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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right Gents/Ladies,
Need some advice. My wife and I are in the market for a new vehicle. We have narrowed the choices to a few completely unrelated vehicles, they are: VW Touareg V6, Mini Cooper S, pre-owned '01/'02 M3 & Subaru Legacy GT Wagon. All vehicles have been test driven. I have been temporarily working in Kabul, while here I have had time to really analyze the choices above. I can say that the Legacy is out, the lack of Nav & Xenons for a $45K Cdn asking price is absurd. That leaves me with three really nice vehicles to choose from. Out of them, the M3 is the least practical for insurance reasons alone. Cooper S or Touareg? They each have their + and -. I really like the interior materials and overall luxurious feel in the T-reg along with a simple understated exterior. The S is also great for other reasons, most notably MINI2. The board is out of this world compared to what is out there for other vehicles. This alone is worth the price of ownership. So, why am I posting? I would like your collective, professional and unbiassed ;) opinions. Particularly if you have past/current T-reg or M3 experience. The more I am in Kabul the more I begin to lean away from the Mini, help me refocus. Thanks in advance. I hope this doesn't fall into an O/T discussion, it is still very much Mini related. I really value your opinions
KS

And cheers to all the other nations (England, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, USA and more) that are part of ISAF here in Afghanistan. Be proud of your homelands. I am so fortunate to have the ability to make a decision like the one above, whereas some locals here need to figure out how they are going to feed their families tonight.
 

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Talk about extremes!!!

I read your post and I still can't believe the variations you have in your choice list: M3, Tuareg, and Cooper S. The M3 and Cooper S I would put into the same category as sporty fun cars, but the Tuareg is more of a utility vehicle in my opinion. My wife and I own three vehicles, a Ford F150, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and an AWESOME Cooper S with JCW add on. Out of the three the Grand Cherokee is the most practical because of it's ability to hold people and cargo, the F150 is a close second but it's not as nice, the S on the other hand is not too practical (I know people will disagree, but it's my opinion) and it's just our FUN car. Now by saying it's not too practical it doesn't mean I don't enjoy the Mini, because given the choice I'd drive nothing but the MINI, but there are occasions where I can't use it because of one reason or another.

Having said all that for your situation your car depends on your circumstances. If you already have a utilitarian car then PLEASE get the Cooper S, but if you don't have a vehicle which can fit more than four adults or can carry a big load of junk from the home depot then I'd get the Tuareg. But based purely on enjoyment there is no comparing a SUV with a car like the MINI. The MINI has everything one wants when they drive a sports car, speed, acceleration, style, quality, and a great community :)

Good luck with everything over there in Kabul. Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I guess I should add that this will be a second vehicle. We currently own a '99 SVT Contour. It offers four doors and some decent performance.
 

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I can't offer any opinion on the merits of the other cars on your list but I can say that you owe it to yourself to experience the pleasure of owning an MCS and after being in Kabul you deserve the fun of driving one. Forget practicality; treat yourself. :D
 

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Best Personal Regards
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The Cooper S is AWESOME, as a THIRD vehicle. You will like it SOOOOO much, you will not be able to a) stop spending $ (Canadian even!) and b) working on it. Ergo, it will not be available a whole lot. Plus it can't really tow the trailer you will need once you decide that a roll bar, slicktires and a heim joint suspension are "must haves" for your MINI track days.......get the T-reg.....life ain't worth living w/out a proper SUV......... :)

Hey and I thought I was brave living in Paris.....my hat is off to you mon ami!! Helping others help themselves HAS to be awesome.
 

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Track addict
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If you need to carry 4 adults in comfort and style, do what the wife and I did -

Buy two Cooper S's!
 

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Do what he did!

Tony*t3 said:
If you need to carry 4 adults in comfort and style, do what the wife and I did -

Buy two Cooper S's!
I won't saying any bad about the SVT Contour but if I were you that would be my trade in on the Cooper S. It's way more fun than a SVT Contour (A former coworker of mine owns one).
 

