This is the most fun I've had with a car in twenty years. I never thought this car would make me feel like this, it's sporty, fast, stylish and a pleasure to drive. I bought my Mini with the air filter upgrade (JCW), it provides a nice sound and a little more performance. Breaking, steering and handling are all you can expect from this car.
First I might say I loved this car. Second thing is I was scared to drive it. Scared that something might break. There are things you need to know. I have been a diy mechanic for many many years. This is not your average car to maintain. This was a super clean car when I bought it and traded it in. I had this for a year 58,000 miles to 66,000. I did the following things to the car. Tires - Most of these cars require run flat tires, because there is no spare! This will cost you more. O2 Sensors if you do not know what this is DO NOT BUY THIS CAR! 2 of them and 80.00 a pop. Brakes 140.00, Water outlet gasket just the gasket if you can find it 16.00. Plug wire and plugs 120.00. I was a fool for buying this fun car and even dumber to put money into it. What they don't tell you is the added expense if you do not run premium gas. You will eat O2 sensors up all the time. Clutch 1. Don't loose the keys this will be spendy 2. Repairs - You better have money a clutch is upwards of 1800.00 3. Only a mini dealer can clear some of the codes this will cost you. 4. If you have snow beware the car might be able to do it but take a look under the car there is a cooling fan that sucks up from the bottom of the car to cool the engine. Snow will ice up and bam ur back at that mini dealer again. There are so many things im sure I have forgotten. This was not the car for me or my family. She was a ton of fun but not that much fun had it up to 140 and was scared. Took corners at 60 and wow was cool. Then I realized mmmmm im Married and 42 years old. So I leave it up to you. They say this was the most dependable year to have. Stay away from automatics just read the blogs. Took this car on a 1600 mile round trip and that was enough for me to get rid of it. Tale care!
Bought w/15,000 miles on it. Now has 37,000.6 spd manual. Unusual instrumentation with smaller speedo and tach mounted side by side on steering wheel. Love driving the car. It's almost as fun to drive as a Porsche 911 I had. Supercharged engine has plenty of power. Handling is very good, although ride is more unforgiving than the Porsche due to the run flat tires. If you don't know, minis don't come with a spare tire, thus the run flats. Repairs that I had to deal with include a leak around the thermostat (twice), a leaky hydraulic motor mount, a minor oil leak, and a faulty passenger airbag sensor that required replacing the passenger seat cover ($1200, but covered by warranty).
I bought my 06 JCW over a year ago, and I have no regrets. This is my third BMW, and reliability has been on par with my prior cars (about average), but it is a blast to drive! The ride is certainly on the rough side, and there is a good amount of noise from the wind and a/c, so be prepared to crank up the radio. My JCW is rated at about 40 more hp than the S, but you really don't notice the difference in power unless you rev it hard. The noticeable difference w/ the JCW is in the limited slip differential, the aero body kit, and the brakes. Cornering versus the standard S is night-and-day difference. If you are a guy, stay with dark colors as light colors look cutesy on this car.
i bought this car almost a year ago for 11000. in this time i've had to get breaks and rotors changed (300 bucks) a new supercharger(2200 bucks) and not to mention a full synthetic oil change is 80 bucks. a lot of quick oil change places wont even touch this car btw so thats a struggle in itself. i absolutely hate this car and i can not wait to get rid of it, worse car i have ever had. its nice to look at and sporty and you get a lot of attention. but if your 6ft its more difficult for you to get out of this car, and this car sits very low to the ground so if you hit any bumps or anything that is slightly slanted it will scuff the bottom of your car, just pulling into my apartment complex i deal with this everyday. so do not buy this car unless you have plenty of money to foot the bill to fix it.