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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    ontario, canada
    Posts
    2,432

    Default Car Peeps - Mini Coopers

    Do any Coth'ers have experience with Mini Coopers?

    I'm considering a used Mini Cooper as my next car. I think I can deal with the limited cargo space (my current car isn't much bigger) and it definitely appeals to me aesthetically and would be a lot more fun to drive than my current vehicle. I might even opt for the Clubman to get a bit more space.

    That said, there seem to be conflicting views on whether they are reliable or not. I'd be looking at a '09 or 2010 so there would be some warranty left, but I tend to keep my cars for 5-7 years. As a result, reliability is definitely a factor. Also, how much more expensive are maintenance/repairs?

    Any other factors to consider? The other car currently competing for a spot as my new ride is a 2012 Mazda 3 sport.



  2. #2

    Default

    I absolutely love mine!!! I got it a little over a year ago, it's a 2002. There haven't been any problems with mine (I have complete records from previous owner), KNOCK ON WOOD, so I guess that's pretty reliable for an 11-year-old car.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much I can fit into it, since I'd been driving vans for many years previously.

    Best part -- it gets MUCH better mileage than advertised! It's consistently in the 35+ range in mixed city/highway driving, and probably about 45 in straight highway miles.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2004
    Location
    N. TX...just N.East of paradise...
    Posts
    2,026

    Default

    My old neighbor, who is a BIG car buff (loves BMWs, ran a custom car repair shop) special ordered his Mini Cooper about 2 years ago, now I think.

    He LOVES it! It's name is Geoffrey (English car, ya know) red black and cute! Really nice little cars.....I'd take his word on anything car related.
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Posts
    1,830

    Default

    My sister has one. The back seat isn't very comfortable unless you are a child sized person. I'm only average height, and I kept hitting my head against the edge of the roof when she went around corners.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
    Posts
    3,271

    Default

    I have an '06 Cooper. Love, Love, Love, LOVE her!!! I've put 30K on her since purchase (bought used in Feb '10) and no problems at all. Some models are more reliable than others, like all brands of cars, so look for that. 2006 was a very good year. Not too sure about the newer ones.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2001
    Posts
    104

    Default

    I just got a new mini cooper hardtop. So far just love the little car. Handles beautifully and the gas mileage has been great.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    970

    Default

    No No No No Nooooooo!!!

    I finally got rid of mine this year. It was the absolute bane of my existence for the 5 years that I had it. I put over TWENTY GRAND into it trying to keep it running and it NEVER ran right. NEVER. I know so many people who have had them who have the same horror stories that I had. I am in debt over a car that I don't even own - and not for buying the car - for dealing with it's multitude of issues. I kept sinking money into it because every time something would break they would say oh well if you just fix this, it will run another 100K miles. I had mine worked on by an extremely reliable and professional mechanic who is also a good long time family friend - not the dealership - I got charged at COST and it was rare that I made it out of the mechanic with less than a 1K bill. If anything goes wrong, they basically have to pull out the whole engine to do any work on the car - making your labor bill skyrocket.

    My mechanic says he makes a great living working on them.

    They are SO expensive to maintain and they are NOT reliable AT all. Even if NOTHING goes wrong - basic maintenance is super expensive. Tires are over $1000 a trip, and you have to put run flats or performance tires on it (no spare) so they are not warrantied and they don't last as long as normal tires. The S takes premium gas (IDK about the rest). There are several consumer class action lawsuits against mini because of all of the issues that these cars have. Please please please do thorough research before you buy one. Mine was an absolute NIGHTMARE. I also only got about 20mpg in the cooper S. Not great gas mileage for a car that takes premium gas.

    Here is the list of the major issues mine had (and I've only included the major issues). They told me that this was NOT a lemon and these were standard and common issues with this car.
    New Transmission (x 2)
    New Supercharger
    New water pump (x 2)
    New power steering pump and alternator - x2 - the second time this when out is when i finally gave up and got rid of the car
    new window motors - and after replacing once just drove it without working windows for the last 18 months I had it. Not fun when it's 100 + degrees and you have black leather interior
    Major electrical system failure/issues
    This is a car that was regularly serviced and maintained and had just over 100K miles when I got rid of it this year.

    When I finally decided to trade it in, it drove just fine to the dealership and then in true mini fashion would not start when they went to evaluate it for trade in value.

