i bought my mini s when he was 5 years old w/65k on him. no problems w/ole mini, 10k miles & 8 months later. we seem thirstier than usual in regards to drinking oil & water-no leaks found. the mini people are more expensive than others, but it's German. the BMW feel is felt throughout- quality, handling, throttle, & performance overall. its true w/the German autos; the harder you drive em, the better they perform. the kick down is nice-no problems passing others. holds the road well, rain or shine. i've had none of the issues others have mentioned. i dont think the mini was meant for stop & go traffic, it likes to run the roads. unlike others, i keep up on my maintenance. more than oil changes.
First off, this is a very fun car to drive. The wheels always sticks to the road and the supercharger helps with instant push on road. BMW has done a great job putting the car together but also failed horribly on some parts. German engineering is seen and felt every where, for better or for worse. (See 'Suggested Improvements')
I love the look of the Mini. I love driving the mini it actually makes driving in traffic fun. But once you have to fix something on your mini, it can be very expensive. Once your car is out of warranty, Mini USA refuses to take any responsibility for their cars. They will not fix even a manufacturers defect, and cover themselves by saying it is out of the 3 year warranty. They are cute cars but are not made to last.
Let me first say that I love my Mini. I have never had another car that I felt this way about. I love the feel of it, the size, the leather interior, the ability to get an entire shopping cart in the back. It is fun to drive and has the power I want to get around. I have had some major mechanical problems: rear main seal replaced at 34K and now lost a valve at 39K. Seems problems that shouldn't come up at the mileage.
This car was a gem when we first got it however in year 4 at 30,000 km the ac went and recently the CVT has developed a clunk when cold and put into drive. Have just sold it as the transmission is poor and have no intention of putting another 7k into the dealers pocket.