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The Official MINI Armrest Revealed

Here it is folks. The final version of the official armrest that will be available from the factory and MINI dealers. As we had predicted the final version is neither the MINI-Fini design nor the previous official version released for a short time last year. It’s a new design that both can fold up and allows use of the rear cup holder

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The unit is topped by black leatherette and uses silver plastic that should match the look found on the steering wheel. The top slides back and even folds down for even more access.

The armrest should retail for around $200. It will (finally) be available with the convenience package on the MINI Convertible (both models) and as a standalone option this March.You can see the original press pics here and some hands-on photos below:

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Written By: Gabe

  • Kurt

    I love the look and the ability to keep the rear cup holder…

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    For those curious here’s a short video of the armrest. I found that it’s not quite as sturdy as I one would hope. Certainly not close the BMW 3 series armrest.

  • http://www.conceptualtechnology.com/usa Theo

    The design is nice but it… - seems a little intrusive in an already cramped rear seat area; - doesn’t have a storage compartment.

    Even though my “previous official version” isnt as stylish, it… - does everything the new one does; - offers a reasonable storage area; - does not intrude into the rear seat.

    Sometimes, ugly IS beautiful!

    Theo

  • Chuck(minicar3)

    Looks nice, but you have to put your hand thru the back of the unit to get to the cup holder. I bought the provious version of the official Armrest and love it. It is sturdy, has a compartment and mounts under the seat tracks at the rear of the seat. It took 15 minutes to install. It is not intrusive in the back.

  • Bob

    I too like the “original official armrest”. It was easy to install, reasonably priced, thanks again Alex, and best of all, I have one in my car. I heard of some not being able to fold it up totally out of the way, mine does and stays up. It works great.

  • http://www.geocities.com/jaw0012/beetlemain.html MrV

    I would like this one better if it opened like the one in this picture you posted earlier.

    http://www.motoringfile.com/pictures/05_armrest2.jpg

    It looks identical to me. Could it be a cost cutting measure to not make it open for storage ?

    Otherwise, I have to say I like the look of this one better than any of the others. The “original official” always looked a little bulky to me, and I didn’t like the way it looked from the rear seat. I always thought it looked like an afterthought that had been bolted on. This one looks more integrated, but Chuck is right, you might as well not have the rear cupholder if you have this installed.

    I’ll ask the inevitable questions just to get them out of the way….

    1. Can it be retrofitted ?

    2. How much does it cost ?

    Jay

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Q: Can it be retrofitted ?

    A: yes, based on what I saw today I’m sure it can.

    Q: How much does it cost ?

    A: they had no info but I would assume it’ll occupy a similar price point as the previous armrest and the MINI-Fini one… around $200.

  • http://www.jwardell.com/mini/ Josh Wardell

    UGH. Well I am so happy I have last year’s armrest.

    First and foremost reason: That silver matches nothing in my anthracite and chrome interior! It’s bad enough my steering wheel has it, but that’s it…no need to add more. (Of course, looks great with silver interior). Why don’t they offer two colors like they do the downtubes etc?

    Second: It is clearly less sturdy. And while my metal legs might be slightly less attractive, the new one really interferes with the rear passenger space.

    Third: No storage!

    It does however seem to be slightly shorter and therefore more out of the way of the shifter.

    …but again it makes no logical sense why this replaced mine!

  • Rudy

    Looks great. It’s unfortunate that an armrest is not standard. It’s unheard of having to buy and armrest as an option. I will still have to buy one when I get my MINI in March.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Rudy – it’s common in many drivers cars to not have anything like an armrest that could possibly impede with driving. Many people I’ve talked to in the UK or Europe tend to look at armrests as meant for the casual driver.

    Personally if it had come standard in my car I’d find a way to un-install it.

  • TJKonarski

    The original “official” armrest — Is it still available through the MINI dealerships parts departments as number 52 12 0 154 307?

  • TJKonarski

    Regarding the armrest philosophy in UK and European cars: From what I understand these same reasons are why cupholders are usually small, seem like after-thoughts/have bad placement or are simply non-existant. A good example is Jaguar. It took them years to put cupholders in some of their cars — Actually, I think cupholders didn’t start showing up in them until after Ford bought Jaguar.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Speaking of cupholder – check out this sweet set-up on the new 911: Cupholders! (Avi/Quicktime)

  • joelz

    Originally, I thought it was silly to not have an armrest in my MCS and figured to add one asap. They’ve come standard on most other vehicles I’ve owned. The reality, after owning the car for almost a year, is that I don’t miss it at all.

    The only reason I considered the original “official” armrest was for the additional storage and they seem to have eliminated that option.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    Now that I’m back from the show and can see the original press pics of the armrest, I realize I may have not been opening it correctly and there still may be an internal compartment.

  • mataku

    I agree with most of the comments here. The armrest was going to be one of my first additions to the car, but now I don’t even remember why I wanted one.

    Also, it’s just one more thing that will get kicked around and scuffed when people are trying to get in the back seat, looks like no armrest for me.

