I purchased the Mini Cooper S used and it had 32000 kilometers on it. Initially all was well, great mileage, fun to drive, moves well but then stuff went from bad to worse. The check engine light came on. I took a day off work, traveled 150 klms and took it to a Mini dealer. They did their exploratory diagnosis and informed me that it needed spark plugs- even though the manual says plugs are good for 100,000. After $580.00 the plugs were changed and the light stayed off for 50 klms. Must need injectors was the next diagnosis for $1200.00. the light stayed off for 1 week even though the mini ran like crap in that week. Traded the mini off at a dealer as I could not sell privately. They say the engine gets a carbon build up which I could maybe understand if I was only running it back and forth to the mailbox but, I was driving it 50k on highways 2 times a day and only using premium fuel. Very disappointed. I also own a BMW and This is supposed made by them...must be at their training school side. Not the quality at all.
I wouldn't dream of owning any BMW/MINI model without extended warranty. For example, a transmission for this car can run you $5000-9000. A timing belt can cost $2500. Breaks cost $1600 (front and back). I am pretty sure that the repair numbers were developed by the same people who set prices at the AirPort. With that said, this is by far one of the most fun convertibles I've ever owned. The 6 speed on this car is second only to a Miata and high end sports cars. The suspension is perfectly balanced. The engine screams (while fuel efficient) giving you the impression of much greater speed. I urge you to consider that one car in your life should be for the "fun factor" and nothing more. This car will put a smile on your face with every mile. Just make sure to sell it before the extended warranty runs out!
I bought this car new and loved every day of driving it. Love, love, love, and super fun. As the car aged I had to stay on top of the oil consumption which eventually got tiresome. The ride was rough for a passenger and the cabin was noisey to make and receive calls. The convertible cover creates a big blind spot, but with such a small body it never felt like a safety issue. After driving over 120k miles I just traded it in for a small SUV only because my auto needs have changed. The mini convertible is a fun, darling car.