I'll start by saying I know very little about mini's, so please bare with me.
My wife is keen to get a second hand Mini as her car for commuting and general zipping about town. At the moment Im looking at 2009-2011 R56's, not looking for any special performance / tuned version that gives an extra 3 kw etc and bigger diameter exhaust pipes, but let me know if there is a reason I should be looking elsewhere. Id like to stay under $25k if possible but she has expensive taste
Im looking for info that you as enthusiasts will be able to pass on that I wouldn't have any idea about
1. Would like something new-ish, so a R56 it seems is the go - is there any reason to go older? (ie - is there problems with the R56 that werent in the R53, or something that got watered down in the R56).
2. Are there engine options that I should be looking for? We'd like diesel but its maybe out of our price range and not a deal breaker, are there different engines over the year models at all - is there one that's considered to be the good one / bad one??
3. Has to be auto - are there different transmissions over the year models / trim levels etc - is there one that's considered to be the good one / bad one?
4. My wife loves brown leather seats, we've only spotted one with these seats - are they super rare, or do they only come in certain editions? (The one we saw was a Mayfair Edition and looks like it might have been perfect but we missed out
4. Any recalls / software updates I should ask about whether they have been carried out?.
5. In terms of mileage - are there any backbreakingly large services that I should aim to avoid (ie- buy a car thats already had that service), and are tires super expensive for a Mini (What size are they? I can look that up I guess, scratch that one)
6. Lastly, we have a 4 and 2 year old, my car will be the main "family car" but you know at some point I'll have to put car seats in the Mini... I saw there's a whole section dedicated to this and I will check it out soon but can I get a short answer in the meantime... Am I going to be able to get two carseats in the back of a Mini? (I know there is two seats in the back but can you get carseats in through the doors, are there anchor points...).
Thankyou for your help.