Nicely Optioned R50 Mini Cooper with 5-speed Manual

For October 22, 2020, our used car find is this unusually clean and well-specced 2005 Mini Cooper hatchback with a 5-speed manual gearbox and just two Pacific Northwest owners from new. It’s listed for sale on craigslist by a private seller in the Portland area for $5500.

Here’s what makes this one special.

Introduced in 2001 (as a 2002 model year), the Mini Cooper reimagined the classic Mini for the modern era. It was a hit, with demand outstripping supply for more than a year after launch, leading to notable dealer markups.

Car and Driver took one for a spin at the time and offered high praise, particular for its handling. They noted, “The sport-tuned suspension allows virtually no body roll, even when pushed hard on the tight, twisting roads of central Italy where we drove the car. It feels as if the Mini’s center of gravity were a foot below the pavement.”

This example comes from the penultimate year of the generation, dubbed R50, which many consider truer to the original Mini than the larger and heavier generations that followed.

And this one is pretty much exactly what you’d want from a used R50: relatively low miles (104k), an accident-free history, full maintenance records, and of course a manual gearbox. It also has an unusual number of options for a “base” Mini, including the Sports package, the upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo, Xenon headlights, as well as heated leather seats and a panoramic sunroof.

Minis aren’t exactly known for their reliability, so it’s nice to see that the seller has the car’s full maintenance records on hard for inspection. They also report some recent major upkeep, including two new tires and a new clutch.

Sure, it would be preferable in S trim, which adds a supercharger to the mix and ups the power from 115 to 168 hp. However, the naturally-aspirated four cylinder here can be plenty of fun if you don’t mind working the shifter.

While the asking price of $5500 is on the high end of KBB’s estimate, we think it’s worth paying a little extra for one in such great spec.

Vehicle Details

  • 2005 Mini Cooper hatchback (R50)
  • 104k miles
  • 1.6 liter inline four cylinder engine (115 hp)
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Pure Silver Metallic on black leather
  • for sale by owner for $5500
  • Portland, Oregon
  • WMWRC33565TK62132
  • link to craigslist listing HERE

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