2012 MINI Cooper Countryman 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
Having owned 2 other Mini's I expected high build quality, great power to weight ratio and above all stellar reliability.
What I got is this: so-so performance, a valve train that sounds like a handfull of bolts in a coffee can, and a trip to the dealer 20 miles away in limp home mode.
Add in the shrinking/peeling chrome along the belt line and the end caps on same that keep falling off in parking lots, and a 3 day stay in the shop and you have my Mini Countryman.
I am attempting to have Mini USA replace the vehicle. It is not what I expected or paid for.
Dear Mini owner, I'm so sorry to hear about your story. I have to tell you this I currently own a countryman myself, only 11 months old and has been in the shop 6 TIMES!!! SO I'm flustered and frusterated. I also called Mini Corp. office and asked for a new mini or my money back plus my deposit. I love the car and spent lots of money to have it dressed up with stripes and tinting etc.. I have had enough. I'm going with another car, different manufactorer, the one my husband wanted to go with. Good luck!! keep in touch!!!
I bought my 2012 MINI Countryman in December 2012. I did my homework for months. The sales staff were awful and I should have walked out the door. They lied about available options for the 2013 model no doubt to get the 2012 off the lot.
The seats are torture! The headrest tilt is not adjustable and pushes my head out of alignment. I turned it backwards and put a pillow around it. The dealer told me that I could not build a 2013 MINI with seats with adjustable lumbar support as a stand alone option. A lie. After complaining to MINI USA they swapped for sport seats and lied again - the sport seats don't have lumbar support. I drove Saabs and/or Volvos for 25 years and never had so much as a twinge in my back or neck after 12 hour drives. The MINI is intolerable after an hour.
I had steering failure in the first month. The service manager told me I must have stalled the car and locked the steering wheel. Nope. Then I had the parking brake on. Nope, again. He said there was no reason for that to happen. Really? How about a defective power steering module? NHTSA seems to know about it! Then there's the seat belt problem. The warning light kept coming on while I was driving. My belt was securely fastened, nothing on the passenger seat. Again the service manager told me there was nothing wrong - insisting it must be my purse. Funny that when I allow my 75 lb dog to sit in the front, the Fasten Seat Belt light does not come on. Why is that? The service department had my car for 8 days (less than 2 months after I bought it). For 4 out of 5 of my concerns they said "Could not duplicate customer's complaint." They did find the defective module but the service manager would not tell me what the module controlled. I had to go on-line and look up the part number. That was the defective power steering module. He wouldn't admit it.
The ride from the run-flat tires is awful - the car reacts to every fault in the road. The gas mileage is disappointing. Probably better than other models of similar size. But my previous car was a Saab with a 200 hp turbo engine and I got much better mpg on the highway.
I had several conversations with BMW/MINI USA. I asked them to buy the car back once it was evident the dealership was dismissing my well-founded concerns. (I even had to pay my local mechanic to align the MINI because the dealership insisted it wasn't pulling to the right). They don't care.
Recently the WSJ published a list of the 10 cars with the most safety complaints based on information from NHTSA. Guess which car had the most complaints? MINI is #1. Top problems: drive train, steering failure, restraint system failure - seat belts and air bags. And yet the service department insists there is nothing wrong. Denial is a dangerous defense when people are at risk of serious injury if one of those systems fails.
I'm done fighting with MINI-BMW. I drive 80 miles a day. I thought I'd spring for Recaro seats this summer. But after reading about the safety problems, I'm not waiting for a recall. This car is history. I'll take a big hit financially, I bought the extended warranty, which I've never done before.
But at least I won't need a chiropractor after an hour's drive. And I won't hold my breath every time I have a close call during my commute outside Boston, MA.
Interesting that other people have asked MINI to take back their cars after a short time.
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