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Are you going to be using the car in Afghanistan? Kabul only or out in the country also? I have an image in my head of Afghan country lanes: more pot-hole than road. But I could be wrong. Anyway (irony alert!), I'd say a MINI is at its best on paved roads.

Do they drive on the left or the right in Af-stan? I think it's left in Pakistan, right in Iran, and right down the middle in Kreplakhistan.
 

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Between the M3, MINI, and Touareg, I'd get the M3 hands down. Between the MINI and the Touareg, I'd get the MINI hands down. If I didn't have a choice and had to get the Touareg, I'd still get the MINI!(If that makes any sense!) ;) Go for the MINI, you'll be surprised at how much it can haul.
 

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MotorCityMadman
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Depends exactly what you are looking for and what you can afford. The M3 is the best experience overall of the bunch, but insurance (esp. in Canada) and out-of-pocket maintenance is flat-out depressing. The Legacy is the more luxurious of the bunch, with a nice engine and interior refinement. The MINI, of course, is hell-bent on the twisties, has a great community, and forms a unique driving experience. The Touraeg, well, blah for me. Not really a driver's car per say, more luxury. So, only you can decide, but first you have to figure out for sure what you are aiming for.
 

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First off, thanks for being in Afghanistan. Whatever you're doing there, I'm sure it's for the good--of everyone.

Secondly, I have to say that if you just want pure driving enjoyment and a unique experience--everyday--just get the MCS. It's a hoot.

I've been driving since I was about 6 years old, and I've had BMWs, serious 4wds (NOT an SUV--a 4WD!), pick-ups, motocycles, a tricked out Honda Civic, a Ford Fiesta, mini vans, Volvos, Peugeorts, a 67 MGB, Chevys, a bunch of Fords, and a short dalliance with a Fiat. I've driven Jeeps and Hummers and GTIs and Porsche 911s and Corvettes.

The M3 is a near perfect car, but it lacks panache.

Everyday I get into my MCS to drive to work, and I enjoy my 20+ mile commute more than any other driving experience ever (well, screaming across the desert in a 911 with road blur on either side out to the horizon was pretty cool, as was the straightaway at Laguna Seca on my KZ550GPZ.. And going airborne in a lift-kit Mitsubishi Pajero in the outback is always a blast. But those were exceptions).

I actually look forward to going to work, because I know I'll have a fun interesting drive in my MCS on the way there.

Get an MCS and just drive it.
 

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MotorCityMadman
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justbob said:
The M3 is a near perfect car, but it lacks panache.
What, do you drive a Rolls then, eh?! Hahahaha... :p
 

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You could get the Cooper S and then a used beater truck for the "heavy lifting".
A few year-old Suburban or Tahoe would have more space than the Toureg, and the interior quality wouldn't matter much if you didn't drive it often (nor would the mileage).
Maintenance would be simple and inexpensive on a car that is far more common than the big VW.

Even better, you could buy the pair for less than the Toureg alone (and maybe use the balance for a JCW kit...)

-Eric
 

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Hej
All these folks here who can tell you something about a mini, but almost no experience with the m3 or the touareg.
We owned a m3 for 4 years, and our neighbor owns a 3.2 v6 touareg.
I think I'm the only one on this forum without any Mini experience yet, but I'm to receive my One somewhere in February.
Anyway, a few basic things:
- The m3 is a drivers-car. it'll wear you out. My dad drove his for 4 years everyday to work. The attention compared to other vehicles needed to safely drive an m3 is high. This means a safety risk. The car is incredibly quick, actually too quick for all day use (my dads experience). A little example: You want to cross a road. You look to the left-right, see something coming but you can easily make it. You accelerate but the car reacts in such a aggressive way that you end up the wrong way around on the middle of the road. The car who was so far away in first has to slam his brakes not to slam right into you.....
This "event" was the reason my dad sold the m3 for a jag xk8, a much more easy-to-drive car. This story might just give you a little idea of what a m3 is like :rolleyes:

The touareg: we borrowed it from our neighbor to transport some stuff around. One word: superb car! It's easy to drive, comfortable, looks really good and did I mentioned comfortable yet? it isn't the fastest one... but it has no reason to be so.

