My mini is my first car, i bought it myself and absolutely love it!!! My mom has one also and we both couldn't be happier with there performances. My mini was built with the sports package and its the best, the seats are so comfortable and the steering quality is excellent. The Mini Cooper is a great car for people of all ages and heights, even my 6 foot 4'' Grandpa fits in it with ease. Great over all car!!!
The stereo is absolutely sick... and the reaction rate to braking and turning is very efficient and reliable... my seats are also extremely comfy (thanks to getting the sports package which included the sports seats, if you can get it go for it!!!)
My only issue was with the cooling system for the engine... which is cheap and easy to deal with so no frets... that would have to be something the manufacturer would have to fix though, but rather than that I've never had any problems at all and neither has my mom