Review: MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013)


Low emissions mean cheap road tax. Longer gearing so more relaxed on motorway. Performance Cooper SD version is great fun.

Quiet engine on motorway makes tyre roar noticeable. 17-inch wheels best avoided. Air conditioning wasn't standard fit until January 2009.

Recently Added To This Review

9 October 2019

Report of 2010 MINI Cooper diesel catching fire. Read more

16 March 2019

Report of turbo failure on 2013 MINI Cooper SD at 52,000miles. Likely to be due to turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes choked with carbon, stariving the turbo bearing of due to the engine having... Read more

13 January 2019

Report of judder from steering of 2011 MINI R56 diesel at 60k miles: "D oesn't happen all the time, but seems to be most pronounced on A roads. When first encountered, had the steering alignment checked... Read more

MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013): At A Glance

Whatever was wrong with the MINI Cooper S we tested back in October, now they seem to have fixed it.

The Cooper Diesel I've just handed back was exactly how I think a MINI should be.

I guess in driving the pre-production cars we must have been guinea pigged. BMW was trying out various suspension and tyre combinations to find out which we would find most acceptable.

That would explain why MINI project leader Horst Radibojevic was anxious to cross-examine all of us at the coffee break half way through the test drive.

We spoke as we had found. The Cooper S we had been driving was extremely refined, for a MINI, but completely lacked the raw "go kart" like feeling of fun BMW had so accurately captured with its first generation of MINIs. We had appreciated the new car for its smoothness. But we hadn't enjoyed driving it, and that, and the looks, are the main reasons for buying a MINI.

What does a MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013) cost?

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MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3723 mm
Width 1683 mm
Height 1407 mm
Wheelbase 2467 mm

Full specifications

The loudest noise your hear from this new MINI is the roar of its tyres on the tarmac. And on anything less than an excellent surface, those Goodyear Excellence runflats are very harsh. You feel every pebble they've stuck to the tarmac. Every ridge. Every bit of broken surface. Every manhole cover. And over metre-wide speed cushions it was positively painful. SWMBO did not like that at all. So, it seems, to get the raw feel of a MINI that is the price you have to pay.

There's enough room in the boot for a sizeable suitcase as I found on an airport run. I'd thought I'd have to flop the 50/50 split back seats down, but I didn't. It was almost as if SWBO's huge travelling wardrobe had been designed for the car. One minor criticism is that if you set off without fastening your seatbelt, they are a bit hard to find and tend to get tangled between the seat back and the B pillar.
But that's a mini minor worry.

Child seats that fit a MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013) like to drive?

From what I've read by other people you'd be forgiven for thinking that the MINI Cooper diesel is the least fun of the new MINIs. Yet I found it the most fun.

A lot of that was down to standard, non-sport suspension and 16" Chili Pack wheels with 195/55 Goodyear Excellence tyres rather than bigger 17" wheels with less rubber between them and the road. And I guess I'm used to the power characteristics of the 110PS PSA 1.6 16v diesel engine, now fitted in everything from the Citroen C3 to the Peugeot 407.

True it's a bit of a shock to slide the key into its slot, press the start button and be assailed by the clatter of an old diesel lorry. But once you get out into the country the very impressive torque of up to 260Nm between 1,750 and 2,000rpm flings you along at a very impressive rate. It has a lovely, precise gearshift. And on corners I'm pleased to report that it felt exactly like a real MINI. No different from the old model 1.6 Cooper I tested and loved back in 2002. And still reminiscent of a 1960s Cooper 1275S. Just a lot more refined.

The new Cooper S and petrol Cooper I tried before were as good on motorways as the previous MINI wasn't, and with gearing of around 33mph per 1,000rpm the Cooper diesel should have been the most relaxed of the lot. Yet it wasn't.

Over 5 days of short runs from cold starts, in the diesel, then 200 miles cross-country, we averaged 50mpg, which may be 14 short of the official combined figure, but is still a lot better than you will get from any other MINI. And of course, at 118g/km CO2, it's also in the £35pa VED Band and should be Congestion Charge exempt from 2008, if Ken doesn't back-track.

And I learned some surprisingly practical features. If you pop the bonnet, it no longer takes the headlights up with it. They stay in place and have clip-open backs so replacing a bulb is a doddle. It's also nice to have a bonnet that rises and stays up on gas struts.

However, the main thing is I can report back to project leader Horst Radibojevic is that his original intention of endowing the new MINI with "go kart" handing has been restored.

Now the Cooper Diesel has gone home and been replaced by the new 1.4 MINI One. Full report on that car next week.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
Cooper D 74 mpg 9.7 s 99 g/km

Real MPG average for a MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

42–70 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the MINI Cooper D (2007 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Timing chain failure on my MINI - where do I stand?

My 2013 MINI has covered 73,000 miles and the timing chain/tensioner has failed. The MINI garage does not recognise a problem but said they will carry out diagnostics at £120 an hour before sending the parts to MINI/BMW for analysis. In America BMW have recognised a problem with said parts and are paying up. Where do we stand?
It's infuriatingly ridiculous that the dealer wants to hit you with electronic diagnosis when the physical evidence of a broken N47 chain is there for anyone to see. As long as the car has been serviced on schedule (or to tlc), refuse to pay for any diagnosis and demand the supplying dealer replaces the timing chain and all broken components FoC holding the threat of Small Claims action against him if he doesn't. Your claim will be that the engine of the car and its servicing were never "of satisfactory quality" for that to have happened in 3 years and 73k miles. Law here: (If it was under tlc, the reason it will have failed is the inadequate number of oil changes under tlc.)
Answered by Honest John
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