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Hi all,

I am configuring my first MINI Cooper and wanted to ask your opinions on some of the options. Sadly, I can't afford to tick them all so currently what I had in mind was:

MINI Cooper S 5door manual gearbox
Thunder grey
Satellite grey leather

Media Pack XL
Chili Pack
Chrome line interior and exterior
Roof caps and mirrors in black
Front armrest
Seat heating front
Interior trim piano black
Rear park distance control

The extras I'm undecided about are:

Heated front windscreen - useful or annoying lines?
Darkened rear glass - useful or no?
MINI HUD - I can't really afford to add on driver assist, is it worth it without?
Harman Kardon speakers
Panoramic sun roof

I live in dreary old Wales so it's pretty grey most of the time with a couple of months of nice weather in the summer and some freezing conditions/snow from November to January

I'd really value any advice you can provide :D
 

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Heated front windscreen - nice feature, especially if you live in ling winter regions but I don't see it as a must unless it's really tough/unpleasant to clean it on regular basis
Darkened rear glass - it's good to have, it helps keeping the heat out during summer (same for the side windows)
Mini hud - nice feature, but it isn't a must
HK speakers - depends on how much do you like listening to music, how long are the trips you're taking etc ... I have it because I enjoy quality sound; from what I've heard, the factory speakers are quite bad
Sun roof - nice feature, I have it, but it's not necessarily a must; surprisingly I found it a must when I'm the first at the traffic light because I can slide the cover away and see the light :)
 

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I didn't have the heated windscreen on my R56 - and got fed up in winter waiting for it to demist, or wiping the windscreen with a cloth and then having marks on the windscreen (so have it on my F56). As Nedix says, it depends on the environment you live in.

From your comments, I think you've already decided on the sunroof :)

As for the rest, any preference will be individual. Have you been to a dealer and tried them? I had the good fortune to have a fully loaded MCS for a weekend test, so could check them all out and see what worked for me.
 

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My MINI came from the factory with side & rear tinted glass...about 15% if I read the Sekurit window spec correctly (it also reads "70% transparent")...that's really plenty imo.
 

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Nothing is a must-have but it's surprising how quickly you get used to the extra's. For me the HUD became a must and I really miss it when driving our other car. I don't have the driver's assist package but it's showing my music, phone options, satnav directions etc.

LED headlights deserve some credit as they lighten up the road in front of you way better than the standard halogens and they give the face of the car a complete different look. Especially when you live in an area with a lot of grey weather I think you'd be very happy with them.

I also thought about the leather seats but find the semi leather sportseats that are fitted in the MCS very comfortable so personally no need to upgrade there.

It's difficult to give advice because selecting options is so personal but with the HUD and the Led headlights you can't go wrong and they are worth the money.

Like Steve07 asked: would you consider a loaded Cooper instead of the cooper S with few extra's? I've testdriven the Cooper and was really amazed by the performance of that 3 cylinder engine.
 

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Heated front windscreen -I would say yes as you live in the uk and get frost or snow in the winter, so quick to clear the sccreen

Darkened rear glass - Not realy essential unless you are in a very sunny place

Mini hud - nice feature if you have satnav, but it isn't a must

HK speakers - depends on how much do you like listening to music, how long are the trips you're taking etc,

Sun roof - I find it takes up to much room and lets in heat in the summer so not for me

I would add the LED headlights as they are so much better than the standard halogens and look great. I look at them in every window I see even after having the car fo a year
 

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My S is not dissimilar in spec, the one thing I'm really pleased to have put on is the LED headlights. They are great here in rural Hampshire but as a Welshman from darkest Snowdonia I would have thought they would be a must have for the roads back home.
 

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The idea with test driving a fully loaded MCS is not bad; however, and I cannot stress this enough, be very careful with this because you WILL like these features and you WILL get used to them and you WILL take them in your configuration :)


I drove 2 Minis while testing, the current one which I'm driving and an MC with similar but lower level features. I could never get past them on the MC so I went with MCS.


If it were for me and if I configured the car only on the website I would have never chosen some the features I currently have but seeing them on a real car made a huge difference.
 

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The idea with test driving a fully loaded MCS is not bad; however, and I cannot stress this enough, be very careful with this because you WILL like these features and you WILL get used to them and you WILL take them in your configuration :)


I drove 2 Minis while testing, the current one which I'm driving and an MC with similar but lower level features. I could never get past them on the MC so I went with MCS.


If it were for me and if I configured the car only on the website I would have never chosen some the features I currently have but seeing them on a real car made a huge difference.
That's why test cars are always fully loaded with the goodies :)
 

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I am kinda glad that I did not have to spec my Mini because I really would not know what Options I should/should not get. The Buyer that backed out of the Sale on my Mini kept it pretty basic. I like that.:)
 

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I couldn't afford all the options when I ordered my JCW.

I went with chilli pack and media pack XL as I thought then features where a must for me.

I went for the heated seats as I had them in my old one and used then constantly.

I didn't go for front heated screen, I had it in my R56 and i haven't missed it yet. The max AC option clears the windscreen in seconds in my opinion.