Unless you like driving very very much, I would cross the m3 from my list, and play head or tales (?) on the mini and touareg. I believe they are both the best in their class (SUV / mini gti-thinghy).

Good luck.

(I apologize for my not-to-well English, but I hope the story helps to make up your mind...)
 

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Blue_aerox said:
Hej
All these folks here who can tell you something about a mini, but almost no experience with the m3 or the touareg.
We owned a m3 for 4 years, and our neighbor owns a 3.2 v6 touareg.
I think I'm the only one on this forum without any Mini experience yet, but I'm to receive my One somewhere in February.
Anyway, a few basic things:
- The m3 is a drivers-car. it'll wear you out. My dad drove his for 4 years everyday to work. The attention compared to other vehicles needed to safely drive an m3 is high. This means a safety risk. The car is incredibly quick, actually too quick for all day use (my dads experience). A little example: You want to cross a road. You look to the left-right, see something coming but you can easily make it. You accelerate but the car reacts in such a aggressive way that you end up the wrong way around on the middle of the road. The car who was so far away in first has to slam his brakes not to slam right into you.....
This "event" was the reason my dad sold the m3 for a jag xk8, a much more easy-to-drive car. This story might just give you a little idea of what a m3 is like :rolleyes:

The touareg: we borrowed it from our neighbor to transport some stuff around. One word: superb car! It's easy to drive, comfortable, looks really good and did I mentioned comfortable yet? it isn't the fastest one... but it has no reason to be so.

Unless you like driving very very much, I would cross the m3 from my list, and play head or tales (?) on the mini and touareg. I believe they are both the best in their class (SUV / mini gti-thinghy).

Good luck.

(I apologize for my not-to-well English, but I hope the story helps to make up your mind...)
Thanks for the update--I've driven the M3, I'd like to own one, but I've never driven one every day, I suspect it may be difficult. I also think that it's a bit much--why not just go for a Porsche 911?

I"ve never driven a touareg, so I appreciate your comments.

The MINI is unique--that's what gives it "bling". Enjoy yours.

And, by the way, your English is excellent. Thanks.
 

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justbob said:
why not just go for a Porsche 911?

And, by the way, your English is excellent. Thanks.

Well, Porsches are very basic cars. If you order for instance a new 911, you want the carrera 4 because you cant drive a standard 911 (thats what most people think... :rolleyes: ).
Then you want a good audio with navsystem, some colored leather seats and upholstery, a nice set off rims, xenons and maybe tiptronic.
Then the time has come to make a subtotal....
GEESH 25.000 on extras ?!?! :eek:
It's just like a Mercedes; they aren't really "nice" when they haven't got some extras on them.

On a m3, the only two options worth considering are the SMG transmission (must-have!!) and the navigation system.

But I actually already mentioned the big difference between a m3 and a Porsche 911 carrera 4 when you want it to be a car which can be driven 365 days a year..... rwd VS 4wd.

- Looking for a good secondhand carrera 4(s) may be wiser than considering a m3.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for your compliment Bob! :)
 

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justbob said:
Everyday I get into my MCS to drive to work, and I enjoy my 20+ mile commute more than any other driving experience ever.

I actually look forward to going to work, because I know I'll have a fun interesting drive in my MCS on the way there.
I think the above quote justbob made earlier is exactly wot every mini owner can relate to, the fact that you look forward to driving it al the time. 1 year on after i bought mine an i still cant wait to drive it! Its strange cos drivin used to really bore me before my mini, now its much more fun, its whole experience that does it, the attention you get and the driveability of the car!

Go for the Mini!!! :)
 
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