Just put a deposit down! Hope I did the right thing!
I'd been waiting for an Infinti G35 coupe. The usual wait is 3 months, but due to errors beyond my control, I had 2 one month delays. This last delay was salesman error and gave me a chance to think - did I really want to spend this much money ($32,500)? I'm getting a settlement, have tons of credit card debt to pay off, and would like to get a condo soon.
I test drove the MCS and fell in love. I only dislike the obvious lag in first gear. Will I have problems pulling out into busy traffic? Making left turns? (we have tons of busy fast streets here in the 'burbs.)
Found the exact car I want at Midwestern MINI. It should be here in a month, fully loaded, MSRP, plus $1500 for enclosed shipping. It's their last '03 model. I put down a non-refundable $500 deposit and got back the deposit for the G35.
Since my decision was SO impulsive I'm now wondering if I did the right thing. My worries are:
1. Perhaps I could have found a used '02 for less. There's one being sold on Autotrader for 22k, says it's fully loaded, but will probably be gone by the time my settlement check gets here.
2. MINI seems to have many more issues than the G35, and fewer dealerships/trained people to deal with them. And with the G35, you get a loaner car free of charge. So maybe the cost savings will be offset by trips to the dealer?
3. May have been better to go thru the wait again for an '04.
4. Frustration with 1st gear lag and relative lack of horsepower compared to the G.
I'm sure I don't need to list the many positives! The car is an out-and-out charmer and really fun and great looking inside and out.
So, any thoughts? Help please! thanks!
Almost here: EB/W, 1,2,3, H/K, auto wipers, stripes
Welcome to the world of Mini! My '02 MCS has been in the shop 6 times in the 2 months since I bought it used, 5 of them because the Service Engine Soon light (aka Check Engine light in other cars) keeps coming on. But despite all that:
1. Once bitten it's almost impossible to shake the Mini bug, even if you have problems.
2. You were smart not to buy a used '02, unlike me. Most people getting new ones report far fewer problems. This should work to your favor.
3. Yours MAY not have the 1st gear stumble or bog. Apparently many of them don't, mostly the newer ones. Do a search to find jstines' definitions for these terms. In mine, they fixed the stumble (I'm apparently one of the only people to have gotten it fixed so far), and the only time I have the bog is with the A/C on, which I can "cure" by just remembering to rev it up more when I start out from rest. That doesn't work for everyone here but it does for me, and it may work for you too.
4. Minis seem to hold their value well despite the problems some people have.
5. Other people will think you're way cooler when they see you in a Mini than they would if you were in a G35, even though it's a great car too. If you're single it seems like this could be a big plus if you want to meet people (can't prove this myself as I'm an old married guy).
As time goes by your excitement will probably overcome any feelings of doubt. Here's hoping your car turns out to be perfect and you have many happy miles of motoring!
Scott in ATL.
2002 Mini Cooper S Chili Red/White.
1998 Mercedes ML320.
Absolutely ZERO problems in nearly one year of ownership and 11,100+ miles later in our '02 Cooper CVT. No regrets whatsover.
I am going for our second MINI, a 2004 Cooper S due here in early october.
A co-worker of mine has a new Nissan 350Z (The G35's cheaper cousin), nice car but not my cup of tea. Too small, cramped inside and the little trunk is next to useless. No rear seats either as these cars are basically high performance luxury roadsters.
I took him in a ride in our '02 Cooper CVT and he was impressed with the transmission. His 350Z has a 6-speed manual.
The MINI is a very different car and concept from the 350Z/G35 but I much prefer it over those. The MINI has incredible resale value (64% off MSRP after 2 years and 49% off MSRP after 5 years!!!) that no current market Nissan/Infiniti product can't dare to touch.
The MINI is not only a car but a lifestyle as well. The 350Z/G35 are "Macho" and "flashy look at me" cars (In other words EGO Boosters).
I would suggest to get a new 2004 instead. Why pay thru the roof for an used one?
Also if your financial situation is still commanded by high credit card debt, you should consider a car with a more down to earth sticker price. A person buried in debt should not be looking at $30K+ luxury cars...just a humble opinion.
For $20K you will have the coolest set of wheels on the planet, guaranteed.
Last but not least, MINI has a 4 year/50K mile warranty and all scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years/36K miles same as in BMWs.
'02 MINI Cooper CVT
On Order: 2004 MCS (Est production date: 9/5/03)
Re: Just put a deposit down! Hope I did the right thing!
Cat... I have a 2003 (May build) MCS. My answers to your questions/concerns (for what it's worth):
1. I fully echo the earlier comment - newer builds seem to have better quality. My MCS has had zero problems.
2. I'm not convinced MINI has more problems than other models. I think people are so obsessed (me included) about the car that they report far more things that happen. I've had more issues with my wife's 2002 Honda than with my 2003 MINI.
3. The '04 model wait will be long. If you can find an '03 that you like, go for it.
4. The lag is annoying but I've never found it to be dangerous. My car isn't bad at all. One of the test cars I drove had it pretty bad. Enough revs at first gear gets you around the problem easily. As for general HP... it has plenty. It's not a straight-line dragster, but it has plenty of oomph for highway and city driving.
Sounds like you panic has already abated... but just a reassurance... you'll love the car, don't worry about a thing.
I'm now wondering if I got the right color ! If it's not one thing it's another! I really like that Indi Blue but I got the Elec Blue... I gotta find something else to think about! I am NOT a basket case type person usually !
Almost here: EB/W, 1,2,3, H/K, auto wipers, stripes
I've gone through the same ups & downs over getttng an MCS. I had a deposit down on one that was due in 2 weeks; and a buyer for my car, a very low mileage 2001 330CI. After tracking this, and other boards, I backed out. Cancelled the deposit, and kept the Bimmer. All my knowledgeable auto friends thought I was trading down, getting rid of the "best" coupe in the world, for a little 4banger with (apparently) a lot of issues.
Normally I don't pay too much attention to the opinions of others - I have plenty of my own -- but from a dollars and cents standpoint it really didn't make sense to swap the cars.
I think I made a MISTAKE! I regret not going though with the deal. Found myself at traffic light today staring at dark silver MCS. Talked to the driver, "no problems mate. Runs great!"
Now I'm thinking of ordering an '04 exactly the way I want and putting my Bimmer back on the market in late September. The moral of this story - GET THE MINI! You won't regret it. Just my humble opinion. Motor On...
2004 Chilli Red MCS/ White. Cordoba Leather Interior. Sport, premium, cold package, driving lights, & stripes. visit us at USBLUESTATES.COM
I'm pleased to see your biggest problem is the colour choice now. I bought my Chili red Cooper S back in January so I've had plenty of time to calm down after the initial excitement. I'm an old fart and I've owned all sorts of pretty nice cars in my day (including an E-type Jag and a BMW M6). More than a few of my previous cars could blow the doors off my Cooper S ... but not one of them was as much fun to drive... and all cost at least twice as much! I'd get another Mini Cooper in a heartbeat!!! As for your waiting for delivery, while I feel your pain, trust me.. it'll be worth it.
If the MCS you tested has DSC, make sure to turn it off... with DSC off, I can take off in 1st gear plenty fast. If I needed faster than that just to get into traffic, then something's wrong. Even when DSC is off and I slowly let out the clutch, the lag/hic-up is only annoying, not impeding my merging with traffic.
... my 2 cents.
2003 Dark Silver / Black Cooper S Black Leatherette, Anthracite Trim, Premium / Sport / Cold Packages, HK Stereo, Auto Wipers / Mirror Visit My MINI Site
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