As much as I love my MINI I'm not sure I'd buy one if I was that far away from a dealer. It's not so much the warranty issue, but over the years the car has had some quirky issues that really required the familiarity of dealership service department.
Thanks for your input Sejanus. I know. It's a tough call. Good point that some issues are best dealt with by the dealership. I'm also trying to give thought to after my MINI is 4+ years old.
I don't mind the long drive (I say that now) and my schedule is flexible. I'm just worried about the unexpected problem that requires me to get to the dealer ASAP. If the car had to be kept overnight I'd be waiting things out in a hotel somewhere. No sense using a loaner car in a situation like that.
This is depressing. I find most every car on the road BORING but the MINI makes me smile.
I wouldn't worry about the drive to the dealer for unexpected issues, they can happen anywhere. I've been broken down before in the middle of nowhere Maine and had to wait for 3 hours for a tow and a 5 hour drive to the nearest foreign car service center (not even a dealer). I only live 30 minutes from my local dealer but that didn't really help me...
Everyone should own a mini at least once, make sure your dealer has enough courtesy MINI's just in case it does end up in the shop for a couple of days a year so that you can keep MINI-ing. That said the build quality on the current car should be near its highest as it is near end of life, so the early model issues that you tend to see should be ironed our. My convertible was the best in this respect. The saloon the worst and the early Clubman somewhere in between. Nonetheless the sheer driving pleasure should out weigh the outside chance your car gives you any ongoing trouble.
I shall call him..."MINI-Me"! Silver/Black MC 2002-2006 - "MINI Me Too" Chilli Red MCS auto 2006-2008 - MINI Me III Mini Dooper Clubman auto 2008-2012 RIP .......2012 The abominable Skoda Yeti!
Lord knows I don't want to discourage anyone from buying a MINI, but while breakdowns can happen anywhere (I had a major failure over 150 miles from home once) they are far more likely to happen where you drive the most - near where you live.
One minor story about living close to a dealer and I'll let it go. I have an '02 MINI and the mechanism for adjusting the seatback on the early MINIs is a bit odd and can be tempermental. One day I was having the car washed professionally and they somehow screwed the seat up so that it was fully reclined (almost flat) and nothing they or I could do could get it to lock into an upright position. I drove to a foreign car repair place a few blocks away (sitting straight up with no back support), but it completely stumped them as well. So I drove to my local dealer (maybe 10 miles away) and they fixed it in literally 30 seconds for no charge. Apparently it was a common MINI problem and the dealership mechanics obviously knew exactly what to do. I can't even imagine what it would have been like for my back to have to driven 3.5 hours without being able to lean back at all (not to mention the safety issue) for a fix that could be done in less than a minute. MINIs still aren't that common and giiven some of their unique features and design aspects it is really helpful to live close to the specialized mechanics of a dealership.
Thanks for your insight and for taking the time to post Sejanus - I appreciate it.
I find myself wanting to follow the MINIs I see on the road, stop them and ask how they deal with with the maintence thing up here in Maine. On average, I see 1 MINI every two days. I haven't caught one yet though .
So... I'll continue to consider.
Any other folks far away from your dealer care to chime in? Thanks.
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