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'06 Mini Cooper S After (Almost) Five Years by MINI-happy in Colorado on 09/30/2010. Trim: 2006 MINI Cooper S, Owned 5 years.
Pros: I've owned my 2006 Cooper S for almost 5 years now. I still smile every time I walk up to it and see it--I still think the styling is great. After almost 5 years the car is still fun to drive. The car has been very reliable so far--very few problems, and the problems I've had have not been serious
Cons: Hated the spare cup holder Hate run-flat tires--have been much happier w/ radials (car is quieter and handles MUCH better) The seat- warmer buttons are in a bad place--sometimes if I set a bottle of water down by the brakes I'll accidently turn it on. This is mostly a problem in the summer. The Mini keys are a bit unweildy--it would have been nice if they were foldable like the Audi or VW keys for cars of the same production year. The clear-coat on the back-side of the car feels like it needs to be reapplied--it may be from the tendency of coopers to have a chronically dirty boot. After 5 years the front could use some touch-up paint at a detail shop.
Overall review: Overall, I am still quite happy with my '06 Mini after (almost) 5 years and 60k miles of driving. I replaced the run-flat tires with decent Good Year radials, which drastically improved handling (when I first put in Eagle F150s I experienced the feeling of the tires "grabbing onto" the road), and reduced cabin noise. I replaced the brake pads with ceramic pads, which keeps the wheels from getting as dirty. I installed a K&N filter in place of the stock filter which (supposedly) helps performance a little bit. I have had very few problems with the car. A sensor in the passenger seat malfunctioned twice, which causes two different air-bag lights to go on. There was also a coolant leak at some point, but that happened while the car was still under warranty. No engine problems. No transmission problems. No major quality control issues.
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