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2008 - 2013 MINI Cooper R56 Review

After 5 years of owning a MINI Cooper R56, it is high time that I wrote a review about this quite small but extraordinary car.
Some objective facts:
Pros Cons
Superb driving experience Restricted storage space
Excellent service and after sales support Limited rear passenger space
Above the average passenger cabin material quality Not impressive passenger cabin materials
Unlimited accessories and extras to choose from
Superior build quality
Details that impress
It was a warm winter day in the onset of March 2008 that I decided to fulfill one of my dreams and buy a Mini, so I browsed to the appropriate site and designed my dream car that contained the following components (I might have forgotten something):
  • MINI Cooper 1.6
  • 16" 6-Star Twin Spoke Alloys
  • Roof in body colour
  • Automatic Gearbox
  • Auto transmission Sport leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles
  • Multi-function controls for wheel
  • Run-flat tyres
  • Alarm system
  • Sport seats
  • Interior World Carbon Black
  • Foglights
  • Xenon Headlights
  • Radio BOOST CD
  • Bluetooth hands free fuction with USB audio
  • White Indicator Lenses
Since a "buy now" option was not available in the site, I printed my made-to-measure car and went to a MINI dealer, where I placed the order. The car was ready in about 2.5 months.
Some minor design flaws and shortcomings have appeared during these years, but were repaired free of charge:
  • a minor defect in one of the rear seat-belt buckles
  • creaking sounds in the right door
Some of the stuff that one might enjoy:
  • Gearshift paddles
    • gearing down before turning or accelerating, formula style, is all a boy could wish for
  • Start-stop button for the engine
    • combine that with the gearshift paddles and you'll get the feeling ;D
  • Bluetooth speakerphone and USB
    • one could argue that this could be purchased separately; the proper integration with the wheel control buttons though, is priceless ;)
  • Smart key
    • No need to keep track of when and what needs to be serviced or changed
  • After sales service
    • After visiting an authorized service provider, a BMW representative contacts the owner and queries about service and pricing satisfaction
  • Interior design
    • Awesome
  • Hydraulic piston to hold the car's hood
    • Hood support rods are so passe :P
  • Run-flat tyres
    • The difference between "FUCK man, I have a flat tire" and "I have a flat tyre"
After five years of owning a Mini, I am more than happy for having one.