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Junior Charter Member
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1,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a friend who is considering purchasing one of the new Mini's. I know some of you guys have these, and would like to know your take(s) on them.

Any inherent problems?
Expensive to service?
Reliability?

And any other input that you feel appropriate.

Thank you ahead of time,

dago
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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2,015 Posts
I put about 5k miles on an 03 and loved every minute of it.

If I were in the market to buy a brand new "driver" today, it would be on the top of mylist.

I also service a handful of them here, since our closest dealer is 70 miles away.
Only issues I've seen is the ecu's had to be "updated" on them in 02 and the coolant resevoirs would start to leak.
Also had an intermittant "airbag" light on a buds car, that ended up just being a bad seatbelt sensor.

Changing the oil filter is kind of a pain, because you have to be careful & not tip the little can it sits in & spill oil all over while changing it.

Overall, the mini cooper s is one of very very few cars that I have ever been "almost" totally satisfied with from the showroom floor.

The only things I didn't like about the car, are:

#1 the "runflat" tires, are incredibly heavy and make the car ride rougher than necassary due to unsprung weight.

#2" the exhaust is too quiet from the factory for a car this fun to drive. Many aftermarket set ups are available to cure this.

#3 the seatbelt is mounted quite a ways behind the seat so you have to be careful when you remove the belt,,,to not just let it fly out of your hand and right into the door window.

#4, the roof mounted dome light is almost in the rear of the car. I think this location was chosen on them to fit the models with the optional glass roof?

If you took a new mini "s" and added the mini mania "stage 2" perfromance package, you'd have the perfect little grocery gettter @ less than a $30k total investment.
 

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Classic Format Fan
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834 Posts
I also have been looking at the MC for my next dailey driver. I have a 60 mile commmute for work and my F150 is eating me out of house and home.
I do recall hearing a while back that they were having issues with the front windshields. Does anyone know what the issue was and have they corrected it?

jj
 

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4.6 Terminator Trailblazer
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1,743 Posts

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Premium Member
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1,902 Posts
Funny that you started this thread. I just test drove one today. Nice little car. Very perky. Not my style though. As far as service, it has the same as BMW. All service is covered for 3 years. The salesman said that even the ROTORS are covered!
 

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Senior Member
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2,372 Posts
My friend had one of the first S models sold in New England.I got the use of it for 1 week and almost didn't give it back! Way to much fun! Too bad it doesn't fit my lifestyle.But if they come out with one that can tow large boats and toys
I will be first in line1
 

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Senior Member
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5,931 Posts
Have 15,000 miles on an s' 2003.It led ,through a renewed interest & driving for fun,to me owning my Cobra today.
I replaced the stock intake,put in a stiffer rear sway bar,remapped the ECU,reduced the supercharger pulley by 15% & man,what a go-kart !!!!Have had a few issues,burned out both window winder motors,gone through 2 sets of front tires (NOT cheap,runflat 17" )the dreaded "stumble",and a common but annoying rattle in the boot......Check out these forums...Randy is a genius with the aftermarket stuff.....
www.northamericanmotoring.com
www.webbmotorsports.com
Also...taught my son to drive in one,pretty much his daily driver now....Great safety rating & just a plain pleasure to drive .Oh,I'm 6'1",& I have to slide the seat foward to drive comfortably (& back to get in or out lol )
Get one (or two ;) )

[ January 16, 2005, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Kiwiracer ]
 

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Senior Member
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5,042 Posts
On my 2004 MCS there are NO squeeks or rattles. This is a BMW after all
So far I have driven 25,000 spirited miles and loved every one.

Some more observations:

1) Servicing is free for the first three years or (I think) 36,000 miles. Since nothing has gone wrong on my car, I wouldn't know about costs of repairs.

2) The run-flat tires are not great. I replaced mine with Pirelli P-zero nero M/S and am MUCH happier. I even won an autocross event on these tires.

3) The rear hatch on mine did have a rattle for a few days. The forums on www.northamericanmotoring.com provided a temporary fix and noted that it is a known problem and a redesigned latch will be retrofitted for free if you ask.

4) If you plan on doing autocross, get the LSD option on the MCS and skip the sunroof, auto-climate and zenon head lights. Th4ey are all heavy. Then buy SSR competition 16" rims + Hoosier tires.

5) The JCW package is not worth it. If you want more power, change the pulley on the supercharger.

6) Last night I bought a full sized tool cabinet from Sears and managed to fit it into the rear IN ITS BOX!! The cargo carrying will surprise you.

To sum up, I love this car, it is a blast to drive, cheap to run, looks cool, has lots of aftermarket satuff available and holds its value VERY well. No down sides. All up.
 

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Junior Charter Member
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1,314 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys, I knew that I would get the "straight talk" here. I will forward on this information, and hope for a test drive soon!

Pete
 
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