You could buy a MINI...or you could throw a pile of cash into a burning dumpster and get the same value. I have a 2011 MINI S, with 63k miles. Car is CONSTANTLY in need of repair. To date, I've replaced the ignition coils and spark plugs three times apiece--THREE TIMES!-- plus hoses, a water pump, drive wheel, fly wheel, water pump pulley, and the AC compressor. Now, the radio is fried and the replacement is $1,000.00 installed. It's hugely expensive and frustrating, and I would NEVER buy another MINI. I've spoke with the customer relations team several times, and although they are very nice and do their best to placate customers, that's all they do--placate you. There is never an actual solution provided. I'm hoping a class-action suit is filed against MINI soon, because I believe they are defrauding consumers with poorly-built cars and hiding the true costs of ownership. This is the worst ownership experience I've had in 25+ years of driving.
Wish I had read up more on the common problems....
written on 04-03-2016
I bought my 2011 manual base Cooper with 35,000 miles on it....now, at 54,000 miles, it has had a failure of two coils. This turns out to be VERY common with Minis when you go to the various forums. The car will sputter on acceleration, take up to 10 seconds to turn over in the morning, etc. and the problem only worsens unless tended to. Cost at an independent mechanic to fix? $650. Another common problem is dirty injectors at this point. Oh, and it needs a full synthetic oil....so, when you were hoping to get the $19.99 oil change at Car-X, it quickly triples that cost. :/ And the brakes are about gone now, too, despite mostly highway driving. And the worst part? Don't get a flat tire. There is NO SPARE. NONE. The only good part of this car is the gas mileage, but even then, it's not as good as other manuals out there. I get about 33 mpg with, as I said, mostly highway driving.
I have wanted one of these cars for a long time. Now that 2 of the 3 kids are away at school, it was time to take the plunge. The car is amazing, very high tech with all the amenities of a luxury car. It is so much fun to drive and I am getting better than 33mpg overall. With the back seats folded down there is plenty of space for trips to Costco, etc. I especially like the 3 year no cost maintenance and the 4/50 bumper to bumper warranty. I guess we are still on the honeymoon but I think it is going to last.
Had been dreaming of getting a MINI for years. (family member has had 2 already) Finally got bran new 2011 w/ manual tranny last month, and have been grinning ear to ear ever since. If my MINI could be said to have any flaw, it would be that the ride is a little noisy--but that's ok: have been turning off radio anyway b/c enjoying listening to the engine growl and purr as I shift gears! This is by far the best car I have ever owned. Almost tempted to do the grocery shopping one item at a time just to have as many excuses to drive as possible!! Can't describe it: it's more than just a car...it has a personality all it's own. It's like a pet I can drive around in!
I bought a 2011 Mini Cooper for my son to earn to drive on because it was like a go-kart. I knew what I was in for, it being a perfect storm of unreliability being a German car made in England. All of my other vehicles are either a Toyota or a Scion. You buy them and drive them. They are like purchasing an appliance. We had the Mini for 5 months when the timing chain broke at a red light, destroying the engine. Now, although this is a known defect, BMW waned nothing t do with it. This left me with a $6000 engine replacement and God knows what after that. Know this; if you are not rich, buy Japanese every-time. Here's an update: the engine that replaced the one that had the timing chains fail, HAD ITS TIMING CHAIN FAIL! TWO ENGINES, SAME CAR LESS THAN 3 YEARS. BMW KNOWS IT SHOULD ISSUE A RECALL AND REFUSES. THIS IS A SAFETY HAZARD. WHEN THE TIMING CHAIN SNAPS, THE MINI IS INOPERABLE. Bad Motor Works.