The front arm rest is included in the media pack.

HUD for me was annoying. Minus have limited vision as it is from the front windscreen so something else popping up annoying me so I went without it.

Harmon Kardon was a must for me. I like listening to my iPod/iPhone in the car so having a good sound system was a must.

My car came with privacy glass too. I didn't spec this but it was added. It's only the two back windows and like previously stated, there about 15% darker. Not that much.

Any more questions, just ask.
 

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We have a 3 door and a 5 door coming soon - they both have Chilli and LED lights as well as chrome line interior and exterior and darkened rear glass. They were must haves. The R56 had full leather but we didnt feel the need to add that to either. The 3 door has sunroof and media xl, because my wife wanted them! Built in sat nav is good for her as its always available. My daughter is used to sticking a Garmin in the window, it works well (better at re routing than any of the built in nav units we have experienced) and wasnt bothered about the sunroof. She has visual boost radio and 5 doors! Both have black 17s.

Its easy to go mad, determine your priorities and think hard about the cash you are spending!

Incidentally both of ours were ordered as stock cars - we gave a list of must haves and a budget and saw what we could get for it. Saves all the issues of ticking a couple of extra boxes and finding price has only gone up by 15 quid a month... which is of course £180 a year and over £700 on a 4 year deal!

Ian
 

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Your question is well worth asking since I found the configurator often dodgy and lacking any sort of a best practises approach. In addition, this forum is awash with owners wishing they'd added this or that option and finding it's nearly impossible to do so after the fact. Worrying. My 'S' is nearly fully loaded and was fortunate enough to find it on the lot. I desperately wanted the HUD, which I like, but found it not nearly as indispensable as I imagined since it mainly displays the speed and navigation data when used. Still, it's amusing with a cool factor. After a month of use, here are my must haves: heated seats (on a chilly morning they're a gift), sunroof (for a small car, it adds spaciousness), manual transmission (it's a Mini, for heavens sake), reversing camera (many urchins at play in my neighbourhood), navigation (since I've no sense of direction whatsoever), boot storage (cannot be retrofit), EDC is a nice to have feature.
 

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So, 1200 miles in, and my JCW came fully loaded as it was originally ordered for the showroom.

Things I have but never used:

Self parking gizmo - My parking's terrible but I've yet to work out how it works.
Lane Assist - I know when I'm changing lanes.....
Rear parking camera - OK, I've used it because it's there, but front & rear sensors is more than enough.
Heated Front Screen

Things I wouldn't have spec'ed but use.

HUD - wouldn't be without it now
Adaptive Cruise Control - Used it for the first time last weekend - brilliant idea.
Sunroof - the interior of the JCW is quite dark, the sunroof lets in a lot of light.
Comfort Access - I can't believe how convenient this is.
6 CD Changer - Music quality stands out.

Must haves....

Harmon Kardon
Full media with Sat Nav
Privacy glass (You can leave stuff on the back seat and it can't be seen from outside).
Chilli Pack (obviously)
Heated Seats
Folding mirrors - If they're folded, it's locked....

Hope that helps.
 

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So, 1200 miles in, and my JCW came fully loaded as it was originally ordered for the showroom......

Things I wouldn't have spec'ed but use.

HUD - wouldn't be without it now
Adaptive Cruise Control - Used it for the first time last weekend - brilliant idea.
Sunroof - the interior of the JCW is quite dark, the sunroof lets in a lot of light.
Comfort Access - I can't believe how convenient this is.
6 CD Changer - Music quality stands out....

Hope that helps.

I have a question for you: Do you find the CD player in the glove box somewhat inconvenient to access? I really wanted to go with the CD player, now wish I had, since the sound quality of listening to songs off a USB stick isn't as good as a CD!


Do you have any room whatsoever in the glove box with the CD changer in there?


Thanks,


John
 

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I have a question for you: Do you find the CD player in the glove box somewhat inconvenient to access? I really wanted to go with the CD player, now wish I had, since the sound quality of listening to songs off a USB stick isn't as good as a CD!


Do you have any room whatsoever in the glove box with the CD changer in there?


Thanks,


John
Hi John,

Well the Mini Handbook fits in underneath it !! :laugh:

No, very little room for much else. I have a small but powerful LED torch in there, plus the handbook, but that's it. The CD cases are in the map pocket in the back of my seat. My sun glasses are in the drivers door, my iPhone sits in one of the cup holders.

It's a pain to load, but it holds 6 CD's so I have it loaded with some tunes which aren't on my phone. Thing is, when I'm on my own I usually have the window open listening to the JCW do it's thing >:D

Steve
 

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I miss a cd player in the car, call me old fashioned. I was wondering, is there a lot of noticable quality difference between cd and 320 kbps mp2 music files? Is have the HK but somehow have the impression that I'm not making use of it's full potential. I remember the HK in my previous MINI (with cd player) being a lot more powerful.

Is there a way to plug in an external cd-rom player from a pc into the USB slot? Or some other cheap solution to play cd's in the car?
 
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