Cooper (non S) Modifications specific to the MINI Cooper (R56).

R56 Cooper vs. R50 Cooper

  #1  
Old 03-31-2007, 10:26 AM
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R50 Paul
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R56 Cooper vs. R50 Cooper

Ok I'm facing a delema. I have a 2003 MC that I've owned since new. I've loved every one of it's 70k plus miles. Now I know that the R56 is not exactly everyone's cup of tea. People knock it for the fact that it's got massive wheel gap and a LARGE amount or ground clearance. Now my current R50 is dropped pretty low, and yes I love the look, but I'm really starting to want a more comfortable ride. So I think, why not just go pick up a R56 Cooper?

What I like about the R56 is the fact that the motor and trans seem a bit more solid. I have a Midlands equipped Cooper.....you know the one that fails a lot!!!! I LOVE the new interior, and I can say that I really like the overall look of the R56. It's growing on me and I feel it has potential!!!!

So convince me to trade my beloved R50 Cooper in towards a R56 Cooper.....BTW Nightfire Red is one of the most beautiful colors I have ever laid eyes on!!!!!!
 
  #2  
Old 04-01-2007, 09:44 AM
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OK, here's why I would do it. As I get older (61) I too like the idea of a smoother ride. I had an '02 for a short time and took it on an old brick street in a small rural town. Major dental work required after that. I believe the R56 rides smoother than the older MINI.

If the R56 has more ground clearance, that would be good too. As I get older I appreciate cars that have easy entrance and exit properties. Also, I tend to hit those darn parking curbs more now.

Then there's the idea of the automatic transmission. I understand the current box is much superior to the CVT of the old days and offers some interesting shifting options. Smooth, responsive and fun are descriptors I've seen used with the new automatic.

Those would be good enough reason for me to trade to a new MINI. But they reflect things I think are important in a car, not necessarily what everyone else is looking for.
 
  #3  
Old 04-07-2007, 03:52 PM
resmini
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I don't see a smoother ride or a little more ground clearance as bad things, and I agree Nightfire Red looks great.

I also have a '03 that I intend to keep a long time because it's almost paid for.

If I had the bucks, I'd likely get an '07 Cooper.
 

Last edited by resmini; 04-23-2007 at 04:32 PM.
  #4  
Old 04-07-2007, 04:12 PM
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Do it. Just having a 6-speed is enough of a reason. I'm always hurting for that last gear.
 
  #5  
Old 04-07-2007, 08:38 PM
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I have an R50 and just got some Koni FSD struts/shocks. They really smoothed out the ride. I would consider an '07 if I needed a new car, but can't rationalize the expense. Plus I've spent years and many dollars making it my own. I wouldn't want to start modding all over again!!! If I needed a new car I would reconsider the S the next time around because of the improved economy. Have you taken a test drive yet?
 
  #6  
Old 04-07-2007, 08:43 PM
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The transmission is nicer from what I've heard. Also the variable valve timing brings out much more torque in the low rpm ranges which will make it more fun to drive. And heck, you can lower it and still have a smoother ride than you have now..!
 
  #7  
Old 06-06-2007, 11:15 AM
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I will give you one reason to keep your R50.....it's cool and R56's suck!
 
  #8  
Old 06-06-2007, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by UKSUV View Post
I will give you one reason to keep your R50.....it's cool and R56's suck!
Very helpful, post.
 
  #9  
Old 06-06-2007, 11:24 AM
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I have NFR and auto, and they are both fantastic. I sometimes have a hard time knowing when its shifting at all. Excuse my ignorance of proper terminology, but without the sport button on, it does keep the rpms very low (i.e. in a high gear). This can feel like a lack of power, is good for mpg, and I have no idea how it would compare to your R50.
 
  #10  
Old 06-06-2007, 11:31 AM
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Check this out!

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...d.php?t=103238

Already taken care of the wheel gaps
 
  #11  
Old 07-17-2007, 07:58 AM
Meat-Eater
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R56 all the way. If you knew nothing about the car when you got in and drove, you wouldn't guess that it was only 118 hp. It's much roomier for me than the prev. model, b/c now there is actually room for my elbow to fit in/on the door's armrest while reclining (cruising, not napping). There is just more room up front, period.

I haven't looked it up, but since this was a ground up redesign, the structure HAS to be stiffer. That means better handling, less NVH, and better safety in a collision (I have a phobia of cell phone yakkers/drunks running red lights, it happens a lot around here).

It's actually a little LIGHTER than the previous model!

Yeah, I LOVE the nightfire red, too. I'm ordering my car in a week, I don't know whether to get NFR or BRG....

Also consider this: the longer you wait to sell your 1st gen. car, it's value will probably fall quickly. Since the R56 came out, I've seen several R50's with decent prices just sit.

So there, did I convince you?
 
  #12  
Old 07-17-2007, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by UKSUV View Post
I will give you one reason to keep your R50.....it's cool and R56's suck!

+1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R56 is ugly.
 
  #13  
Old 07-17-2007, 08:39 AM
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40MPG Hwy (even my S is getting 31-32 around town, 35-36 Hwy) (and yes, it's the OBC number, occasionally verified at fills)

You should really drive one just to see if it "fits". I can't help but think the new motor & tranny in the MC would be fun!
 
  #14  
Old 07-17-2007, 08:53 AM
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R56 is a great MINI but then again so is R50. I'd be happy with either. It's impossible to deny that many improvements have been made to R56, most notably in the engine/tranny department. Yet, I personally can't deny a great affection for R50...it may be less polished/refined, but I like it that way. It would be a tough choice. As it is, I now drive an R56 replacing my beloved '03 Cooper (which I actually still have)...and I'm enjoying all R56 has to offer very much.
 
