Great car but the S models tires & susp R harsh except on smooth roads. When time to replace them, buy softer tires & the car will b so much more enjoyable. U feel every bump w/OEM tires. Recall for timing belt tensioner & they replaced w/main crank seal, no charge. Paid $60 for new timing belt. No chatter anymore like it did on really cold starts. The auto trans is a worry. Seems to not know what gear it wants when U slow & then accelerate-bucks like a horse - I expect it will fail one day but so far at 55k, ok. The computer tells you 2 have service at like 40k & dealer charges $200 just to check the vehicle over, no maintenance -I wouldn't recommend it if you can find someone else 2 check
I owned a 2008 Mini Cooper S, until recently when I traded it in with 75,000 miles. I bought it new and it was a fun car to drive. It had lots of leg room for my 6' 4" body, but in terms of maintainability it was the worst car that I have ever owned. After 36,000 miles, I was continually plagued with either a "CHECK ENGINE" or "SERVICE" light and as a result I was forced to bring it to the dealer/car repair shop to get it analyzed. Furthermore, it had "run flat" tires...a terrible experience! To summarize my MINI experience: after 50,000 miles it turned into a lemon. To the future owner...stock up on SYN 5W-30 motor oil...you're going to need it!
I bought this car used and I am perhaps the wrong demographic to own such a car. If it wasn't so fun to drive, I would hate it- if that makes any sense at all! Noisy on highway, base engine strains when pushed. Automatic trans is clunky on downshifts and has trouble making decisions. This car had some type of solenoid problem before I bought it and found that out later. Very finicky about fuel- Mini will almost spit out anything less than 93 octane. Carbon buildup problems exist and on such a tightly built engine, that becomes worrisome. The Mini, for me, is like someone that you just date but wouldn't marry.
I purchased this car brand new! My dream car back then! Today, I am regretting it. Now at 100 000 miles, I already had a few major issues. Twice I had a coolant leak! Which cost near the 1000$ mark to get repaired. Now I have an engine had gasket leak. This car leaks from everywhere basically. Very expensive car to own! You need a special tool to remove sparkplugs! I also had electrical problems! Driving along and all of a sudden, Windows goes down and doesn't want to come back up, Headlights flashing like a police car.. car alarm going off as I unlock car... Very fun to drive!! Looooooove the driving experience but problems are becoming "unforgivable". Would NOT recommend!!
So much fun - and oh so not worth it in the end...
written on 12-08-2015
Look I'll make this brief and simple. If you are reading this and other posts you should have an idea now that the Mini is a blast to drive. And you will pay and pay for the constant repairs to enjoy that go-kart feel. The reliability on these cars is abysmal - period. Something is always leaking, breaking or needs replacing. The little turbo simply just eats things up and you will be in the "repair" tunnel of hell once things go south. And they will sooner then later. I simply can't recommend these cars until BMW makes a significant commitment to improving quality. Save yourself heartache and go get a new Mazda Miata.