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Discussion Starter #1
Well here I sit for the third time, considering buying a Mini. I almost pulled the trigger twice before (since they first came out), but couldn't quite do it. I have been driving an E90 BMW 330i sedan for the last 3 years, and an E46 330ci coupe before that. My current lease is up in October, and I am an inch away from placing my order for a new MCS.

I test drove one this weekend and was pretty impressed, they have changed quite a bit since I last drove one. My question is this, do any of you come from a 3 Series BMW, and if so, what are your thoughts as far as a comparison? I am more concerned about road noise and the lack of a decent head unit (stereo) more than anything else, my current 3 Series is so nice as far as cabin amenities are concerned that I don't know if I could adjust to the mini.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Mini is a cheap ride, but compared to the BMW there is a noticeable difference. I think the handling is great, and everything else about the Mini is right up my alley. But I commute about 25 miles each way, 4 days a week and I don't know if I will regret the decision once I put in some commute miles.

Any thoughts/advise?

Thanks!
 

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Not quite the same, but we run a 5-series alongside our Mini.

And they're chalk and cheese. We have the 5 for trips away, but the Mini is the default choice for driving pretty much anywhere else. Not sure I'd like it as an only car as we don't (read can't) travel light. My wife seems incapable of not packing the biggest bags we own whenever we go away.

We did come from an A4 and a TT and while I'd happily drive the length of the country in the TT, it was noisy and boomy compared to the A4.

I'd say it probably depends on the type of driving you're likely to do.
 

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Rocking the F57
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Interesting dilemma :p

I previously had a MINI Cooper Cabrio (hence my user name :p) and last year decided to go for a comfortable car due to the high miles I do - plumped for a Merc CLK320 Coupe :eek:

Well that lasted for five months before I was back in a MINI dealership signing for a Cooper S Checkmate :p
 

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Addicted to Speed!!
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I went the other way. I had (BMW) MINI's since they came out, ended up with a JCW S (supercharged).

Love them. Still do, but I was never a fan of the 2nd gen model. Thought it time for a change this year so I bought a BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe. Love it. No thoughts of going back to a MINI so far. I do miss my old JCW though. Should have kept it for the missus to drive on second thoughts!
The MINI has a "big car" feel to driving to be honest.
I remember having a 3 Series as a courtesy car when my MINI was being serviced once. It was a standard car, so nothing special. I was impressed by the comfort, and it was a good car, but found it boring compared to my MINI.
The Z4 has a sort of MINI feel going on without the rattles! ;) And I'm loving rear wheel drive again after all these years! :)
 

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i thought about getting the 3.5 diesel 3 series fantastic performance and good mpg but every time i drive my GP i just cant part with it even the wife tells me to keep it...:biggrin:
 

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wouldnt ever sell the cooper, but i would dearly love an E46 M3 CSL or the new E92 M3 as the other car, RWD with a V8 = joy

Z4M Roadster with a gruppe m carbon ram filter does sound amazing too
 

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**** You Mr Darling
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I did almost what your suggesting went from a bmw e46 330ci msport to a r53 mcs

but really its a big decision mine was mostly money based due to the cost of fuel and the way my bmw drank it, i loved my bmw and was go back to one in a second if they were just that bit cheaper to run

the bmw is a big rear wheel drive bruiser lots of low down power very smooth and a amazing drive

the mini is a thing of fun you can chuck it about and it drives like a go kart and there is less guilt a rear tyre on my bmw 255 quid a tyre for my mini 90 sure the mini rattles and has no boot space and the quality isnt as high as the bmw but the bmw is soo much more expensive and isnt as chuckable as the mini

hope this helps

any other questions feel free
 

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Had a 330Ci before the Cooper D.

Decision to change was based on my mileage being 20-25k a year now.
If you dont need to i'd say stay in a BMW. You'll miss RWD
 

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JCW time
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I have always had a foot in both camps. Started with a 325ci and a Cooper.....E46 M3 and a JCW...Currently a 320d and an R56 JCW. Although the 320d is about to be replaced by a 1 series coupe....

