MINI Cooper Chicago News: Cooper Wins APEAL Award

Posted in buy mini cooper in chicago with tags , , , , on July 24, 2009 by Alyssa

J.D. Power and Associates hosts a plethora of surveys to find out what car buyers are looking for. They question quality, durability, comfort and plenty of other categories that car buyers should be happy with. Their most recent survey was called the APEAL survey or Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout. With the auto industry being what it is, no one was expecting to come out on top, but nevertheless MINI blew past all of the others and claimed first place this year.

Chicago MINI dealers are very excited about this recent award. In fact, most auto dealers are excited about it. Instead of consumers being dissatisfied with their vehicles because of the poor economy, the survey scores were a whole 11 points better than they were last year, bringing the average score to 790 out of 1,000. Continue reading

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Chicago MINI dealerships know the truth about manuals

Posted in buy mini cooper in chicago with tags , , on July 9, 2009 by Cameron
MINI Cooper shown here with optional Manual Transmission

MINI Cooper shown here with optional Manual Transmission

MINIs have long been sporty, quick, and fun to drive. Driving them has always brought a smile to owners’ faces, and they have always been tougher than they look. Manual transmission or automatic, MINIs are some of the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. But while MINI produces and sells a lot of automatic transmissions, Chicago MINI dealerships know that pique fuel economy comes in the way of a stick.

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Chicago MINI Cooper S Convertible Review

Posted in buy mini cooper in chicago with tags , , , on June 23, 2009 by Alyssa
The new MINI Cooper S Convertible packs more power than ever before

The new MINI Cooper S Convertible packs more power than ever before

MINIs have always been sporty, quick and fun to drive. Driving them has always brought a smile to owners’ faces, and they have always been tougher than they look. But when MINI developed its new MINI Cooper S Convertible, they really outdid themselves.

This S series convertible made its grand appearance back in January at the Detroit Auto show and has created quite a buzz ever since, especially at Chicago MINI dealers.

The S model of the convertible is the more powerful addition to MINI’s topless family. The Cooper Convertible is also available at local Chicago MINI dealers, but with less horsepower and features as the S Convertible.

And though it looks small, this new guy can really pack a punch. The Cooper S Convertible offers 172 horsepower and a 0-60 speed of 7.0 seconds, along with 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway ratings.  Not only is it powerful and fun, but fuel-efficient and environmentally prudent. And while the MINI convertible has always made driving more fun, this new MINI Cooper S Convertible will not only be a blast to drive, but it will also not blast out your gas money from your wallet.

The elegant new model also comes with fun new features such as an “openometer” on the dashboard. The “openometer” logs how many hours the car is driven with the top down, a fun feature for owners that only MINI could get away with. The S Convertible is also much roomier than one would expect, as I found out when I had the chance to get inside one at a MINI dealer in Chicago. It is easily able to accommodate those drivers over six feet tall.

MINI has always offered joyful and zippy rides, but with this new convertible the unique carmaker is sure to attract more attention than ever. Tougher, quicker, and more exciting than ever before, the new Cooper S model (as well as the base Cooper Convertible) is bound to be a huge success. So hurry in to your local Chicago MINI dealer to find out how to start enjoying driving today.

1st MINI E Delivered to Customer

Posted in MINI Cooper Chicago with tags , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by Alyssa
The new BMW MINI E has been delivered to the first customer

The new BMW MINI E has been delivered to the first customer

MINI’s new electronically run, zero-emissions E model has caused plenty of excitement. Especially excited, however, are the 500 lucky MINI customers who have been chosen to participate in a field study of the this new electrified addition. And probably the most excited out of any of them is Peter Trepp.

Months ago, Peter Trepp applied at MINIUSA.com to become one of the several hundred people to participate in this field study. Then, in late May, he became the first participant to recieve his MINI E, also making him the first person in America to start experiencing the E on a daily basis.

