BMW USA is positioning the new MINI Cooper, on sale from March 22, as a premium small sedan yet it has priced the car at a competitive $US16,850 plus tax, writes John Rettie from the car#;s press launch in San Francisco. The supercharged Cooper S, which goes on sale at the same time as the Cooper, will start at $US19,850. Both cars come with air conditioning, six airbags and a six-speaker stereo system. Alloy wheels are also standard while a white or black roof is available for no extra charge.