Just wanted to introduce myself. I live in the Bay Area (SF, CA) and picked up an 04 Mini Cooper with 117,000 miles already on it. I am a high mileage commuter (got it last Weds, already put 600 miles on it).
My Honda Civic Hybrid was totalled with flood damage in December, so I was able to use the insurance check to purchase a Mini. Wow, what a difference it makes to be actually happy to drive a car! The brakes, the suspension... wow. Couldn't be happier.
Well.. I could. The power steering is failing, as I learned from searching this site. Good info guys. At 117,000 miles, I expect some expensive repairs down the line. In the mean time... new struts are planned, as well as power steering service.
Even with failed power steering, strong arming this beast beats my hybrid any day. Ha!
Only pic I have of it so far is me holding the keys sitting in it.. I'll be detailing it tomorrow so I'll try to remember to post a pic
Thanks for all the info I've been reading!