Trepp, a venture capitalist specializing in the green industry, is one of 450 “pioneers” in the U.S. who will get to lease this car for a year-long period. The remaining 50 MINI Es will be sent to Berlin. All 500 participants had to meet serious requirements to receive the fuel-free MINI, including willingness to do interviews and installing a charger for their MINI E in their garages. Participating comes at no small fee. Trepp is paying $850 a month, but given the excitement surrounding the car and the lack of fuel going into it, it’s probably a fair trade.

And all of the perks that come along with this totally electrically run car make the price worth it. Its fully-charged battery lasts up to three hours or about 100 miles, which is enough juice to zip around town and for most city commutes.

Chicago MINI dealers are still waiting to see if any of the E’s will show up in Chicago though. New York, New Jersey, and of course LA are all expecting them to be tearing up the road by late June. And though their future release in Chicago is uncertain, MINI E drivers such as Trepp will be able to play a key role in the future of this model and MINI’s electric development. MINI is searching for qualitative and quantitative feedback and has its sights set on the future of the MINI E. So with these 500 drivers testing its real-world capabilities, MINI is looking for the data they need to be able to get the MINI E into production.

So even though Peter Trepp is the only one enjoying the MINI E so far, hopefully with good performance and feedback, it will be available at Chicago MINI dealerships in the future.

Chicago MINI News: 50th Anniversary Special Edition Models

Posted in mini cooper dealership chicago with tags , on May 29, 2009 by Alyssa
minis

Making their grand arrival in honor of MINI’s 50th anniversary are a couple of brand new special editions. And while it is unlikely that they will show up at a local Chicago MINI dealer, or anywhere in the states for that matter, they are making a big commotion across the pond.   The 50 Camden and the 50 Mayfair both offer different looks and styles, while staying true to MINIs reliable build and make. Between these two models, there is something for everybody, whether flash and gadgets are your thing, or whether old-school beauty is more up your alley.

For those who love a good throwback and more classic look, the 50 Mayfair has plenty to offer,  being based off of the 1982 model.   With its dark exterior options and sleek white roof, its sophisticated beauty is one that even I can appreciate.  However, for those of us with a greater need for the look of speed, there is the 50 Camden, boasting brighter colors than the Mayfair, in metallics, and a new feature named “Mission Control” made not only to make the driver feel like a secret agent, but more importantly as an entertainment system inside of the MINI.  Both models are offered with choices of either gasoline or diesel engines, and either six-speed automatics or six-speed manuals.

While both models have exciting new exteriors, what is kept under the hood remains the same. When I test drove my first MINI at the MINI Dealer in Chicago, I loved how well it drove and how fun it was to be driving. And though my friends thought I was crazy for purchasing a car after one test drive, (impulse buying has always been a weakness of mine) I have never regretted it. And I appreciate that MINI has not changed what they’re doing. These two new models, my Chicago MINI dealer promises me, really drive just the same.

Unveiled with both of the special edition models is the MINI JCW World Champion 50 Model, released in honor of John Coopers back to back Formula 1 wins. However, seeing as how this is only a U.K. and European release so far, we are just going to have to admire from a distance unless it somehow makes it to our Mini dealer in Chicago.

MINI Clubman Chicago test drive

Posted in MINI Cooper Chicago with tags , , , , , , on May 15, 2009 by John

mini clubmanStrange as it sounds, I had never driven a MINI Clubman.  Why should that sound strange?  Because we (By we, I mean my wife.) own a MINI Cooper S.  I love MINIs, but I usually get my fill from driving my wife’s pride and joy fairly frequently and don’t head out to Chicago MINI dealerships all that often.  However, this week I figured, ‘why not spend my test-driving time on the Clubman.’  I’m glad I did, because it was a nice reminder that MINIs do not inherently have five pounds of change in their cup holders and 14 mostly-empty Diet Coke bottles on the passenger-side floorboard.  My wife does not read this blog.

The idea behind the Clubman is a roomier MINI Cooper that gives drivers more storage capability and back-seat passengers the option of being more than six feet tall.  All this, mind you, had to be done while keeping the same MINI charm that makes the brand so appealing and fun.  Mission accomplished.

