2006 MINI Cooper HardtopEnlarge Photo
Continuing with only minor updates for 2006, the retro-styled MINI Cooper continues in coupe and convertible versions. The base model offers a 115-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that's mated to a choice of a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission. The Cooper S, meanwhile, provides added muscle by means of a 168-horsepower, supercharged 1.6-liter engine that drives the front wheels via a slick-shifting Getrag five-speed manual gearbox. The MINI Cooper delivers precise handling, with the S version's larger wheels and tires and beefed-up suspension components offering added cornering abilities. Ragtop versions feature a fully automatic convertible top that uniquely incorporates both a heated glass rear window and an integrated power sliding sunroof feature. Anti-lock brakes with cornering control and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and front-side airbags come standard. Dynamic Stability Control, a navigation system, Harmon Kardon premium stereo, Park Distance Control, run-flat tires, and a number of novel paint schemes and interior color combinations are optional.