Anyone in the U.S. with a MINI?

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 9, 2003
1,455
0
Anyone here that is U.S. based with MINI Cooper?

I'd like to get one, but I am concerned what it is like driving it here with all the SUVs on the road.
I'm afraid I'd be killed if one hit me.
 

Daveway

macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2004
3,375
0
New Orleans / Lafayette, La
My neighbor has one and he loves it. I've been in it a few times and I would say its the funnest car I've ever riden in, plus a lot of people stare at you in it. :cool:

Although it is a small car, I have read that it was strongly built because of it size. I would get one, they're really fun as an extra car.
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
I hear that the ride is very harsh, which often goes along with a slick-handling small car. So if a nice ride is important to you, then it might not be a good match. The roads here are far bumpier and pothole-ridden than in Europe.
 

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 9, 2003
1,455
0
StarbucksSam said:
I don't actually HAVE one but to be honest with you... well...

Mini vs. Lexus LX series

Who do you think will survive the crash?
I don't doubt which might be safer...
just wonder what it is like driving around looking at the wheels of all the Explorers, Tahoes, and Suburbans.
 

homerjward

macrumors 68030
May 11, 2004
2,745
0
fig tree
ever seen that pic with a mini completely on the roof of a tahoe/suburban thing? hilarious. some guy down the street from me has a mini cooper. he's like ~80 i think but he has a ponytail and drives a mini cooper :cool: i wanna get one when i'm 16 but my parents say it's unsafe so i'll prolly end up with something the size of wyoming...
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
StarbucksSam said:
I don't actually HAVE one but to be honest with you... well...

Mini vs. Lexus LX series

Who do you think will survive the crash?
Don't know, I've seen small car vs. SUV crashes where the small car occupants walk away and the SUV driver dies.

All you have to do is aim your small car and the PIT maneuver spot and you can take out the SUV occupants as the big beast starts tumbling down the road.

Now try the same thing in the other direction and you have to poke a stick into the SUVs wheel well to dislodge the remnants of the small car.
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
2,206
0
Socal
StarbucksSam said:
I don't actually HAVE one but to be honest with you... well...

Mini vs. Lexus LX series

Who do you think will survive the crash?
Another way to look at it is that the Mini would be much more likely to be able to avoid a crash, what with the handling and low center of gravity. But overall their low height and mass make them more risky than most cars on the road. As usual, it would depend much more on driver error and your familiarity with the vehicle than which car you're in.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
i plan on making my next car a mini cooper for sure, i think they are great cars, and i already drive a small car (95 toyota tercel coupe) and before that a huge boat (87 ford crown victoria) and i definitely prefer the samller car's handling and size much more ;) :D
 

joepunk

macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2004
2,557
13
a profane existence
StarbucksSam said:
I don't actually HAVE one but to be honest with you... well...

Mini vs. Lexus LX series

Who do you think will survive the crash?
There was a nasty fatality here in Washington State last year (I think) where a young girl was driving her parents Suburban (?). Friends were passengers and due to bad weather/road conditions (?) the SUV went off the road and flipped over, crushing the canopy. I believe the driver was killed and the other passengers were badly injured.

So, when an SUV rolls over onto its top, all that weight from the cabin and engine will be quite a crusher and the canopy may not be-able to holdup.
 

cheekyspanky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2004
633
1
South Bucks, UK
The Euro NCAP crash test results..tested at 40mph into a deformable aluminium barrier.

Mini Cooper
http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=1&id2=112

Volkswagen Golf
http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=2&id2=196

Toyota Prius
http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=3&id2=193

Range Rover
http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=9&id2=126

Seems that it's quite variable as to how well you are protected - check out the ratings before you buy a car!
 

dvdh

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2004
429
0
Watch the older 5 speeds . . .

I'm not sure where are you are located, but there seems to be an issue with the cold weather reliability of the 5 speed model. One of my bosses owns one (2 years old) and once a year (when it gets cold) the rear seal on the transmission removes itself and drains all the oil. Little bits of transmission follow shortly after. He is on his third transmission (one each winter of ownership, and the latest failure he caught before it become terminal).

More on the problem: http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29220&highlight=transmission+problems
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
cheekyspanky said:
Seems that it's quite variable as to how well you are protected - check out the ratings before you buy a car!
This is very true, although also remember that in general, the way most automotive barrier collision tests work, you are in essence testing a car's performance in a collision where it hits another car of equal weight. So equivalent performance in terms of stars or crash statistics by two cars of radically different weights is not very comparable.

Dr. Dastardly -- yes, the Euro/NCAP pedestrian rating involves the amount of damage done *to* the pedestrian.

I really, really wanted a MINI, but in the end, I couldn't buy off on the build quality issues they have had since launch. I hope that this gets straightened out and that their numbers stick back in the range of good manufacterers.... I still wish I had a MINI, even still. They're so much fun to drive. In terms of the SUV issue, I personally don't think it's all that bad. The maneuverability is a comfort factor in itself, to some extent. And the seating position is not so low, which helps.

