Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
More interior space than its exterior dimensions might imply
Kelley Blue Book
Base models ride better than S versions
BMW build quality and engineering
Car and Driver
The 2008 MINI Cooper hatchback provides a surprising amount of interior space, with a reasonably well-outfitted interior that’s confusing to operate and prone to squeaks and rattles.
“The Cooper line is much roomier inside than people expect,” Cars.com leads off. For a very small car, the 2008 MINI Cooper offers a surprising amount of room for front occupants. Kelley Blue Book points out "those riding in the front seats enjoy excellent head and legroom." ConsumerGuide notes "seats are firm and supportive but mounted too low for easy entry and exit." Long rides will be much more comfortable in the 2008 MINI Cooper, thanks to improved seats; three levers let drivers and passengers maneuver their seats into optimal positions, as does the telescoping steering wheel. “Even those taller than 6 feet will find a comfortable seating position,” Edmunds observes.
The sculpted seatbacks give rear-seaters marginally more room for knees, even though interior dimensions haven't changed. The backseat remains a place for occasional riders in a good mood. “With those tall folks up front, though, rear seat leg space is practically non-existent, even if headroom is ample,” Edmunds reports.
Quality is a major source of discontent with reviewers from around the Web, including TheCarConnection.com’s editors. The redesign of the MINI’s interior has style, but its look makes for a cluttered set of buttons and knobs inside; “the audio controls are bunched confusingly into the huge center speedometer, and both manual and automatic climate controls are also poorly designed,” Edmunds says. The “center-mounted speedometer” also incorporates an “optional navigation system,” Cars.com reports, piling more complexity on the layout. Edmunds adds, “both manual and automatic climate controls are also poorly designed,” and “numerous squeaks and rattles seem to be a Mini hallmark.”
The 2008 MINI Cooper has a surprising amount of room in front, but a crowded dash and a noisy ride cut into the fun.