If you insist on buying a Mini, then buy a new Mini and the extended warranty. The warranty will pay for itself after the first repair. Be sure that you have support in your area in the form of a dealership or a garage that is known for working on Minis. (It is very difficult to find an independent garage that excels on Mini service and maintenance.) Sell the car before the warranty ends. If you keep it after the warranty expires, be ready to pay $1000 and up for each repair, and there will be numerous repairs, for example, the water pump (replaced 2x), thermostat housing, oil pan seal (replaced 2x), moonroof repairs, rear door latch (replaced 2x), cylinders misfiring, oil leaks, axle seal replacement, etc.)
I loved how the Mini Cooper looked and drove. The handling, especially around corners, was amazing. This car was truly enjoyable to drive. For the size of the car, it had a lot more cargo space than expected. I used the Mini for trips to warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco.
I loathe the car, however, because of the cost to maintain and the frequency that it was in the shop being repaired. This car is not reliable or practical in terms of cost and upkeep. Due to the overall cost to purchase and maintain, I will never buy another Mini again.
I had wanted a mini cooper for some years. After finding what I wanted, in my price range, I purchased a 2007 base hatchback with 49k miles. The car was in super nice shape. Mechanically it ran and drove excellent. It has been an absolute blast to drive. It gets some super fuel economy. I was getting better than the average. 34.5 mpg combined. Then the trouble started. Sun roof stuck open. $1100 to install a used Sunroof just 5 days after I owned the car. Dealer said this is Common? The replacement sunroof had so much wind noise it sounded like a wind tunnel. 2 months later the replacement roof failed I just sealed it to help eliminate the wind noise. Dealer
Handling, Fuel Economy, Just a extreme blast to drive.
Don't even offer the Panoramic roof. This option would be a deal breaker for me in the future.
Get rid of the smart fob and use a REAL key to start.
Make the oil dip stick easier to read.
I purchased this car brand new in the fall of 2007, and still really love it. It handles well, it's fun to drive, it's good-looking, and it does everything I need it to do. It fits into smaller parking spaces (a very nice perk in a city like Los Angeles). Overall great car and I can't recommend it enough. The thing to bear in mind about my feedback: my prior car was a 1988 Jeep Cherokee, so VERY different. And if you're thinking of transitioning from a bigger car to this car, be aware that you'll use your horn a little more, because sometimes people just don't see the car when changing lanes.
- the giant glass sunroof (option)
- ipod/aux input
- being able to control the stereo from the steering wheel (that might also be an option)
- the digital readout behind the steering wheel that shows exterior temperature and the car's speed
- keyless entry
- the way it looks: I just think this is the cutest car
- it fits way more cargo than you'd expect: you can put the rear seats down and fit a ton in the trunk and the back seat (if you're going to have more than one passenger, then obviously I don't recommend this, but the car does great on a road trip for two to wine country, carrying all the wine and all the luggage)
The only less-than-stellar thing about this car is how much it squeaks. There's just something about the materials used in the interior that's a bit cheaper and I notice that there's a lot of squeaking (like of plastic) as the car shakes from movement on the road. It seems to be worse in the heat.
I've had nothing but maintenance issues with my mini. It's too bad really, cuz I was such a huge fan for the first 2yrs I owned the car. Since then though, never again.
I've had all the same issues with the timing chain and tensioner, up to the climax when I was told I would need a new engine at 86k miles. Cost 8000$. Mini agreed to help pay for 0!! I'm now at 98k and the engine has started to seize. I was extremely dilligent in maintenance.
Other issues include airbag sensors breaking, replacing a water pump at 52k - cost : 1400$.
The kicker - I just finished paying it off 3 months ago....
Save yourself the 24k$
The entire drivetrain or lengthen the service plan to 100k miles.
Give me my 24k back.... or part of it....
I bought my 2007 MC used with 24,000 miles. It was the perfect first car for me -- small, easy to park, fun to drive. However, around 50,000 miles the car's reliability took a turn. This year it was in for service 7 times, towed twice. Everything from steering wheel locks to o2 sensors has needed to be replaced. It has started to overheat, and make discontenting sounds. Alignment pins have started rattling (not covered in warranty - $700 to fix). After a recent service trip the service light was at 10,000 miles and two weeks later its at 7,000 - no possible way I drove 3k in two weeks. My mom and sister both have brand new minis and love them, so perhaps this is a car not to be bought used.
Fun to drive, aesthetically appealing, stereo is decent, comfortable interior (although I'm 5'2). Mini Roadside assistance is extremely handy and simple to use.
As said in other reviews, mini needs to recall certain problems that have been seen in their cars. Customer service is extremely poor - every time I take it in, I'm treated like an idiot and these are just common problems every car has. Sadly, I will not be buying another vehicle from Mini.
Also, there is no temperature gauge, so the only possible way to tell if the car is overheating is if the area around your feet/pedals gets abnormally warm.
There's also a surprising kick that lunges the car forward upon breaking at red lights, stop signs, etc. It's sporadic, but it has almost lunged me into a few cars.