The best feature of the Clubman is its little door that allows easier access to the back seat.  Once back there, space is drastically improved over the MINI Cooper by an additional 9.5 inches of wheelbase length.

The MINI Clubman has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower.  The S version comes with a turbocharged version of that engine that spits 175 horsepower.  For my MINI Clubman Chicago test drive, I, for no specific reason, elected to test drive the Clubman S.

I loved the ride.  I didn’t notice much slower response than the MINI Cooper S we (my wife) own, and the added space is great news to me.  I’ve already said that I would be pushing for her to get the Crossman when it arrives, but we (she) may be happier with the Clubman.  You can’t possibly be disappointed with this car if you consider its added space.  It handles better than almost any car out there, except the MINI Cooper–and almost as well as that.

My advice: if you need to move some cargo around or will frequently have backseat passengers, this is the MINI to check out.  It loses very little zip compared to the MINI Cooper and retains all of the driving joy.

Chicago MINI service: 6 tips for summer driving

Posted in MINI Cooper Chicago with tags , , , on May 11, 2009 by John

CarRepairIt’s that time of year again, when people all over Chicago start cooking outdoors, taking evening strolls, and failing to prepare their cars for summer. What’s that? You thought winter was the only season you had to prepare your vehicle for? Guess again. Something most drivers don’t realize is that summer can be every bit as rough on a vehicle as winter. But not to worry, your Chicago MINI service team is here to get you through this. Here are our 6 tips that should keep you enjoying the summer in your MINI.

  • Check your air conditioning – It’s a wonderful spring day and your windows are down, the breeze playing flirtatiously with those few strands of hair draping over your forehead. Who needs air conditioning? Well, try fast-fowarding a couple of months to Taste of Chicago weather, when the sun is beating down, the temperature rivals that of a Hammond steel mill, and the air is more humid than chicken soup. What I’m getting at is that I think you’ll want your air conditioning to be in top shape at some point, and finding out there is a problem with it in July is a lot less fun than fixing it before the heat arrives. The stress summer’s heat puts on your car’s air conditioning can take its toll, especially on an already weak A/C system. Have your system checked by a trained Chicago MINI service professional before you begin relying on it every day.
  • Check your coolant – An engine without proper coolant protection is a disaster waiting to happen in the dog days of summer. Overheating is the one of the biggest causes of summer breakdowns. Make sure your coolant has the proper cooling protection, and check to make sure your levels are consistent. If you have to add coolant on a regular basis, you have a leak and need to get your car in for service. If your “check coolant” light ever pops on, be sure to get your vehicle into a Chicago MINI service center to have the coolant level checked.
  • Test your battery – The extreme temperatures of summer can be tougher on your battery than cold weather. That is one reason more manufacturers are moving the location of the battery out of the engine compartment where it is away from the added heat of the engine. The health of your battery can be tested with specialized equipment by a Chicago MINI service technician.
  • Pay attention to your tires – A lot of people would think tires are more of a winter concern due to snow and ice. Warmer temperatures, especially on a long trip, can really test the integrity of your tires. Check your tires before they let you down in the middle of nowhere. Under- or over-inflated tires cause poor fuel economy and uneven wear on the tread. Worn tires cause accidents during summer months when the roads are traveled the most.
  • Change your oil regularly – Regular oil changes are always a necessary practice, but they are more important in the summer. The extreme heat causes oil to break down faster, leaving your engine unprotected. You also want to pay attention to you summer miles. Most drivers use their cars more during warmer months, so you may need to change you car’s oil more frequently during the summer.
  • Clean your car – Not only does a clean car make driving more fun and give you more pride in your vehicle, a car that is routinely kept clean will stay looking new for longer and help retain its value. Additionally, a car driven in Chicago all winter will have a nasty buildup of caked-on dirt and salt on its underbelly. You need to make sure you have your car’s underside sprayed off thoroughly to prevent that grime from causing rusting of various components.