  • http://telly.bravo5.org/blojsom/blog brian
    check out this sweet set-up on the new 911

    Showoff. :-)

    Regarding the armrest, how much weight do you think it can take? I’ve got a nasty habit learned through years of driving Cherokees (ok, lots of bad habits from those tanks…); when I got in, I would hoist myself up on my right elbow when settling in. I’ve wrecked the armrest in my wife’s Jetta doing that…

  • Volkan

    I have the “original” original armrest through the first group buy with Alex. I like this one too! It is more stylish than the previous, but the connections look delicate… So, we can have a perfect armrest if we merge the two :)

    Gabe… there must be a way to “slide” the top portion of the new armrest. Otherwise, why would they make the bottom part so deep, if it does not provide a storage? We’ll see…

  • Dean

    I wish Alex had sent my arm rest as promised. Oh well, I picked one up off of NAM the other day.

  • 05DSMCS

    Maybe he sent yours to me. He accidentally sent me two and charged me for them both. We got it all figured out, though.

  • Dan

    I was very intrigued by the idea of an armrest, as I miss the console/armrest in my Neon, but I like being able to use the rear cupholder more — since I can’t use the front ones because my travel mugs won’t fit! It’s difficult enough to reach back through the seats to get my mug, it would be impossible with this armrest! Oh well. I’ve adjusted to the armrest on the door.

  • Hucklebenny

    Stout, but not hearty. Hmm. It’s a swollen tongue that doesn’t sit right in the up or down position, aesthetically.

    Too bad it doesn’t at least offer to plug-in, secure & charge an iPOD or cell phone.

    All this time, MINI. ???

  • Franz

    Well, I hope you are right Gabe that it could still open for storage. I like the look better, but I have to agree with Josh Wardell – Anthracite Please! Otherwise I like it and I’ll have to figure out if it is worth adding more silver into the interior.

  • RaiderZA

    I got the original official armrest from Alex, and it’s great. This one, although more stylish, does seem a bit obtrusive from the rear. Now if only one of you bright sparks will come up with a ‘mod’ for hiding the metal arms (legs?) on the original, THAT version would get more style point. Perhaps a stick on padding on the metal legs much like that pad i saw for the drivers side knee bolster?? Any handy person out there?

  • Robert

    Any official BMW/MINI part number for this item?

  • Fab

    Hi! Attention that the number 52 12 0 154 307 is NOT the for the armrest showned at the Chiaco Auto Show! i control this number with my dealer in Itlay last saturday and if yuo order this number arrived another armrest! Bye

  • RHT3

    Hi all,

    Regarding armrest retrofit, it looks to my eye that ’03 and earlier cars will require the center console pieces and brake lever boot to make the armrest work. Not a bad thing to upgrade to, but that makes the total about $350. The dealership had no idea about how this would all work, so I made assumptions based on diagrams and made a parts list.

    I’m going to pass on this upgrade until MINI makes one with storage.

  • http://ratpackmini.com karatay

    hi there!! i wanna know this units part number?? i think that now i like one of these armrests:) gabe!! please help me!!

  • Fab

    Between 2 weeks i’ll be in Geneve Auto Show, and i’ll see if some Mini have the same armrest of Chicago! If you wont Gabe, i’ll make a photo and i ask the correct number to order it. by from Italy

  • MiNiGuY

    The picture shows a terrible misfit between the upper and lower silver mouldings. The paint finish looks standard MagnaKansei also which means that the thing will be covered in scratches within a couple of weeks just as the silver downtubes on MINI end up.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    It’s really not that bad in person.

  • Ed Wynn

    My 3″ X 3″ MINI Brochure says center armrest comes standard. My MA says it’s about $400 installed. My MINI is on the way.

  • Michael De Stefano

    Have an ’03 Cooper and have been looking at ALL the aftermarket arm rests. My one concern; I’m a compact-American and move the seat closer to the wheel than some of you 6′ 4″ guys. How far forward do the competing armrests go? It’s not an armrest for me, if my arm doesn’t get to rest on it.

  • Juantia Woodworth

    I have a 2005 Mini Cooper and I want the arm rest. I called my dealer and they checked my last 7 Vin number and it will fit, but all the parts add up to $346.52 That is a lot. Is there anywhere else I can order it?

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    You can order it at any MINI dealer including Patrick MINI – a sponsor of MotoringFile.

  • C. Tate

    Gabe,

    Do you (or anyone else, I suppose) happen to know a part number or part numbers for this armrest and/or other reuqired bits to install it? My MINI is an 03.

  • debbie

    I am thinking of purchasing a mini. Do you think it would be wise to wait and purchase a 2006 model?

  • DSJ

    I like the “new” armrest and would like to order one but my dealer in Oakville, Ontario, CANADA said he has never heard of it. I had to print our the photo’s and show them!!

    Any idea what the part # is so they can look it up?

    A very happy ’03 Mini owner.

  • http://motoringfile.com Gabe

    We posted the retro-fit information last June with part numbers: motoringfile.com/2005/06/20/officialminiarmrest_retrofit

    Enjoy!

  • Don

    Do you know where I can find the instalation instructions for the official mini armrest on line?

  • Pingback: The Latest Mini Armrest - Instructions not included - Anyone help please? - MINI2

  • Pingback: 2 Gen Armrest - MINI2

  • John G

    For $195.00 this is a piece of junk! The armrest is too small, very weak (I feel that just putting my arm on the cheap plastic thing will break it) and it cannot stay horizontal. It keeps going down, down, down till it seems as if my right arm will be resting on the floor! I have to warn my kids to not touch the support arms in the back as i am afraid they will break it. I tried to contact Mini to see if my armrest is defective but the customer service people either can’t or will not help, belying their cute and helpful ads.


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