    I have a mazda 3 now and it's everything the mini wasn't - way more comfortable, cheap to maintain, great gas mileage, and totally reliable.

    Please please do some real, serious research before you buy one.

    I have heard that the new ones are more reliable - but - even if you never have a singe issue - the maintenance costs are super high. I would never EVER EVER buy one again. I would have paid money to see mine crushed into a tiny cube. Or set on fire. Or pushed off a cliff. Preferably while on fire.
    Last edited by two sticks; Oct. 31, 2012 at 03:22 PM.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2007
    Posts
    1,069

    Default

    We have a year old Countryman. LOVE it. Everyone I know who has a mini loves theirs, I personally have not known anyone who has had a bad one. Not saying they aren't out there, but a carfax report and a good mechanical "vetting" should help rule out a problem one. We have a local Mini/BMW mechanic who doesn't charge an arm and leg for regular maintenance issues. So far we haven't needed him for the Mini! I want to get a clubman when my little car finally bites the dust. It's got 176,000+ miles and is still going strong though, so it'll probably be several more years!

    Also, one of the first things my dad did was take the run-flats off and trade them in for different tires. You don't HAVE to have run flats, and the trade-in he got for barely used ones paid for the new tires he got for it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
    Location
    passepartout
    Posts
    10,148

    Default

    I have a Countryman All4. I'm really happy with it. No problems at all, except I got hit by a rock and had to replace the windshield.

    The Countryman, however, is built in Austria on the line that produces the BMW SUVs.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,054

    Default

    I have a 2011 Clubman and LOVE it. Seriously. It is more like a member of the family than a car. My SO has driven it exactly twice in the 16 months we've had it, as I am so protective of it. I wash and wax it by hand, which I haven't bothered to do with any of my other cars (no drive thru car was for my Club!).

    I have had zero mechanical issues. And I drive it pretty hard, putting nearly 30k miles on it this last year, and almost all of that was driving back and forth to my horses when boarded. Well, guess I had the tire sensors go off once, but that was due to the humongous potholes at my former boarding barn (aka, the Battle Ground Dump) and just required a pressure check and reset that I could do myself. I average 38 mpg with a combo of highway and back road driving. Just highways, it is upward of 40 mpg (real calculations, not the built in computer, which does seem to overstate the mpg IME).

    We looked at regular hardtop and Clubman and I'm glad I opted for the latter. Love the barn doors in back, and had room for two saddles and other horse stuff when I had to use it as my mobile tack room. The back seat in the Clubman is actually usable, where the hardtop is pretty much only for kiddies or pets (very small and no leg room).

    A good forum to check out is http://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/ (might have to copy and paste into a browser...I'm having trouble pasting as a link in this new interface).

    I know there are people who have had bad experiences, as one who posted above, and I'm prepared to encounter some problems down the road with mine, as I would with any car, but so far, it has been great. I was lucky to be able to buy new, and the warranty gives me a lot of comfort.

    There was a really good thread about MINI Coopers last year on here, but te search function is too mucked up right now for me to find it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2009
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    296

    Default Love, love, love my cooper s

    I absolutely LOVE LOVE my Mini Cooper S. bought it brand new in 2005. No big issues with it. Just the flat tire sensor comes on randomly so i have to reset it because there is no issue. Trust me you know when there is a flat on a run flat tire!
    I'm getting ready to trade mine in for a Clubman to give me some extra room. But I survived 7 yrs so far with this limited room. I am 5' 8" and have no issues with the back seat head room.....btw.
    Yes run flat tires are a lot of $$ but ifnu go with the straight cooper it comes with regular tires and spare tire. Cooper S (supercharged) there is no room for spare tire that's why they have run flats.
    Btw. Thumbs up is the "wave" just like jeeps have the "hand" wave.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Capall View Post
    Also, one of the first things my dad did was take the run-flats off and trade them in for different tires. You don't HAVE to have run flats, and the trade-in he got for barely used ones paid for the new tires he got for it.
    Yes! Hate the run flats! When you test drive, try to drive both as the difference in ride and noise is astounding. We made sure to get reg tires on mine after driving both. If you do get run flats, absolutely buy the insurance as they will need to be replaced and cost a fortune.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    970

    Default

    PS I would be curious to know if anyone here who loves theirs is at 50K + miles. That is where my problems started. The mini dealership told me they "were not designed to be high mileage cars or cars for the daily driver who covers a lot of distance." At 120K miles the dealership told me "They had never seen one make it to that high of mileage." Maybe it's just because I live in CA and commute, but I do not think 120K is unreasonably high mileage for a car.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    ontario, canada
    Posts
    2,432

    Default

    two sticks - I appreciate you sharing your experience. I have heard a few murmurs of horror stories, but yours had enough details to be food for thought.

