The 2005 MINI Key

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Among some of the many of the changes we'll see for the 2005 model year (LED lights behind the door handles anyone?) will be the introduction of a new key design. Overall the key takes on the functionality of the current BMW 3 series key with separate buttons for lock/unlock functions as well as a button to open the boot.

According to those who have handled the key it's about the same size but lighter and a bit thinner. It's also not curved like the current key but overall fairly flat.

  • A big thanks to Milliethemini for the pic!

  • Wow that's ugly looking!

  • Very nice. I always liked the “all-inclusive” design of the current key, but it's bulkiness was a bit much. This should fit in the ol' pocket much easier.

  • vadr

    I have had VW Golfs and a Corrado over the last few years before happily succumbing to my MCS-JCW.

    The VW key-pod is slightly larger than MINI's, but the key itself folds into the pod. This means that your pockets aren't in danger of puncture wounds and that the bulkage is reduced by the length of the key. Folded, the VW key is much more convenient than the MINI key…and I loved the switch-blade click of opening it. BMW could take a lesson here.

    vadr

  • James V

    A folding key would be awesome. I've got a gouge in the top of my iPod where the key was put in the same pocket as my iPod šŸ™ The pod had a case but the top was exposed and the key from the MINI got at it.

  • I would assume the next (2007-8?) iteration of the MINI will key will look a lot like the current 5, 6, and 7 series key. It consists of nothing more than a high quality piece of plastic (with remote buttons of course) that plugs into the dash just to the right of the wheel. So essentially no need for a metal piece at all.

  • Different looking, but bottom line is- it's a key…

    VW/Audi Key's are badarse, tho šŸ™‚

  • Chris

    totally agree re: VW/Audi keys….see post #29 here for a photo comparison….I can't imagine that electronics mandate a large, bulky key…just ego on the part of the mfr…

  • Frank

    The current MINI key is made by supplier Valeo in France. For what I have read over at MINI2.COM, this key is “standard” Rover issue and can be found in current Rover products such as the Rover 75 sedan.

    I have gotten used to it. The new key is nice, typical BMW issue.

    I agree with all the rest about the cool VW/Audi keys. They are very practical and the plastics also feel very high quality to the touch.

  • dds

    I actually like this key. I personally am glad they had since done away with the fob. I know everyone's all hot and bothered for the VW/Audi getup, but I see the switchblade as a mechanical function that can fail when you need it.

    I don't wanna be standing out in the parking lot trying to pry my keys open, with no OnStar (or competing telematics service) to help me out.

    But let's back up. What's this about LED lights behind the door handles, now? Are they footwell lights? Are they like the ones under the mirrors on the current 5er?

  • LEDs behind the door handles? Very very cool šŸ™‚

    I too miss my VW folding key. It was a bit bulky but best designed key fob I've ever seen. When folded it fit great in your pocket unlike the rather awkward MINI key (and not just MINI, most other manufacturers now with pocket-assaulting giant keys).

  • Ohw, how UGLY that is key!!!

  • Benjamin

    The VW/Audi keyfobs are also made by Valeo and very durable.

  • Rodney

    I can't help it.. The darn thing is ugly and cheap looking. I concur with the VW key being the best I've seen. Altought the SAAB 9-3 series is pretty cool too. No key just a fob.

  • Shawn Stone

    Hey, I like the current key. It's roundness harks to the round design elements of the MINI. I have a BMW. This is nothing but a BMW key with a MINI logo.

  • Jason

    I'm guessing SAAB's key is simular to Mercedes Benz'? Their's is just a key with a IF transmitter. Very cool and easy on the pockets & the eyes.

  • GJR

    Shawn- you're not alone…I like the current key also, for the same reasons.

  • Todd

    I think the key is great, I love the sleaker design.

    I also love the VW/Audi swithblade keys.

    I just wish that I could be further away then 10 feet to unlock my doors, and also the button needs to actually feel like it is compressed, the auto windows and such does work well when I can't open it from my desk on a warm day.

    Hopefully the new key won't have a sticker for the MINI symbol and acutally put a little money into is and make it metal.

  • If it's identical to the BMW key (and I believe it is) the logo will actually be plastic. Albeit a much nicer piece of plastic than what is currently on the MCS key.

  • Shawn Stone

    Now, is it me, or does all these little changes both to the car and accessories make it seem like BMW is pulling the overall look to be more German or more “BMW” than a British or “MINI” design? It's subtle but I detect a lot of design hints that way with the new bumpers, accessories, the key and so forth. Or is it just me?

  • GJR

    Shawn- I agree there too. Just look at some of the new MINI accessories (like the chronograph watch). Much less funky and individual than the earlier stuff, and more BMW-like. Even the manager of the local dealership's accessory boutique agreed, and said that future MINI lifestyle items will follow that trend.

  • yeah, I like the design of my current key, its large but distinctive. if its gonna be changed, I was hoping for a flip key also. my husbands new crossfire has one like that and its just plain cool. maybe this one looks better in person.

  • R

    HGAS………….R

  • Josh

    Its very BMW, but im not sure if thats a good or bad thing

  • Lshelmir

    I agree with the idea of it being a switch blade key. BMW actually had a switchblade key back in the '80 but only for the seven series. I wasn't what the people wanted then but it would have fit in with the style cues today. hopefully they will revive it.

  • lounytoon

    Will this new key work with non 2005 models? I actually need to get a replacement primary key….

    Thanks.

  • maez

    I am hoping that my first car can be a mini s and that I will have much fun with it……will try to save for the jcw haha this key isn’t as bad as the seperate remote and key (keys) @ least the remote and the key are combined as a single unit. Also when turning the “switchblade” key I feel insecure that thet key may break from the remote and is hard to turn

  • Mylo

    The VW switchblade keys are nice, until you need to pay $130 to replace one. So there is something to be said for a cheap key.