First launched in England toward the end of the 1950s, the MINI Cooper--a compact hatchback--was discontinued in 2000, only to be resurrected when German automaker BMW assumed ownership. Re-introduced for the 2002 model year, the 2004 MINI Cooper was thus the third entry in the car's rejuvenated cycle of production. It had two trims: the base model and the sporty S version.
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Engine, Transmission and Fuel Economy
The 2004 MINI Cooper had a 1.6-litre in-line four-cylinder engine with a 3.03-inch bore and 3.38-inch spoke. The engine of the S, however, received 48 more horses (163 as compared to 115) and produced 55 more foot-pounds of torque (155 vs. 100). Also, the S engine had a compression ratio of 8.3-to-1, different from the 10.6-to-1 compression ratio the base trim's engine had. The base trim got a five-speed automatic transmission with the option for a single-speed automatic, while the S trim got a six-speed manual. With a 13-gallon gas tank, the '04 Cooper got 25 to 28 miles per hour (mpg) for city driving and 32 to 37mpg for highway driving, depending on trim and type of transmission.
With standard seating for up to four people, the 2004 MINI Cooper averaged 38 inches in headroom, 36 inches in leg room, 48 inches in shoulder room and 39 inches in hip room. Standard interior features of the car included power windows, air conditioning, tire pressure/inflation monitor, and stereo system consisting of an AM/FM radio, CD player and six speakers. Optional features included leather seats, sunroof and navigational system.
A four-door vehicle, the 2004 MINI Cooper was 143 inches long, 67 inches wide and 56 inches high, with a 97-inch wheelbase and 5-inch ground clearance. Curb weight had a 2,500- to 2,700-pound range depending on trim and transmission type. Power side mirrors, rear windshield wipers and alloy wheels (that of the base model was 15 inches while that of the S trim was 16) were some of the standard exterior features of the '04 MINI Cooper.
Safety, Braking and Handling
The 2004 MINI Cooper had driver, passenger, front side and side head curtain airbags. It also had a vehicle antitheft system, power door locks, anti-lock brakes and keyless entry, with BMW adding traction control on the S trim. The vehicle had front ventilated disc and rear drum brakes, and the independent suspension consisted of struts in the front and multi-link design in the rear--both with stabiliser bar and coil springs. The turning diameter was measured at 35 feet.
The original manufacturer's suggested retail price was £10,691 for the base trim and £12,934 for the S. As of 2010, Kelley Blue Book estimates the price value range for the base trim at £7,800 to £8,450, while that of the S trim is £8,450 to £9,750.
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