The 2006 Mini Cooper comes as either a two-door hatchback or a two-door convertible with a power-operated top. Both offer two versions: Base and S. The Base Cooper includes 15-inch wheels, leatherette or cloth upholstery, a tilt steering wheel, a centrally mounted speedometer, air-conditioning with micron filtration, a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, and full power accessories. The Cooper S adds 16-inch wheels with run-flat performance tires, seat-height adjustment, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Mini also offers a huge range of customizing packages and options.
In 1959, Alec Issigonis designed a groundbreaking subcompact coupe that achieved a surprising amount of interior space using a transverse-mounted engine and an efficient, boxy front-drive layout. Stylish, fun to drive, and a snap to park anywhere, the British Mini and Mini Cooper quickly gained icon status around the world, including the U.S., in the 1960s. BMW reintroduced the Mini Cooper to American shores in 2002.
Body Styles: hatchback, convertible
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, CVT with automanual mode (base model), six-speed manual, six-speed automatic (S model)
Models: Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S
The 2006 Mini Cooper can be equipped with a new Checkmate package, which includes special wheels, stability control, unique trim and graphics, HID headlamps, and fog lamps. The John Cooper Works package, previously only available as a dealer-installed option, can now be fitted at the factory as well.
The exterior of the 2006 Mini Cooper is highly customizable. Buyers can choose a body-color, black, or white roof and a roof decal of a checkered flag, Union Jack, or U.S. flag. White or silver wheels finish off the custom look. The low, wide stance of the Mini Cooper remains distinctive and practical. The wheels sit as far out to the corners as possible, increasing stability. The hood is wide, but short in depth, and the big round headlights that go up with the hood contribute to the “cute factor.” The flat roof provides extra headroom for both front and rear seats. The S model features sport bumpers, wider wheel arches, a rear spoiler, chrome accents, and an S logo on the rear badge.
The Mini Cooper offers room, luxury, and convenience, even for tall drivers. The front seats slide and lift out of the way to allow rear passengers into the back of this two-door compact. The back seats are surprisingly roomy, and they split and fold down for cargo versatility. Although the cabin has an attractive look, the 2006 Mini Cooper uses some low-quality materials for the interior.
Performance & Handling
The Mini Cooper provides a sporty driving experience. The handling proves highly responsive, and only the hardest driving can push the Mini beyond its cornering capabilities. The suspension keeps the car tight to the road, so it may not offer the smoothest ride, but it remains very secure. The 2006 Mini Cooper comes with four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and corner brake control (CBC). EBD distributes breaking power front-to-rear to improve stability and shortens stopping distance, while CBC evens braking force side-to-side. Optional Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) applies the brakes on individual wheels and reduces engine torque in case of skidding. The standard 115-horsepower, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, overhead-cam engine provides plenty of power for freeway driving. The Mini Cooper S uses a supercharged version of the same engine that produces 168 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque.
All Mini Coopers come with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The S model also includes traction control, and any model can be equipped with the Sport or Checkmate package, which comes with DSC. Other standard safety features include a flat-tire monitor, side airbags for front occupants, and head curtain airbags for the front and rear. The convertible features fixed roll bars behind the rear seat. In government crash tests, the Cooper hatchback earns four out of five stars for frontal impacts and side impacts involving front occupants. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s frontal-offset crash testing, the Mini Cooper earns a ""Best Pick"" designation among small cars.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mini Cooper Hatchback: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper S Hatchback: 22/29 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper Convertible: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Mini Cooper S Convertible: 22/29 mpg city/highway
- BMW-engineered suspension and steering
- Iconic style
- Safety features
You Won't Like
- Not enough horsepower in base model
- Some low-grade interior materials
- Tight cabin and cargo space
British charm with German engineering.
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