    Of course, to make things more complicated...I could consider opting for an extended warranty to cover off my risk on that front.

    I do share two sticks question, though...if you haven't had any issues, how many KMs/miles have you racked up?

    I am not a high mileage driver, but I do put 20-24,000 KMS/12-14,000 miles on a car in a year.

    How do you find the ground clearance? Will parking in a grass field at a horse show be problematic? What about winter driving? How does it handle and how does it deal with snow?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by two sticks View Post
    PS I would be curious to know if anyone here who loves theirs is at 50K + miles. That is where my problems started. The mini dealership told me they "were not designed to be high mileage cars or cars for the daily driver who covers a lot of distance." At 120K miles the dealership told me "They had never seen one make it to that high of mileage." Maybe it's just because I live in CA and commute, but I do not think 120K is unreasonably high mileage for a car.
    On the North American motoring forums, there are lots of high mileage folks.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that mine is the base (not S, not JCW) model. Manual transmission. The S has more problems , from what I've read, and I have plenty of oomph with my base. There have been clutch issues that I think were specific to the S and I think certain years, and the NAM forums are a good source of info.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
    Posts
    3,271

    Default

    77K here and I still love it!
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstage View Post
    two sticks - I appreciate you sharing your experience. I have heard a few murmurs of horror stories, but yours had enough details to be food for thought.

    Of course, to make things more complicated...I could consider opting for an extended warranty to cover off my risk on that front.

    I do share two sticks question, though...if you haven't had any issues, how many KMs/miles have you racked up?

    I am not a high mileage driver, but I do put 20-24,000 KMS/12-14,000 miles on a car in a year.

    How do you find the ground clearance? Will parking in a grass field at a horse show be problematic? What about winter driving? How does it handle and how does it deal with snow?
    Do really thorough research on the warranty - I had a 60K / 6 Year warranty. A lot of things that you think would be included in the warranty are not - especially the powertrain warranty. There are a lot of other factors that can void your warranty. If you have an issue and replace a part - it can void the warranty on other things that work in the same system. There are a lot of things that disqualify your warranty from being valid - having any work or maintenance done by any mechanic other than the dealership, etc, etc.

    I understand that there are a lot of people out there that are happy with theirs, but no amount of happy people would ever get me to even consider dealing with them again. EVER. It's not worth the risk. I put more money into trying to keep this car running than I paid for it from the dealership, with warranty. The car was valued at $2k for scrap as a SIX YEAR OLD CAR that was over 20K new and had never been in any accidents.

    If you google "Mini Cooper Lawsuit" you will find some interesting reading.

    ETA - I had clearance issues at the barn resulting in a cracked oil pan. I generally parked on the road and walked in. I got stuck in mud on more than one occasion - and not deep mud. Mud that I actually successfully road a bicycle through about 5 minutes later.
    Last edited by two sticks; Oct. 31, 2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: er, generally you replace a part and not a party on a car..
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    I have a Countryman All4. I'm really happy with it. No problems at all, except I got hit by a rock and had to replace the windshield.

    The Countryman, however, is built in Austria on the line that produces the BMW SUVs.
    Not sure if this applies to you, but there is a class action out there against the windshields which have been proven to stress crack under normal conditions.

    http://classaction.kccllc.net/CaseIn...dshieldActions
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2009
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    296

    Default

    Yes you can run reg tires instead of run flats on the S but where are you going to store the spare when it takes up all the room in the back hatch?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2005
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PletchersMom View Post
    Yes you can run reg tires instead of run flats on the S but where are you going to store the spare when it takes up all the room in the back hatch?
    I always wondered this. I guess cross your fingers you don't get a flat or be willing to wait for a tow?

    I had a lot of flats with mine (surprisingly have never had one on the new car in the same areas) and was terrified that I would blow a tire driving through the mountains and die, or be stuck or stranded with no cell service, so I kept the spendy runflats on.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



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