R53’s are great cars. Keep an eye out for rust bubbling up below the tail lights and on the boot lid above the license plate. Also get a third party inspection and lake sure you take a good look at the strut tower mounts under the hood and check that the power steering pump recall has been done.
@way2blu They certainly are interesting, they are basically a Countryman turned into a coupe. Kind of a preview of the X6 that BMW would release during the time of the Paceman's release.
Mine is the 2WD, Turbo S with a 6 speed manual. Mine is considered a "base model" S due to not having heated seats/steering wheel or any infotainment. Mine does have the factory sport suspension though, which means someone wanted a "pure" Mini experience when they ordered it.
Cargo space is weak, you can't fold the rear seats down because the headrests won't come off so you're limited to this small space that can hold a suitcase, no clubs or anything bulky:
As for tall person friendly, it's all relative. I'm 6'7" and fit pretty well, although the rear view mirror takes up a decent amount of space in my sight line. I also like to sit closer to the steering wheel and some people hate that. The sunroof doesn't take up a lot of head room and the seats can sit on the floor so you'll fit rather well if you're under 6'9".
The shifter is a little low for my taste, at least out of the box. Aftermarket ones pop it up a little higher and it's much more comfortable. Pedals are in a good spot and allow for easy heel-toe shifts, just have to be in Sport mode to actually get any response out of the engine under normal daily operation.
I absolutely love the car, but it's such an oddball. The low roof line means less cargo space than a Countryman, it weighs as much as a Countryman, unlike the Countryman though the backseats are useless. You basically are buying a worse Countryman with little benefit. However, it still handles like a Mini with more cabin space than a standard Cooper S. It could have been the next Impreza 22b from the UK (AWD, manual, turbo, quirky blue colors) but it fell on it's face instead. I'd love to do a writeup on the history of Mini when this car came out, as they were just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what stuck.