  #15  
Old 07-17-2007, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW View Post
+1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R56 is ugly.
Do you really think this kind of post is helpful? Quite obviously, the OP can look at the car and decide for himself whether or not it is ugly. I would expect more from a club coordinator.
 
  #16  
Old 07-20-2007, 07:02 PM
resmini
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Originally Posted by Meat-Eater View Post
Yeah, I LOVE the nightfire red, too. I'm ordering my car in a week, I don't know whether to get NFR or BRG....
Get the Nightfire red.
 
  #17  
Old 07-20-2007, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by UKSUV View Post
I will give you one reason to keep your R50.....it's cool and R56's suck!
Hey... that's two reasons
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But both very valid
 
  #18  
Old 07-21-2007, 05:23 PM
resmini
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I own an 03 MC and I think the 07 MC looks great, as does my 03. I would especially enjoy the 6-speed manual, better gas mileage, smoother ride, ability to start off from stop with the AC on without bogging down, sunroof that opens both front and rear, etc........and , as I said before, Nightfire Red looks terrific.
 
  #19  
Old 07-21-2007, 07:25 PM
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You'd have to get a new license plate...
 
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:38 AM
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Nightfire is OK but Oxygen Blue is unbelievable and $450 less.
I'd hold out till '09 for the 50th anniversary and midcycle revisions it's only 1.5 years away.
 
  #21  
Old 09-05-2007, 10:55 AM
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I just sold my 2003 BRG MC and took delivery of my 2007 NFR MC 10 days ago. I love the difference. It has way better mileage, much quieter, the higher waist takes a bit more time to wash and wax, but I am glad I made the change. The old ones are NOT holding value any more like they did even three months ago. I loved my old car, but this new one is much nicer and I am getting used to NFR. It looks way different in different lights.
 
  #22  
Old 09-14-2007, 03:38 AM
N2MINI
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My only real complaint on the R56 is the side markers on the front fenders. They look cheap! Most everything else is a good upgrade from the R50
 
  #23  
Old 11-14-2007, 10:47 PM
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I had a 2003 Cooper S and loved the car dearly. I still like the idea of a supercharger. The new turbo model was nice but then I drove the standard Cooper and was impressed with the feel and sticker price. It has the feel of the old Cooper S in regards to power. If you are going to buy a basic Cooper....buy it with very few options, otherwise go for the Cooper S if you are willing to pay over 25,000USD. I couldn't justify buying a basic Cooper for much over 20,000USD. I wish there was an option in the computer to programme the sport mode to stay on after restart.....otherwise love the car.
 
  #24  
Old 11-15-2007, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by R50 Paul View Post
Ok I'm facing a delema. I have a 2003 MC that I've owned since new. I've loved every one of it's 70k plus miles. Now I know that the R56 is not exactly everyone's cup of tea. People knock it for the fact that it's got massive wheel gap and a LARGE amount or ground clearance. Now my current R50 is dropped pretty low, and yes I love the look, but I'm really starting to want a more comfortable ride. So I think, why not just go pick up a R56 Cooper?

What I like about the R56 is the fact that the motor and trans seem a bit more solid. I have a Midlands equipped Cooper.....you know the one that fails a lot!!!! I LOVE the new interior, and I can say that I really like the overall look of the R56. It's growing on me and I feel it has potential!!!!

So convince me to trade my beloved R50 Cooper in towards a R56 Cooper.....BTW Nightfire Red is one of the most beautiful colors I have ever laid eyes on!!!!!!
First off, the R56 takes some heat for the styling, but over time is going to be appreciated for the looks...everyone is just going through an adjustment period. The engine/transmission is definitely improved on the R56. I don't find that much difference between the ride comfort of the two, but it seems to me that the R56 has a slightly softer ride...but still handles great. The new interior is cool, and there's a lot more room for the driver's legs! Bottom line...get one!!!
 
  #25  
Old 11-15-2007, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by R50 Paul View Post
So convince me to trade my beloved R50 Cooper in towards a R56 Cooper
I gave my early '03 Cooper to my daughter and got an '07 Cooper back in May. I love it!! The two cars have a very different feel about them. There's something to love about each. Objectively I will say that the R56 Cooper engine is a marvel and the tranny is brilliant...it is something you will really enjoy. That added 6th gear is also fantastic if you do any highway cruising or if you want some impressive mpg numbers. Other than that I'd say that R56 is dialed-in in so many little ways that it's hard to make a big massive deal about any one of them....but combined????? Oh yes...utterly superb.

Now, having driven an R56 for awhile, I will say that I have become very accustomed/at-home with it's refinements, to the point that when I climb back in to my R50 is all feels a bit raw. But than again, to me raw is a very Mini thing, so I could easily adjust back if need be. I sure love that R56 though. Yum.

Far too much has been made of the difference in looks...I park mine side by side, back to back all the time and it's just not worth discussing...nor criticizing...either. R50 was a masterpiece, R56 is a miracle (every body panel different yet looks/reads virtually the same). Fact is, once again, the changes to the R56 Cooper are purposeful, functional, and actually offer subtle benefits that should not go unappreciated.

So, if it were me, I'd keep my R50 as long as possible and motor proud. However, if I reached the tipping point of having my affections torn, I'd recommend letting yourself get pretty darn excited about the procpects of R56 Cooper motoring. Once you are, you'll quickly fall under the spell of this yummy 2nd generation's charms.
 

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