulty passenger airbag sensor that required replacing the passenger seat cover ($1200, but covered by warranty).
Engine power (I have the Cooper Works air intake and exhaust) Looks Driving fun It doesn't take long to wash it!
Water collects in doors after washing or rain, causing windows to get REALLY messed up when you roll them down and up. Build quality, particularly on interior could be better. Taller 6th gear to get RPM below 3000 at 80 mph.