I owned a 2010 R56 Justa Cooper in 2011 - it was only 1 year old with approx 3000 miles on it. I had it six months and it was in the dealer for almost 1 month of that time with a noisy rattling engine when cold - in the end they said it was normal - I disagreed and was sure it didn't sound normal - anyway I sold it back to them at a loss and it left a sour taste in my mouth.
Everything else about the mini I loved and since then I have struggled to pluck up courage to scratch the itch in case I get burned again.
I want to go for a cooper s this time, which will be a 2nd car/weekend toy - but the death rattle on the turbo cars really worries me, so I am thinking I could get a 2005/2006 model, last of the supercharged cars?
Am I silly to miss out on all the other r56 refinements just because of the death rattle or is the last of the first gen a good choice? If I go for an r56 it will be an early one due to budget.
What else am I not considering here? Are there any show stopper issues on the 2005/2006 first gen cooper s ?
Between a very late R53 and an early R56, there is absolutely no choice to be made. The R53 by a country mile.
However, there are some particular issues that you will have to bear in mind:
1. Be aware of the costs of fuel and RFL. Expect somewhere between high 20's mid 30's, unless you drive like a saint, along with RFL of £280 a year.
2. These cars are now getting old and many will have been extensively messed about with. It may take a while to find a nice one.
3. Particularly when fitted with the default oversized rims, these cars rattle quite a bit. Don't even bother trying to fix the rattles themselves, you'll only make it worse by taking things apart and re-assembling. The only real cure is to properly brace the bodyshell and I'm not even sure if the best parts to do that with are still available. Beware, the JCW under bonnet brace is nothing more than jewelry, it achieves nothing.
Good luck with your hunt
May '04 - Feb '07 R50, Feb '07 - May '10 R53. Enjoyed our time with MINI's, but ran out of space! Now Focus RS, Triumph Tiger 1200 & Land Rover powered...
And yes, I really mean it (and yes, I know it's a Ford) ... if your budget will stretch that far.
However .. if you have your heart set on a MINI Cooper S, or your budget doesn't go that far, then I would agree with the previous poster, and recommend a late model R53 with Supercharger, not one of the more recent R56s with the Turbo. To paraphrase the recent MINI promotion, the mechanical problems with the R56 turbo engine are 'Not Normal'
Yes, an R53 will cost more to run, but it will be relatively trouble free, and arguably more fun to drive. That's got to be worth something?
Deffo the R53 cooper S, even with a heavy right foot they don't cost too much to run. Just make sure you have a look at afew different ones first because like the guy said before they are getting old now so you don't want to end up with one riddled with faults.
IMHO both R53 and R56 the facelift models (R53 late 2004 - 2006, R56 LCI late 2010 - now) are having less faults reported than the pre-facelift models. There are definitely refinements in the R56 LCI (eg the car feels sharper but rides the bumps better) and there are a few more gadgets like the sport button, but not a huge amount.
Thats surprising, Ive never even considered one of those or even bothered to find out anything about them, they are so cheap! in comparison to a MINI,
My neighbour opposite has one and I thought he must be well off, obviously you dont have to be to afford a FORD Im now thinking he might be on benefits even.
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