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Best Year to but

205 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Jason63
Hi All,

What is the most reliable year for the mini. I am looking to buy one but concerned about all the reliability issues and repair costs I have been reading about


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Generally speaking newer is a better but there is some concern about buying the 1st year of a major model refresh. However, with a used car with some miles on it the odds are good any new model 1st year issues have been resolved. Probably...

Still, the later years of a model refresh are more sorted the factory having made improvements over time.

Some years ago I looked into buying an older model of car, a German car but not a MINI. Spoke with a couple of senior techs and they were not encouraging. Both started listing all the things I'd have to have done or confirm were done to ensure the car was good to really use and not for track just pleasure driving.
@clamboat late Cooper will be the best option. Low mileage even better. Reality is the Prince engine doesn’t have a long life before it needs work doing. North of 50,000 miles and you need to plan for work. Benefit of low mileage cars is that the engine is less likely to have been run without oil and coolant. So leaving you with a good base to work from. Over 50,000 you need to be confident the previous owners have checked oil and coolant regularly. Most of the engine’s failings stem from coolant issues. Several of the coolant components fail, including pump, thermo housing and link pipe. Made worse by the absence of a temperature gauge. Too many are run without coolant causing damage to the head which surfaces at some stage. Oil control rings fail causing high oil consumption and again if not checked , run low on oil causing damage to the head. When freshed the Prince engine is a good performer , just need to do the work before the effects of high oil consumption and low coolant levels set in and damage is caused.
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What is your budget?

In broad terms I'd suggest a late Gen 1 (2005 and 2006) or a Gen 3.

If your budget is low and you are looking at a Gen 1 you need late 2004 to mid 2006 to get the Getrag gearbox rather than the weak and unreliable Midland gearbox.

A Gen 1 Mini will have issues - power steering pumps, cooling fans, bushes, oil leaks, driveshaft boots. If you can DIY the car is viable, if not you will spend a lot at a garage.

The problem with the Gen 2 Mini's is the engine - this needs work at say 50k miles and it's not DIY stuff.
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