EDIT: Cheekyspanky, that's the VW Golf you linked too off the *old* platform, correct, and not the most recently redesigned one? Or was the 2004 Euro Golf already the new version?
 

cheekyspanky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2004
633
1
South Bucks, UK
Dr. Dastardly said:
Whats a pedestrian rating? Is that the rating on the guy that was walking down the street that you just creamed?
It's more to do with testing the front of cars to see which bits will damage a person more than necessary - on older cars the window wipers are often exposed, but on newer ones they are almost always tucked under the bonnet/hood - because when you hit a person they can be sliced by them apparantly.

Here's the link with more info..http://www.euroncap.com/content/test_procedures/pedestrian_impact.php
 

macdad2

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
42
0
I'm not sure anymore
I've had my MINI since November 2002 - base Cooper BRG with Checkered Roof :D

I absolutely LOVE it and have had zero problems in 2 1/2 years and 32,000 miles. I still look for excuses to run errands. Honestly, the MINI has one of the highest owner satisfaction ratings and best resale values for the same reasons that macs do - great industrial design, fun to drive and you meet the coolest people. It makes the journey a lot more fun than any SUV (or windows machine) out there. I know it's not a car for everyone but if you're drawn to the car - at least go drive one. Like macs, once you drive it you'll get it ;)

btw.. if an SUV hits you hard enough, you're gonna get killed anyway. Avoidance - that's the key :p
 

cheekyspanky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2004
633
1
South Bucks, UK
mkrishnan said:
Cheekyspanky, that's the VW Golf you linked too off the *old* platform, correct, and not the most recently redesigned one? Or was the 2004 Euro Golf already the new version?
The new Golf (Mk V) was released here in the UK last year, I think sometime around March 2004. My dad bought one in August..the exact same one they use in the crash test..

Here's the link to the Mk IV Golf if you can't remember the difference.. http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=2&id2=46
 

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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
cheekyspanky said:
Here's the link to the Mk IV Golf if you can't remember the difference..
Thanks -- from the front, its very obvious to me, but in the crash angle it was harder to tell. :D The MkV small VWs look very nice. I hope your dad is having a blast with his so far! Another kind of car I've been wanting to own. Then again, I'd always wanted a Mazda, because I enjoy their interpretation of a driver's car, so I'll enjoy what I just got for now. :)
 

cheekyspanky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2004
633
1
South Bucks, UK
mkrishnan said:
The MkV small VWs look very nice. I hope your dad is having a blast with his so far!
They're not considered that small here :D, the Golf is the third smallest VW after the Lupo (soon to be replaced by the Fox) and the Polo. The Jetta is called the Bora here for some reason (despite being called the Jetta a few generations ago)

I think my Dad has been enjoying driving around in it, I think the only complaints he's had so far have been the door seals not being stuck on too well and consequently dropping off on two of the doors (the dealer replaced all the seals with new ones in the end which required two days in the garage) and he reckons the ride is harder than in his old car - but I think it's about perfect, quite firm, but not enough to shake your spine :p

If you see any Golfs check out the doors and see if you can notice any rubber seals hanging out..I think it's quite a common problem as I've seen it quite a few times now.
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,210
432
NY
StarbucksSam said:
I don't actually HAVE one but to be honest with you... well...

Mini vs. Lexus LX series

Who do you think will survive the crash?

That thing is a huge!
 

cheekyspanky

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2004
633
1
South Bucks, UK
mkrishnan said:
Well, compared to a Phaeton they are! :eek: ;) :D But perhaps I should have said C-segment. They are considered C-seg, aren't they?
I think so!

I saw a Phaeton the other day - my first one (other than ones at motor shows/VW dealerships). Are they popular anywhere? I see the Touaregs quite often but never Phaetons.

Can someone explain the American sizes of cars - I see the Golf labelled as a sub compact, so what are the other sizes supposed to be?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
cheekyspanky said:
Can someone explain the American sizes of cars - I see the Golf labelled as a sub compact, so what are the other sizes supposed to be?
We actually use two different systems. Inside the automotive industry, it's much more common for the a/b/c/d/e segment nomenclature to be used. The government, however, uses interior volume, including *cargo space* to determine the size class of a car (but not a truck). This classification is pretty much independent of curb weight and length. :eek: So this can get very confusing. :rolleyes: For instance, a tall car with relatively little leg-room (the kind of body shape of the Focus, the Echo, etc) gets relatively big interior volume numbers. Most of the US and Japanese c-seg cars -- Corolla, Civic, Focus, Mazda3, etc, sit in the EPA compact class.

This website lists the size classes:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/info.shtml#sizeclasses

But according to the site, the 05 Golf and Jetta are also both compacts.