Avoid this model and year like the black plague. Catastrophic engine failures.
written on 05-04-2015
S 3dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Owned this vehicle since 2 years old with 20k miles on odometer. On a long drive with 50k on the odometer, turbocharger imploded (always used synthetic oil) and destroyed entire engine. Was out of warranty but BMW North America replaced engine at no charge. A year later, brand new engine had a main bearing failure... paid out-of pocket. Super fun car, but not worth the cost. Shame on BMW for being associated with the 2008 model year.
i type this as my clubman is sitting in the shop, where it has been for the past week with "catastrophic engine failure", this is apparently common in these cars and BMW refuses to issue a recall. Not even sure how that can be legal. I was just driving on the freeway and all of a sudden the engine started to blow. Basically the cost to repair it is going to be $12,000, aka, more than the vehicle is worth. Loved this car in the beginning, but after only owning it for a year and half, this is horrible!!!! RUN, DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!
I had this car for only 22 mos. I just traded it in. It was fun to drive, loaded w/ features & fairly economical, but it's likely to be very expensive to maintain after factory maintenance plan & warranty expire. It came with a deep scratch/gouge in the armrest. The dealer was unable to replace it without PERMANENTLY ruining the integrity of the trim molding around it -- floor console kept falling apart & isn't fixable); needed new front tires & alignment at 30,000 mi. ($385) (tires, align. & rotation not included in maint. plan); new front brake pads & rotors at 38,000 mi. ($650 but covered by maint. plan); new power steering rack at 40,000 mi. (covered under warranty). Future cost?
Totally fun to drive even with Auto Tranny. Much more comfortable ride than regular Mini. Ride is best with 16"or smaller rims. Beautiful design grows on you alot with time. Was delivered with broken speaker that dealer has not been able to fix in 4 visits. Sunroof malfunctions sometimes. Alot of road noise on the highway. Radio controls are a joke. But I love this car beyond reason. Can hold lots of stuff but still fits in tight parking spaces in the city here in downtown Chicago. Even with little defects it's still worth it.
Most fun I've ever had behind the wheel of a vehicle! This car is tight, quiet, and does whatever I ask of it and asks for more. Turns like it's on rails. My wife called me when driving it for the first time, and asked how to turn on the cruise control, because she was doing 90 MPH and didn't realize it. I'm outstandingly pleased with my purchase.