Despite being the least-expensive Mini, the base Mini Cooper with a manual transmission is our top-scoring variant. It outscores the faster turbocharged Cooper S and larger Clubman due to its better ride and fuel economy. Even with its base engine, the Mini is a joy to drive with excellent handling and braking. Fuel economy is impressive at 33 mpg overall, but it requires premium fuel.
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Superior performance"

GARY P., NV (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Very maneuverable, easy to handle and fun to drive."

DAVID M., IL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Great fun to drive with a sports car experience, but our big Toyota Sienna minivan is easier to handle. Making a u-turn is a piece of cake with the Sienna, not so with the little Mini."

Anonymous, NC (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Very good acceleration."

Anonymous, UT (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Handling is excellent. However, acceleration with this base model is disappointing on hills above a certain grade (I can't give you a grade %)."

Anonymous, OR (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Very good acceleration and handling. It is fun to drive."

CRAIG H., IA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"It is a blast to drive... exactly what we hoped for!"

CHRIS W., MI (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Great acceleration, always surprises people who have never been in a MINI before."

Anonymous, CO (2008 Mini Cooper)

"It is such fun to drive. Low center of gravity, low weight, front wheel drive, manual with 5 on the floor. Soft top. Fun in the sun, fun in snow. June 2016 I did 4000 mile road trip through mid-USA (mid-life crisis and my wife was ok with it). I had the roof down and ear buds in. Excellent. Out of a MB GL450 (superb quiet ride), a 2006 Range Rover Sport (too tight suspension) and the Mini. The Mini is still the most fun (except in rush hour traffic)."

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"My Mii Cooper S is fun to drive and very nimble in most highway and byway traffic."

Bill P., TX (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Petty, lively acceleration with nimble steering. It's lots of fun driving in it."

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"We love the agility and response."

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"The car has very good performance and great gas mileage."

Anonymous, IA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"The Mini handles extremely well. It response immediately, and sits well on the street. The excellent action is great. It is a fun car to drive!"

Andrea G., NY (2008 Mini Cooper)

"MINI is a joy to drive, especially with the standard shift. Handling is predictable and terrific."

Robert T., NJ (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Acceleration and handling are outstanding. The car is very controllable with sure stopping power. The only complaint is the ride can be a bit rough on uneven roads."

Daniel S., CA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Every drive is a pleasure. You really feel like you are driving the car - not just going along for the ride. Very responsive"

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Fun to drive. Peppy. Close to the road. Easy to zip in and out of traffic. Handling is sharp and firm."

Anonymous, MN (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Very responsive. Entertaining to drive in all situations. fun!"

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Easy handling and maneuvering in traffic, Love to drive on winding country roads. Parking is a breeze."

Susan K., MN (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Handling is the strong point, with performance. It's a go-kart."

Mel C., FL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"drives like a race car. superb handeling and traction"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Outstanding acceleration in my "S" version with turbo charger."

Lloyd H., MD (2008 Mini Cooper)

"The Mini Cooper is very quick and drives like it is on rails."

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"It is still very fun to drive"

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Although I have the conventionally aspirated four cylinder engine, I am most likely to win most stoplight Grand Prixs-as long as I am not asleep at the light. The handling has one particular aspect that I like: Parking. I can park in places even most so-called subcompact cars must pass on. I can also take turns at higher speeds than most other cars, although I do have to caution myself not to act too xxxxx with the car."

Jon E., IL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Handles great, lots of fun to drive, corners like on railroad tracks."

Curtis L., FL (2008 Mini Cooper)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"I bought the Mini because of they way it looked and i could afford 17,000 dollars for a car with 22,000 miles at the time. The driving experience is good overall but I wish I had more power. I may try for an S next time. I was not prepared for the HARD, ROUGH ride it gives but I only drive short distances. Repairs are standard in my opinion except the timing chain ($1700.00) and the tires (replace every year). Mini fixed my timing chain for $500.00 when I called and said 1700.00 was never g"

CAROLE F., MO (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Not a smooth ride"

Anonymous, NC (2008 Mini Cooper)

"very noisy, NOT a highway car. Just a toy"

Herschel S., IL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"The Mini is fun to drive, but the three things we do not enjoy is (1) it really is a low car to get in and out of, and being so small and low we don't feel very secure on the highways as other vehicles push us around, (2) although it is a sporty car and fun to drive, it is very jerky when accelerating. When we start moving from a complete stop, or just speeding up - the vehicle jerks a lot which is not pleasant. (3) Very expensive and inconvenient to have work done as we have to take it downtown..."

Margot W., BC (2008 Mini Cooper)

"comfort is satisfactory, ride is rough on bad roads like those here in Ill. There is some noise, but not bad. The great part of the car acceleration and driving experience and speed."

Judith L., IL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"I love the contoured seats and in particular that the seats are heated. That is just wonderful especially in the winter!"

Andrea G., NY (2008 Mini Cooper)

"For a tall person, the Mini Cooper fits me surprisingly well. I can sit in it comfortably more than most cars."

Anonymous, FL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"it's not made for a smooth ride. The suspension is not great."

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mini Cooper)

"seats are very comfortable which helps a normally rough ride"

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Seats are fine. So noisy, you can’t hear the radio"

Anonymous, WA (2008 Mini Cooper)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Many very expensive repairs required shortly after getting the vehicle. Spent as much on repairs as the cost of the car."

JOHN P., NJ (2008 Mini Cooper)

"gas mileage is excellent"

YVONNE M., CA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"I got both a sports car and an economical car for the money."

Anonymous, IA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"I got the performance from the car for the money i paid. Some of the options, like bluetooth would have been useful"

Anonymous, NL (2008 Mini Cooper)

"This car has been a maintenance problem from the beginning. We have had problems with transmission, engine mounts, electrical system, exhaust system cracks, the remote key, the computer that displays data on fuel consumption, and the backup warning system. After 105000 miles, and 10 years, the $34k car is requiring $17k in repairs and has a trade in value of about $4.5k. Fun to drive, but high maintenance."

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mini Cooper)

"Expensive auto for what you get. Repairs. Major engine failure at 23,000 miles (loose value). Two piece flywheel came apart at 50000 miles. Operation of windows and sunroof controlled by computer which had to be rebooted many times at dealer."

Lloyd H., MD (2008 Mini Cooper)

"BMW quality and performance at a sub-compact price."

Mel C., FL (2008 Mini Cooper)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"We like it - my wife thinks that it is "cute"."

Anonymous, UT (2008 Mini Cooper)

"I think the styling is very good. While driving the car I get lots of looks and comments."

CRAIG H., IA (2008 Mini Cooper)


CHARLES R., CT (2008 Mini Cooper)

"I love the styling, the car smiles."

CAROLE F., MO (2008 Mini Cooper)
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