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December 7, 2023 6:22 pm by

Electric Blue R53: One-owner 2005 Mini Cooper S with 40k miles

2005 Mini Cooper S exterior front three-quarter view

For December 7, 2023, our used car find is this single-owner 2005 Mini Cooper S with 40k miles and a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s offered by a private seller on Craigslist in Santa Cruz, California, for $10,750 or best offer.

Here’s what makes this one special.


BMW relaunched the Mini brand in the U.S. for the 2002 model year. The all-new Mini Cooper successfully reimagined the original 1960s British small car icon, offering cheeky retro looks, superb handling, and a premium feel — qualities that had mostly been absent from the subcompact market. It was such a hit that dealers racked up years-long waiting lists, often charging its eager buyers well over MSRP.

The new Mini Cooper came in both base and sportier S trims. The latter (known as the R53) ups the fun quotient substantially thanks to its rowdy supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder, more aggressive suspension tuning, and larger wheels and tires. It received a slight refresh for the 2005 model year, including updated front and rear styling, a 5-hp boost in power (to 168 hp), and shorter gearing for improved acceleration.

In a Car and Driver review from the era, longtime auto journalist Tony Swan noted, “Not since the demise of Honda’s CRX Si has so much fun been crammed into such a small package. Sign me up.”

2005 Mini Cooper S interior steering wheel and dash

The Listing

This particular R53 is one of the nicest ones we’ve seen in a long, long time. With just a single California owner and a mere 39,942 miles on the odometer, it’s about as fresh as you’ll find. And it looks extra sharp in its well-preserved Electric Blue factory paint, arguably the best color available.

It’s also nicely specced with a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch alloys, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and xenon headlights. It even comes with a recent service, new Goodyear Eagle RS-A rubber, and the original window sticker and owner’s manual.

In the seller’s own words:

Electric Blue original-owner, R53 Mini Cooper S with 39,000 miles. Supercharged, Getrag 6-speed, and highly optioned:
Sport Package: Factory 17 inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Stability Control, ABS brakes, Xenon headlights, fog lights
Cold Weather Package: Heated seats and mirrors
Premium Package: Dual sunroof, multi-function steering wheel controls, AM/FM/CD stereo and onboard computer
Included are service records, factory leather Owner’s Portfolio, and original window sticker. Over a thousand dollars spent recently in tires, upkeep and repairs.
Low mileage, very clean, and well-maintained. I’m truly sorry to be selling my Mini, but I’m moving and cannot take it with me.

The asking price of $10,750 may sound a bit steep for a nearly twenty-year-old Mini, but it’s in line with recent sales of similar cars on Bring a Trailer.

Find it on Craigslist HERE while you still can.

2005 Mini Cooper S engine bay

Details & Specs

  • 2005 Mini Cooper S (R53)
  • 39,942 miles
  • 1.6-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine
  • 168 horsepower
  • 162 lb-ft of torque
  • six-speed manual transmission
  • front-wheel drive
  • 2,679 pounds
  • Electric Blue exterior
  • black leatherette interior
  • WMWRE33515TL11487

Additional Photos

2005 Mini Cooper S exterior front three-quarter view 2005 Mini Cooper S exterior rear three-quarter view 2005 Mini Cooper S interior passenger seat and dash 2005 Mini Cooper S interior driver's seat 2005 Mini Cooper S interior speedometer and odometer 2005 Mini Cooper S interior cargo area 2005 Mini Cooper S interior window sticker


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