2008 MINI Cooper

MSRP ?

$18,050 - $21,950
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Smart Buy Market Avg. ?

N/A
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Engine Engine 1.6LI-4
MPG MPG 28 City / 37 Hwy
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2008 Cooper Overview

Click above for a high resolution image We've had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a few MINI variants, including a 2007 Cooper S and more recently a 2008 Cooper Clubman. Despite some quirky interior design cues and limited practicality, it's hard not to love the MINI for its superb handling and slick-shifting transmission. Still on our to-do list, however, was to experience some of the John Cooper Works options that were absent on our previous test cars. Fortunately we were able to schedule a short drive with a 2008 MINI Cooper S with a few select JCW options. Are the upgrades worth the price of admission? Read on... %Gallery-26603% All photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc. Our MINI arrived in style with Lightning Blue paint and a handsome interior with Lounge Carbon Black leather seating, just slightly more subtle than the Leather Lounge Redwood seats in the Cooper S we previously tested. Our car was also fitted with the Premium Package with a panoramic sunroof ($1,250), limited slip diff ($500), computer NAV system ($2,000), and the leather sport wheel w/ multifunction ($250). But enough with the "regular" options. We're here to test out the goods from the John Cooper Works parts bin. First up is the Tuning Kit ($2,100) consisting of a high-flow air intake box, a low-restriction sport exhaust system with larger diameter chrome tips, and a reprogrammed ECU that increases throttle response. The result is an increase of 17 horsepower for a total of 189, as well as a boost of torque to 185 lb-ft, or temporarily up to 200 lb-ft with overboost. Amazingly, that torque is available from 1,000 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm, and combined with the increased throttle response, it's nearly impossible to resist dipping into the throttle just for the fun of it. The exhaust note is also much improved, and the Cooper S now emits a proper growl. While $123/horsepower isn't exactly a great bang for your buck, there's something satisfying knowing that your extra horsepower is covered under the factory warranty. Plus you get those cool John Cooper Works badges! Next up is the JCW sport suspension system ($1,295). The kit includes stiffer springs and new shock absorbers. MINI claims benefits of increased cornering ability and reduced body roll through the corners, and we'd be inclined to agree. We know the Cooper S can handle like a go-kart, and the JCW suspension enhances the MINI's corner carving abilities even more. The car exhibited practically no body roll even through the tightest turns, and the front wheels simply go exactly where you point them. The only downside is a slightly rougher ride that would become annoying if your daily commute involved potholes and uneven roads. We are 50/50 on whether we would check this option, and it would probably depend on if we used the car as a daily driver or a weekend toy. The last set of JCW options for our Cooper S include …
Full Review

2008 Cooper Overview

Click above for a high resolution image We've had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a few MINI variants, including a 2007 Cooper S and more recently a 2008 Cooper Clubman. Despite some quirky interior design cues and limited practicality, it's hard not to love the MINI for its superb handling and slick-shifting transmission. Still on our to-do list, however, was to experience some of the John Cooper Works options that were absent on our previous test cars. Fortunately we were able to schedule a short drive with a 2008 MINI Cooper S with a few select JCW options. Are the upgrades worth the price of admission? Read on... %Gallery-26603% All photos Copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc. Our MINI arrived in style with Lightning Blue paint and a handsome interior with Lounge Carbon Black leather seating, just slightly more subtle than the Leather Lounge Redwood seats in the Cooper S we previously tested. Our car was also fitted with the Premium Package with a panoramic sunroof ($1,250), limited slip diff ($500), computer NAV system ($2,000), and the leather sport wheel w/ multifunction ($250). But enough with the "regular" options. We're here to test out the goods from the John Cooper Works parts bin. First up is the Tuning Kit ($2,100) consisting of a high-flow air intake box, a low-restriction sport exhaust system with larger diameter chrome tips, and a reprogrammed ECU that increases throttle response. The result is an increase of 17 horsepower for a total of 189, as well as a boost of torque to 185 lb-ft, or temporarily up to 200 lb-ft with overboost. Amazingly, that torque is available from 1,000 rpm all the way to 5,000 rpm, and combined with the increased throttle response, it's nearly impossible to resist dipping into the throttle just for the fun of it. The exhaust note is also much improved, and the Cooper S now emits a proper growl. While $123/horsepower isn't exactly a great bang for your buck, there's something satisfying knowing that your extra horsepower is covered under the factory warranty. Plus you get those cool John Cooper Works badges! Next up is the JCW sport suspension system ($1,295). The kit includes stiffer springs and new shock absorbers. MINI claims benefits of increased cornering ability and reduced body roll through the corners, and we'd be inclined to agree. We know the Cooper S can handle like a go-kart, and the JCW suspension enhances the MINI's corner carving abilities even more. The car exhibited practically no body roll even through the tightest turns, and the front wheels simply go exactly where you point them. The only downside is a slightly rougher ride that would become annoying if your daily commute involved potholes and uneven roads. We are 50/50 on whether we would check this option, and it would probably depend on if we used the car as a daily driver or a weekend toy. The last set of JCW options for our Cooper S include …Hide Full Review