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2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

2dr Cpe S

Starting at | Starting at 26 MPG City - 34 MPG Highway

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  • $21,200 original MSRP
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2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

Benefits of Driving a 2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

Few cars come as close to conveying the pure joy of driving like a MINI. From the more practical base model to the thrill-a-minute S, and with virtually every conceivable option under the sun available, the 2008 Cooper can be ordered to suit any driver. And though their price may seem high for what these cars are, try to find a MINI driver who regrets the purchase.

What's new for 2008?

The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S were wholly redesigned for 2007 resulting in a carry-over year for 2008.

Model Strengths

  • Exceptional driving experience
  • seemingly infinite level of customization
  • plenty of top-end options available.

Model Review

The 2008 MINI Cooper coupe, fresh off of a complete redesign for 2007, uses a punchy all-aluminum inline-four that is rated at 118 horsepower in normally aspirated form and 172 horsepower with the turbocharger. Fully variable valve lift and timing help deliver that power in an extremely smooth fashion, and also benefits fuel economy. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while an automatic with the same number of gear ratios and Steptronic paddles is optional on both the Cooper and Cooper S.

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2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

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Review: 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman

Source: MSN Autos

After selling more than a million copies of the born-again MINI in hatchback and convertible form since 2002, the BMW-owned brand adds a third body style to its portfolio. With its tiny rear doors and angular bodywork, the Clubman evokes classic Mini models such as the Traveller, the Countryman and the Clubman Estate. The Clubman rides on a longer wheelbase that provides notably better rear seating and a tiny bit more practicality than its siblings.

Model Lineup
Like its counterparts at MINI, the Clubman is offered in the now-familiar Cooper and Cooper S trims. The primary difference between the two is that the former is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the S gets a turbocharged version. The vented front disc brakes are 11.0 inches in diameter on the Cooper and 11.6 on the Cooper S. The rear brakes are solid 10.2-inch discs on both.

The Cooper and Cooper S are also set apart subtly by a number of exterior details, such as a functional hood scoop and larger lower air intake for the S. Its grille is also a matte black mesh while the Cooper’s has chromed horizontal bars. The sportier Cooper S also flaunts specific badges on the front fenders and right rear door, a chromed fuel cap, two chromed tailpipes. Full xenon headlights with pressure washers are a $500 option.

The most fundamental difference between the Clubman and other MINI models is a 9.45-inch gain in overall body length, on a wheelbase stretched 3.15 inches. The increase creates a substantial improvement in rear legroom, while the longer body and near-square shape in the back yield a larger cargo bay. Cargo volume ranges from 9.1 cubic feet when the rear seats are upright to 32.6 cu. ft. when they are folded (almost) flat. Access to the rear is by two small vertical doors that feel surprisingly substantial, each one equipped with its own power-release switch behind a nicely-sized chrome handle.

Under the Hood
The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gas engines in the new Clubmans were developed jointly by BMW and French automaker Peugeot. The Cooper S engine develops 172 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, thanks to a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection. The standard Overboost mode pushes the torque peak to 192 lb-ft briefly under full acceleration. As my test week in a Cooper S progressed, though, I grew weary of the jerk felt through the steering wheel as the turbo kicked in fully around 2500 rpm, even in normal acceleration. "Short-shifting" made city driving much more pleasant.

The naturally aspirated engine in the Cooper Clubman produces 118 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm. What it lacks in sheer numbers it more than makes up in flexibility and drivability, thanks to BMW’s award-winning Valvetronic fully variable valve control. The milder Cooper also does better at the pump, with EPA city/hwy ratings of 28/37 mpg, while the Cooper S nets 26/34 mpg. Both engines require premium fuel.

Both our test cars were equipped with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox, and a 6-speed automatic is optional. The manual box is quick, slick and precise, aided by a light clutch pedal with nicely progressive engagement. Unfortunately, it’s much too easy to catch reverse instead of first gear when moving the lever to the left and up. The lever needs a positive lock-out mechanism or at least a stronger detent for reverse.

Inner Space
From the B-pillar forward, Clubman models are identical to their counterparts. The bucket seats in the Cooper are almost a match in overall support for the sport seats in the Cooper S, and just as comfortable after a couple of hours. Driving position is impeccable in both, with pedals spaced just right for heel-and-toe maneuvers and a solid, flat dead pedal.