Funny thing is I never miss the BM's when I am not driving them (even the M3) but always get withdrawal symptoms afte a few days with out the MINI...:eek:
 

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Lease a mini?

I was wondering if it'd make more sense to lease a mini rather than buy. I've talked to a bunch of BMW dealers, out here in Orange County, CA. I'm new to the whole leasing thing (my favorite two previous cars were Passats, purchased out right). I did start to talk to a local leasing company The Lease Outlet. I was thinking that if BMW comes out with a Hybrid in the next few years (a mini hybrid would be absolutely perfect, of course) then I'll get out of the non-hybrid mini lease and then buy, or maybe lease, a new BMW hybrid.
 

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Went from an E36 M3 to a Cooper S. I don't miss the BM's greater refinement or the fact it was roomier. My passangers miss the ride quality of the BM and I miss the engine, probably the best I have ever driven. Fuel consumption has not changed much :( . I like the easier to park Mini and I like the way you can always personalise and modify the Mini to a much greater extent and in a far cheaper way than the M3. I have an R53 and found it easier to build a great sounding hi-fi system, the R56 is a pain apparently. Finally and not least of all I like this forum :) .
 

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I had an E46 323Ci. He was lovely but I'd get about 28mpg if I was lucky and it always felt heavy. I have a new Cooper now and don't feel like it's a compromise. I'm head over heels with my MINI, and have specced it up so in terms of luxuries it does everything that my BMW did.

It doesn't set off as fast as quickly and but that was part of the compromise for fuel efficiency - the MCS wouldn't have the same problem obviously. I get 41mpg these days and still whizz about pretty much like I ever did. I like the fact that you still get the firmness in the steering that you get from a BMW.

When I picked my MINI up it was like trying to control something that didn't want to be controlled. I love it to bits, it's part of the family!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the input, I have been out of town for a while. I ended up placing my order for an MCS!

I'm happy with the decision, we still have the mini van if we need room on a longer drive, and I really wanted something different to drive. It sounds like I will have no regrets. I do appreciate the lower cost to drive and maintain a Mini, my last purchase of run flats for the BMW ran almost $500 each :eek:

Once again, thanks for the input, it does make me feel better about my decision. Now, the wait...
 

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I went from a r56 cooper to an e46 325ci, I do miss the mini's handling and economy but the bm feels more grown up and love the performance and sound the 6 cylinder makes.
 

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I'm going the other way. I was a GM lifer until recently. When my previous commuter car started having problems, I bought a MINI as my entry into the BMW family. The MINI is a daily high use commuter car and has been a very reliable car. In servicing, I like how the dealerships treat their customers. It was a big eye opener compared to our experience with GM, Chrysler, and Toyotas (previous cars we've owned). Our family car is now nearing end of life and my wife wants a 5 series.
 

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As a new Mini owner (nearly) this is my first post so I hope I get this right!

Interesting thread as I've just ordered a Clubman D, trading in my BMW 320D which I know I'll miss. But I took early retirement a few months ago and the BMW isn't getting used as much as it used to. I've always enjoyed driving smaller cars and had the old Mini van for work many, many years ago. So I thought if I am going to change from the BMW - go for the Mini. As said I know I'll miss the BMW especially on long drives (not to mention rear wheel drive) but the Mini seems probably more enjoyable just "nipping about town" etc.

My wife currently drives a small car but is due to change it next year and we have the option of getting something a bit bigger as her car if we find 2 small cars aren't enough.

Seem to read mixed reviews about the diesel but after the BMW (being my first diesel) I'm a convert - I like the relaxed mid-range grunt. On the test drive the Mini obviously wasn't as quick but it wasn't bad either and seemed reasonably quiet. Time will tell if I've made the right decision!!!
 
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