I have a 2009 Cooper S with automatic transmission. It's a fun car to drive, but goes in to have work done about every 6 months. It's had multiple problems with misfiring, carbon build up, timing belt replaced at 24,000 miles, electronic sensor issues. I'll probably keep it until the warranty is up and then trade it. Will never buy a Mini again.
I have owned almost every type of car known to mankind and with one exception (67 Porsche 911 S) this is the worst car I've ever owned. Maintenance cost are through the roof, parts and labor extremely expensive. BMW sold the car with a long term KNOWN engineering defect (poor timing chain design) that has motors blowing up all over the world (ck the internet) at between 55k & 65k miles. While maintained to absolute factory standards, mine blew up at less than 30 mph with 60k. After fighting with the company for over 9 months (while I made car & insurance payments and had to acquire an additional vehicle) they only agreed to pay for the $11,000.00+ repairs after I recorded a series of conversations which proved I'd repeatedly been lied to and my attorney told them "fix it today or we file tomorrow!" The local dealership was super but BMW calls the shots. Although they finally did agree that it was a design issue in the end they refused to reimburse me for the towing and miscellaneous out of pocket cost which had been promised to me in every single conversation. BMW Corporation, in my humble opinion, is run by a bunch of crooks who sell cars with known defects and should be jailed. I will NEVER purchase nor recommend any BMW product. Also ask about the engine having to be completely torn down and shot sprayed with crushed walnut shells as part of regular maintenance cleaning because it is so poorly designed. I lost thousands of dollars on this car. They're cute and fun but don't walk....RUN AWAY FROM THIS LEMON!!!!!!
I have had some problems with carbon build up as mentioned in other reviews, but I have not had any other mechanical problems and I've never had to have my MINI towed. To prevent the carbon build up, I was told to use a gas additive every month and drive in a spirited manner every so often. With my MINI S, I often find myself driving in a spirited manner. The horsepower is great for merging onto an interstate or passing slower cars on single-lane roads. It's also great for weaving in and out of rush-hour traffic. The main drawback is the rough ride. I've hit potholes (and a ladder once) that have slammed my teeth together. However, the only damage done to the MINI was a broken headlight!
I bought my Mini Cooper S 2009 brand new. It was performing great for the first year but then as it got older although it was under mileage (12,700 miles) in 14 months of ownership, the engine experienced annoying pinging sound specially while on idling. Note* the engine is warm. I took it to the dealership and was told it's normal. The pinging sound became louder and it sounded like a diesel engine. I traded it in for a Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback AWD Turbo Lancer Ralliart.
My vehicle has been babied all the way to 54000 miles. I bought it brand new and it has been serviced through the extended warranty with hardly any issues. At 6years old and 54,000 miles on the odometer, WHAM, BANG massive oil leak and a turbo charger issue. Now $4,000 dollars later, my little red MINI is not so pleasing. Major complaints to MINI I have been learning about since review online. My complaint to MINI fell flat on its face. Thanks a lot MINI for all the consideration! NOT! Is this vehicle going to be yet another expensive paper weight (that's what I have heard other MINI owners call them.