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 owned a 2006 MINI Cooper S, and I was one of the first people to buy the second generation of New MINI. I LOVE the performance and driving experience of both cars. There are few cars on the road that offer such a great driving experience, with the kind of gas economy that they get. The first generation MINI was flawless in all respects. The second generation, at least my year, has a re-occurring timing chain issue. The technicians keep chaining it up, one year it is the chair, the next it is the tensioner (actually twice), and they they tell me it was an oil leak from the timing chain cover. I think there is a design flaw, and they won't admit it. In 4 years, 5 repair incidents.
Got sucked into the sporty performance and good look and then... I owned a preowned MCS '07 w/ 39k on it for THREE MONTHS before selling. Let me say that again THREE MONTHS. I experienced the following. Random Limp modes and stall outs in the middle of traffic. Timing Chain "death rattle." Carbon build up. Frozen throttle/ unable to start. Multiple engine misfires in cylinders 1 & 2. Inexplicable grinding into third gear (had a brand new clutch btw). Inexplicable problems with power locks including the hatch randomly opening itself. Cabin rattles. This car was clean and maintained right on schedule. I was the third owner. I finally threw in the towel and got a Mazda
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
Absolutely loved it the 1st year! The 2nd year, not so much ($3000.00 sunroof repair, timing belt issues, $700.00 brake job, $300.00 emission issues, etc.). The 3rd year, it's just okay... I still like the car, but am no longer in-love w/it; I'm actually thinking of trading it for a new age Chevy Camaro. I've owned at least 8 BMW's (& loved all for the most part) and I expected much much more a BMW product.