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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 03:39 AM
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GTI vs Cooper S True Cost to Own?

Hello all! I'm new here trying to find some intel on how the service for a Cooper S compares with that of a GTI. I am familiar with VAG products, that's all my family owns, but know nothing about Mini's other than they're knock off BMW's imho. With that being said, I am considering an 09 Cooper S and 09 GTI's for my next car. If there is anyone here that has experience with both cars, please chime in on how the two compare when it comes to cost of ownership.

I did myself due diligence and stopped by the local dealer, drove a Cooper S, and spoke with the service advisor. She informed me that the cars are for the most part ok, most issues are related to not keeping enough oil in system. She also said that brakes and tires would also be expensive but other than that, no massive bills in the hundreds of dollars every single visit.

I understand that as Euro cars, they'll never be as cheap to maintain as a Honda or Chevy but amongst each other and perhaps comparative vehicles, how does the Cooper S stack up? Lastly, if anyone has any info they want to share as far as what to look for in a used 09 Cooper S, (other than this "rumored" death rattle), please also chime in. The more education I can get, the better decision I can make.
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Old Jul 21st, 2014, 05:10 PM
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I've had my 05 MINI Cooper S since brand new. Other than for tires, For the most part, the car has been dealer serviced.

I have not owned a VW before, though I have many friends and relatives who have.

The cost of ownership will likely have a lot to do with your relationship with whomever services your car. I don't feel my MINI has been any more or less reliable than any other car I have had. For specific MINI parts, the dealership gives me a discount on parts and labor which brings the cost down pretty close to aftermarket prices. The dealers in my area do that and my impression is they can also lower the cost of maintenance and servicing of your MINI because they can do the job faster also.

Running my MINI has certainly been less expensive than a particular GM vehicle I used to have.

I have heard some horror stories of how expensive servicing a VW can be, but I have also heard a few good stories also. I would say the cost of servicing a Golf GTI would be comparable with a MINI Cooper S. My MINI has been fairly reliable. I know of a few that have not. The same with some people who take reasonable care of their VWs. Some have been rock solid, others, somewhat unreliable.

Sorry...not telling you much, other than they appear comparable. My second choice, if I didn't buy the MINI would have been a Golf GTI.

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Old Jul 22nd, 2014, 07:00 AM
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Its simple, if you want car with character that is fun to drive then the Mini is for you. If you want a dull and boring car then VAG all the way.

If a Mini is a BMW knock off then a VW is an Audi knock off.
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Old Jul 24th, 2014, 04:33 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by k3fus (original)
Its simple, if you want car with character that is fun to drive then the Mini is for you. If you want a dull and boring car then VAG all the way.

If a Mini is a BMW knock off then a VW is an Audi knock off.

Lots of cars have character and are fun to drive. I'm asking about the hard and fast realities/costs of ownership. Sure, you can equate a VW being an Audi knockoff but my family has 3 other VAG products so I know what to expect from this issue. Only people I know with BMW's either sold the car immediately after warranty ran out, or had to park the car because the issues were serious. Are these typical situations for a BMW or a Mini, probably not but I just need more education about these issues.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by hkyktms (original)
Lots of cars have character and are fun to drive. I'm asking about the hard and fast realities/costs of ownership. Sure, you can equate a VW being an Audi knockoff but my family has 3 other VAG products so I know what to expect from this issue. Only people I know with BMW's either sold the car immediately after warranty ran out, or had to park the car because the issues were serious. Are these typical situations for a BMW or a Mini, probably not but I just need more education about these issues.

I've had my MINI since brand new. So that's coming up to 10 years now. I also have a BMW 5 series I never would have considered until after owning the MINI. The customer service I had from MINI was exemplary. A big eye opening after decades of owning GM, Toyota and a few Chryslers. Never going back.

I keep all my cars longterm. That is, I never get rid of a car less than 10 years old. The depreciation is the killer. If I can fix it myself, I do and save on the labor. Knowing a few things about cars, you also know things that are wear and tear and things that shouldn't break. If you spend a lot of time and money things that shouldn't break, then it's not a very good car. But cars are expensive and complex mechanical/electronic beasts. They all cost lots of money to own and maintain. Don't fool yourself into thinking that reliability means they cost less to own. I've noticed Toyotas have a great reputation for reliability. But if you look at their routine service schedule, you have to service it more. My MINI costs a bit more to service because I drive it harder into the corners, I go faster and stop harder. It's more fun that way, but it also wears on parts more. However, MINI/BMW has engineered the parts to handle it. Cast aluminum control arms instead of Stamped steel is an example. You pay more for them but they cost more to make and they work better.

In general, you gets what you pays for. The car costs more, and you probably pay a bit more to maintain and run it. But you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it. A golf GTI is a fine car. So is a MINI.

So is a Toyota Corolla. It costs less and probably a bit less expensive to maintain. But it's nowhere even close when it comes to an enjoyable driving experience.

Drive them both and pick the one you like best. Not what somebody else tells you. No regrets.

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