I spent a world of time comparing the Cooper to the Mazda Miata. They're both great cars, fun to drive and easy to buy and own. I think I would be happy with either car but the Mini has the "cute factor" over the Miata. 9,000,000 Miata owners can't be wrong but it also makes it somewhat ordinary. The Cooper "S" is incredibly fun to drive, especially in a mountain state like Colorado.
2011 Mini Cooper S Convertible. 5 years old with only 34,000 miles on it. Garage Queen. Why? IT IS ALWAYS IN THE REPAIR SHOP!!!!!!! $1000.00 for a thermostat replacement. $1,600.00 for a high pressure fuel pump. And the list goes on. So much fun to drive! So expensive to own. There is ALWAYS SOMETHING going wrong with this thing. I can't wait to unload it and get something that doesn't cost me an extra $1,000/month in repair bills. 10/18/2016 Update: A Customer Service Tale: So I sent an email to miniusa and a few DAYS later, my wife gets a voicemail on her cell phone from someone named Andrew W. at MINIUSA. She provides me the number: 866-275-6464. I call it. I work my way through their tortuous automated system, that has a hard time understanding what you are saying when it prompts you to say what you need from their list of the menu items. I leave a message at Andrews extension, 7992. He doesn't call back. I call again today. I get a kind woman who updates my phone information, then sends me along to Andrew W's extension 7992. Andrew W's voicemail says he is not in (again) and says to leave a message, then tells you his voicemail is full. But..., if you want to speak to a Customer Service Representative, you can dial "0". So, I press 0 and it tells me that Customer Service is not available (It is 10:30 on a Tuesday morning) AND that their voice mail is full also. So, I call back again and this time I ask directly for Customer Service Representative. I tell her what just happened and she tells me that she sees on her screen that Andrew just wants to tell me that he can't do anything for me because I had repairs done at a non-mini dealership. Why did I do that? Because my 2011 mini at 34,000 miles is out of warranty anyway and the dealership wanted TWO TIMES the price that the aftermarket auto wanted to do the exact same thermostat repair. The High Pressure Fuel Pump replacement that the dealership wanted $2,200.00 to replace, was also done at the aftermarket repair shop for $1,200.00. I do not know who is in charge of MINIUSA, but my friend, if you are reading this..., you have some serious repairs to make of your own..., with your organization. You may be experiencing records sales and having the best year ever. I do not know. But when customer service has no semblance of service to it whatsoever, and even your automated system to handle consumer problems is so ineffective that there is no operator available and everyone's voicemail is "full", it will all catch up with MINIUSA sooner or later. It may take a few years but this kind of terrible reliability problems, terrible customer service problems, outrageous repair costs, and complete lack of attention to detail and even to the customer will catch up with you eventually. And what about BMW? I am sure they would be embarrassed and humiliated to read how their American operations are being handled. So, hello BMW. Why don't you have some of your Executive officers, board members, and senior staff pretend to have a customer situation and try calling through the automated system under a pseudo name and suffer through the same experience your customers experience every single day. I am so disappointed. I loved driving my Mini Cooper S Convertible for some time. But these recent experiences have completely soured me on the whole Mini experience. I have had nearly a dozen people ask me how I like my Mini over the past 3 months, and I tell them all the same thing: "A blast to drive when it is working... a nightmare to have repaired... a money pit... zero customer service... and do yourself a favor and never ever buy one. 10/19/17 update. After all of this, and the suggestion that some well-heeled law firm ought to file a class action law suit on behalf of Mini Copper owners for the absolute scalding we take on prices for repairs/parts of known and frequent defects in the Mini, they send me a letter telling me to send in the repair bills and they will consider some form of re-imbursement for some of the repairs. I do as requested by going to my aftermarket repair shop and getting every single electronic file they have on the repairs, why they were required, and how much parts and labor cost. Fortunately, European Auto Garage in Knoxville, besides always doing excellent repairs with no drama, also keeps meticulous records electronically. I explain to the front desk what I need and why I need it and she happily gathers all the files, diagnostic machine reports and much more, all of which their records system keeps track of. Excellent! She sends the information for me directly to Mini at the designated Mini USA email. I few weeks later, I get a check from Mini for the repair reimbursement sans routine maintenance. Fair enough. I really didn't think they would do anything about it but they covered the whole cost of the repairs to the defective parts.
I purchased my Mini in February of 2015. I had driven several Mini's before I purchased this model. I actually found her on the internet, called the dealership, put down a deposit and pickup her that weekend. The dealership was not a local dealer. I purchased the Mini with under 50,000 miles on her. I started having problems around 60,000 miles. I took her to a local BMW repair shop due to a lack of acceleration. I was told that she needed an walnut blasting due to carbon build up on the engine intake. They also replaced plugs and wires....$700.00. Later, I had a brake (dash) light come on. I took her back to the repair shop. I was told she need brake pads, new sensors and rotors.....$900.00. I did not purchase an extended warrant so this was an out of pocket expense. I was told by the mechanic that everything should be good for awhile. Needless to say, I was very disappointed in Mini...... Well, I now have almost 70,000 miles on her, with no recent problems. I still must say.....I still love my Mini JAZZ. She is my midlife crisis...LOL......Deb
I have wanted a cooper convertiable since it was released. The 2011 seems to have corrected alll of the control complaints I have read about with the 2010 model. I have driven a 2006 s model, and the 2011 ride is much smoother....no comparison. The 6 speed manual is a must, so much fun.