2009 MINI Cooper S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have had some problems with carbon build up as mentioned in other reviews, but I have not had any other mechanical problems and I've never had to have my MINI towed. To prevent the carbon build up, I was told to use a gas additive every month and drive in a spirited manner every so often.
With my MINI S, I often find myself driving in a spirited manner. The horsepower is great for merging onto an interstate or passing slower cars on single-lane roads. It's also great for weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic.
The main drawback is the rough ride. I've hit potholes (and a ladder once) that have slammed my teeth together. However, the only damage done to the MINI was a broken headlight!
Handling, pickup, gas milage (I get an average of 28 mpg with my spirited rush-hour driving, with about 34 mpg on the interstate).
If a smoother ride would compromise the handling, I'm okay with a jaw-jar every few months.