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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. I am looking to buy my first car and have been won over by the Mini's charms! However, I have a choice to make with my budget of £3000 and would appreciate any opinions and input.

I am looking for a petrol, manual Cooper. My budget places me at a late ('06) R50 or an early ('07) non-S R56. I have done a fair bit of reading and have conflicting views. For instance, I have heard that late R50s have had most mechanical issues ironed out, whereas early R56s have the early Prince engine which is plagued by issues including the timing chain tensioner. Whereas, second generation cars offer a more modern interior and have a lot of small improvements to the engine/drivetrain etc. I'm less concerned about exterior changes between gen1 and gen2, as I think both are very nice.

I have to say that I am currently more interested in a reliable car with a comfortable interior than I am on the performance/modding side of things. I have heard that a lot of the gen2 issues can be mitigated by ensuring that the oil is kept topped up.

Of course, the bottom line is that I am likely over-thinking it and would probably enjoy both cars but I wondered whether anyone had more to add to this discussion or there is something I hadn't thought of. For instance, I have already written off the R53 and R56S - mostly due to increased insurance premium cost and also potential reliability issues.

Cheers!
Jonny
 

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I have a 2011 R56 Cooper (non S), when I bought it a year ago with about 54K miles , there was no record of the timing chain been replaced so I budgeted for that to be done straight away.
If the TC has been replaced you would want to see the receipt as proof.
Yes as you say oil level needs to be kept at max (on both gens.)
 

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We have a late r50 Cooper which has now done over 100k with only some rear suspension bushes needing replacement. Super reliable and cost around 3k when we got out with 85k on the clock.

I would get a r50 (better looking too) and put some money aside for repairs.

/R

My car pics on Instagram: the_porsche_rich
 
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