MF Review: One Year w/the 2005 MCS
It’s hard to believe it’s been a full year since I picked up my car from Knauz MINI on that Friday afternoon June 3rd. It still feels new, drives like new and smells new. So it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s now been a year. For posterity’s sake (and since there seems to be quite a few interested in this kind of thing) I thought I’d offer up my thoughts on the car, the options, the mods, and the experience of the first year.
There’s really not a whole lot that can be said about my Cooper S that hasn’t been dissected and talked about to death at this point. Yes, the 2005 modifications MINI made are fantastic. No, I didn’t keep my car stock. Yes I love the end results. That could about sum it up if I wanted to keep it short and sweet. However since when have I kept anything short and sweet?
Some of you may remember the enormous debate that surrounded the speccing of my car back in April of 2005. If not, maybe this or this will ring a bell. Here’s the full list of what I finally decided on:
- Black/Black – The Darth Vader of MINIs. In many ways the opposite of my first MINI. Taking care of it has been harder than Indie Blue but with Zaino it’s easier than it should be.
- Chrome Trim (exterior) – I just could not say no to the bling. And since it’s a MINI, it just makes sense.
- Limited Slip Differential – Simply a must have now that it’s finally available.
- Rear foglight – A bargain at $100. Also gets rid of that nasty black plate on US MINIs.
- Sport Pack – love the features and it’s hard to re-sell it without.
- Premium Pack – The sunroof is just too nice to pass-up.
- Cold Weather Pack – This is the one non-negotiable option that my wife demands.
- Cloth/Leather: Octogan Tartan Red. – Not only does it introduce some red into the car interior, but it’s great combination of materials. The fabric allows the seat to stay cool in the summer and warm quickly in the winter while the leather looks and feels great.
- Chrome Trim (interior) – Living without it for three years I just felt I needed a bit more bling in the cabin. It also has worked very well with the leather dash.
- Anthracite Dash – Looks good with the chrome trim but it didn’t last the year :).
- Anthracite Headliner – I feel obligated since MotoringFile may have played a part in this option coming back. It also works very well with the seats and the leather dash in creating a very sporting feel.
- JCW 18″ Wheels – S-lites w/All Season tires for the winter, JCW 18’s for the summer… the perfect OEM combo IMHO. And living in Chicago with 17’s for the past three years has taught me how to miss potholes… so I upped the ante a little bit. And after a year I’m happy to say that I have no regrets. The 18’s have felt great on both the street and the track. They’ve also held up very well to some of the worst roads in the nation (God Bless Chicago). Even the wear has been surprisingly impressive.
Here’s a few others options that didn’t make it and why:
- H/K – Not really a big fan of it considering the cost.
- Chrono pack. – I’m personally not a fan of the look and prefer the center speedo.
- Navigation – For many of the same reasons as above. That said if there was a way to offer this from the factory while keeping the center speedometer, it would have been tough to pass up.
- iPod adapters – Moved my ICE-Link Plus over from my previous MINI so no need for the BMW version.
- Convertible – While I really enjoy the MINI Convertible, I’m just more of a coupe guy. I like the weight savings and the extra rigidity. Plus I needed at least the Sports Suspension Plus, which is not available on either the MCc or the MCSc.
- Automatic – The MCSa is a fine car but I’m just not one to own an auto. Besides, I think my wife would have disowned me.
Now let’s take a look at what I’ve added in the past year:
- JCW Brake kit – Review coming…
- JCW Cold Air Intake Kit – Read the review
- Supersprint Exhaust – Read the review / Listen to the review
- JCW Leather Dash – Read the review
- Webb Motorsports 15% Reduction Pulley – Review coming…
- Euro White/Red Taillights – Read the review
- Ian’s Auto-up Circuit – Read the review
- Ice-Link Plus iPod Connection – Read the review
- Red/Chrome MINI Shift Knob
There’s been little in the way of drama over the past year of ownership. Really about the only thing that I can think of that has been a mechanical issue was a passenger side engine mount that went bad around 10,000 miles. Otherwise it’s been boring in lack of issues. Certainly something I couldn’t say about my 2002 Cooper.
Performance has also lived up to expectations. The gearing and engine improvements along with the addition of a limited slip differential has noticeably improved the cars performance both on and off the track from the previous MCS. The pulley, intake and exhaust have helped further that.
Speaking of improving, it’s hard to find an area in the interior where MINI designers and engineers didn’t improve things over the 02-04 cars. Literally almost every component has been altered in some way. Gone are many of the squeaks and rattles of the earlier cars. They are replaced with simple yet reassuring thud whenever you hit bumps. Quite an improvement.
My final mileage for the year ended up just around 11,000. It would have been around 9,000 if I hadn’t taken my car to the Dragon last month followed by a quick trip to Northern Wisconsin.
The Sum of the Parts.
From selling my previous car to speccing, ordering and then breaking in my current MCS (except for the #@#$&%#! &%@#&! who hit me after only seven days of ownership) I can’t think of one regret. The options I chose have turned out to be a perfect combination for my needs and the modifications I’ve made to the car have only added to the day to day enjoyment.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- International Mini Meet to Take Place in Lithuania This Weekend
- MF Garage: Summer Tires for Our 2015 Cooper S
- Exclusive: MINI USA’s 2016 Product Updates Include Some Major Surprises
- The MINI JCW In Detail
- Chris Bangle on The Future of Car Design
- What Would You Change About the 2015 MINI JCW?
- 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Reviews Galore
- Official 2015 MINI JCW Mega Gallery
- Official 2015 MINI JCW Videos
- MINI Countryman Dakar Wallpaper
MotoringFile on Instagram
- World Premiere: BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- BMW Unveils the Special Edition BMW 435i ZHP Coupe
- BMW Announces New ConnectedDrive Portal and ConnectedDrive Store
- The 2016 BMW M4 GTS is Coming to the US!
- A Sneak Peak at the Future of BMW Motorsport: The M6 GT3
- BMW Updates the M6 Competition Package with 600HP (w/Gallery)
- BMW Lands on the Podium at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring
- BMW Prepares for the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring
- BMW Group Classic’s Take on the 2015 Mille Miglia
- This is Our First Look at the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage
- Ask SF: What’s a Good Small Motorcycle for a Scooterist?
- Custom: The Hunter’s Honda Ruckus
- Review: 2015 Vespa GTS 300 Super ABS
- The EcoReco: We Want Your Questions
- Video: Four Friends, Three Vintage Vespas, One Epic Adventure
- Vespa Updates the GTV, Adds ABS and ASR
- Recommended Scooters from Just Gotta Scoot
- Kickstart This: Sit Stay Ride 2 – Sidecar Dogs Return
- Police in Barcelona Adopt Fleet of BMW C Evolution Electric Scooters
- New Illinois Law Could Require Motorcycle Awareness Training in Driver’s Ed
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range