Dashboard design is all about style and borders on terminally cute and quirky, with its gigantic, center-mounted speedometer and myriad toggle switches. You get used to most of it with the possible exception of the vertically mobile climate control wheels in the Cooper S. The manual A/C system in the Cooper was much more livable. Controls for the audio and cruise control, mounted on a nicely shaped and textured sport steering wheel, are superbly effective on both models.

What Sets the Clubman Apart
Clubman models are set apart by their rear accommodations and cargo bay. In addition to providing much better legroom, the rear seats are easier to access thanks to the Clubdoor, a short, vertical panel that can be flipped open backwards once you’ve opened the right front door. It still takes work to get in, but once seated you’ll be comfy.

Behind the two miniature rear doors, the cargo area is just about perfect for typical errand running. And when you need more space,  you can flip down both seatbacks in a snap. Even with the vertical bar in view where the rear doors join, when looking in the rearview mirror visibility is fine, combined with effective outside mirrors and large side rear glass areas.

In spite of the Clubdoor, MINI insists that Clubman models provide equal lateral crash resistance on both sides of the car. The Clubman shares the usual complement of airbags: two frontal, two mounted on the sides of the front seats and a pair of curtain airbags that extend farther back than in hatchback models. Both the Cooper S Clubman and Cooper Clubman felt impeccably solid, as if carved from the proverbial billet. Both also proved surprisingly quiet at normal highway speeds. 

On the Road
In normal driving, both cars feel much like their slightly shorter and lighter hatchback counterparts. They display the agility and quick, precise steering characteristics for which the new MINI has become rightfully known. In tight corners, there is more rear body roll than on the hatchback. This seems to be the product of the additional mass of the "wagon" body at the rear, set higher and farther back.

The longer wheelbase also takes away a bit of the hatchback’s exceptional agility and eagerness to negotiate corners. Even MINI cannot cheat the laws of physics. In most circumstances, though, both Clubman models feel like their siblings. The ride is also a bit less harsh than in the hatchbacks, thankfully, but you should still watch out for potholes. Braking is also spot-on.

Right for You?
The new MINI is all about perfectly unique styling, unmistakable driving fun and cheeky design, sometimes at the cost of simple ergonomic efficiency. Solid and safe for such small cars, the new Clubman versions definitely have their place in the MINI line. The rear seat is much more useful and the additional cargo volume will come in handy. Plus, they go and handle just like the hatchbacks. Well, almost.

A professional auto journalist for more than 25 years and the founding editor of Sympatico / MSN Autos, Marc Lachapelle is a two-time winner of the Canadian Journalist of the Year award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, an accomplished photographer and licensed racer.

Printable Version

2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Opt
Variable Inter. Wipers Opt
Rain Sensing Wipers Opt

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Opt
Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Opt
Printable Version

2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

MINI Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Each MINI NEXT Certified Pre-Owned vehicle is covered by MINI up to 2 years or 50,000 miles1 and begins at the expiration of the 4 year/50,000 mile MINI New Passenger Car Limited Warranty.

There are two lengths of coverage, depending on the vehicles mileage:
MINI NEXT Certified Pre-Owned
Covers you for 2 years/50,000 miles1 after the expiration of the 4-year/50,000-mile MINI New Passenger Car Limited Warranty for a total of 6 years/100,000 miles1. This includes 24/7 Roadside Assistance.
MINI NEXT Certified Pre-Owned 575
These are lower mileage (>300 miles<36,001 miles) vehicles. MINI NEXT 575 covers you for 1 year/25,000 miles1 after the expiration of the 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty or for a total of 5 years/75,000 miles1. This includes 24/7 Roadside Assistance.

Vehicles must pass a rigorous pre-certification inspection conducted by MINI certified technicians. For complete program details, visit MINIUSA.com/MININEXT.

1whichever comes first
Age/Mileage Eligibility Less than 5 yrs (60 months) and under 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection Each MINI NEXT car has been inspected bonnet-to-boot by a MINI trained technician. We like to think of it as a massage. It is a process carried out by some of the most dedicated technicians in the business meant to refresh your MINI and ensure that the first feelings you experience out on the open road are ones of pure and utter goodness.
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes, see your MINI Authorized Dealer for details
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2008 MINI Cooper Hatchback

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