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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently driving a 15 year old Eunos Roadster and the wonderful coastal rot worm has started going to work on the underside of my car with it needing some sort of welding to subframe/sills at each MOT. Other than that its in sperb condition. Bodywork is great, mechanically sound, goes well, great fun and convertible so never has the roof up.

My missis is pushing me to get a car that doesn't need any work at MOT time and something "more reliable" with a better safety rating. But to be honest my car isn't unreliable. Its just slowly wearing out.

Anyway, what choice is there these days? Most production cars are .....well.........poop and uninspiring. The Cooper S is about the only car I can see myself driving (other than a newer MX5) and a couple of extra seats would be pretty useful too. The main problem I have is every search I do for Cooper S or R56 brings up links to a host of problems and issues.

I thought being a BMW they'd be 100% reliable or am I being delusional? If I swap my 5 for a Cooper S can I just expect it to sound like a diesel, only drive in a straight line because the steering's bust or need gearbox rebuilds all the time? I want to keep the mazda reliability so can the Cooper S compete? £10k could do some SERIOUS work to renovate my 5, not least turn it into a porsche eating monster.

I know people always complain before praising but what are they like to live with?
 

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heavy foot = light wallet
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New cars always have niggles and yes some people have had bad experiences but with the amount of minis sold your bound to get a few.

If you like them that much then go for it, im sure you wont look back.
 

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MINI defector
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Simple, get another MX5 ;)

I owned three MINIs, got fed up with the niggles and foibles and turned to Mazda. First a RX8 and then an MX5 (NC). They were fantastic cars to own and 100% reliable. I wouldn't hestiate recommending a Mazda to anyone.
I would definately hesitate in recommending a MINI. I currently also own a R56 along with my TT and assumed after a four year break from MINI things would've improved.... unfortunately not.

Don't get me wrong the MINI is a fantastic little car which is probably the best car for smiles per pound, BUT you do need to understand there are niggles that will go with it,
One thing you might want to consider is a late model R53 MCS. They are very well built and are what the MINI is all about. The new R56 has lost something along the way in the generation change.
 

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You are number 6
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The MINI is a fantastic car to live with.:D
MINIs are very reliable but suffer from lots of minor problems but every drive is delightful.:D

As to the argument that the R56 has "lost something", well maybe it has but by the same token it has probably also "gained something". Ignore the curmudgeons who take every opportunity to criticise the R56. I have heard these very same criticisms levelled against later model MX5s by owners of the early MX5s and Eunos Roadsters. Some cannot accept that the world moves on. In fact if you look hard enough on MINI2 you will find owners of early R53s making similar comments about the later R53s complaining they had gone soft. :rolleyes:
 

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still learning
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if it's reliability your looking for you need to go with the Mazda...........no debate needed.

although the mini would probably be more practical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. Think I'll be sticking with Mazda for the time being. All I've got to do now is persuade my other half to let me spend the allocated budget on my current Roadster! Supercharger here we come :D
 

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Wanted an Audi
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My friend works at a Mazda dealer, he rang me up this moring to say that he can now offer discount to friends and the discount is now 30%, he also said another 6% could be added. So 36% off:aargh: . Bargain if you ask me. He said I could have an MX5 Roadster Coupe for about £15k;).

..... Not sure how that fits in to the thread lol

Got it!!!! Get a friend like mine and have both
 

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How can you compare a femenine roadster to the charms of the MINI. the MINI handles better in many ways compared to the roadster!
And Mazda`s suffer from issues too, especially build quality! And rot...which you wouldn`t even find on a MK1 Golf.
And when things on a Mazda go wrong your paying mega bucks. Servicing charges are compared to premium brands!

I my opinion if I wanted a "proper" Roadster I would buy a silky smooth BMW Z3 or Z4. Deffinately never would I buy and MX5..especially looking at their new model looks like a comedy sketch from a cartoon movie. Sorry, but there is no comparison the MINI is certainly a good move.

If it is a well cared for car, there will be no problems at all. The gearboxes apart from the early Diesel&One Mini`s, the so called "Midland Box" The engines are super durable, this is why many MINIs`s are up 300BHP
My point: Not every car made in Japan is bullet proof.
And good luck with spending a small fortune on a common Roadster!

A lot of Mx`5 I see on the road seem to smoke quiet a lot and smell oily...reliable? I think not so :)
Buy and enjoy the MINI. Or you could always buy a Hond Accord
lol
 

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Wanted an Audi
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How can you compare a femenine roadster to the charms of the MINI. the MINI handles better in many ways compared to the roadster!
And Mazda`s suffer from issues too, especially build quality! And rot...which you wouldn`t even find on a MK1 Golf.
And when things on a Mazda go wrong your paying mega bucks. Servicing charges are compared to premium brands!

I my opinion if I wanted a "proper" Roadster I would buy a silky smooth BMW Z3 or Z4. Deffinately never would I buy and MX5..especially looking at their new model looks like a comedy sketch from a cartoon movie. Sorry, but there is no comparison the MINI is certainly a good move.

If it is a well cared for car, there will be no problems at all. The gearboxes apart from the early Diesel&One Mini`s, the so called "Midland Box" The engines are super durable, this is why many MINIs`s are up 300BHP
My point: Not every car made in Japan is bullet proof.
And good luck with spending a small fortune on a common Roadster!

A lot of Mx`5 I see on the road seem to smoke quiet a lot and smell oily...reliable? I think not so :)
Buy and enjoy the MINI. Or you could always buy a Hond Accord
lol

All Mazda MX5 have great warranty's and a number of great reviews too. For the price its a great car, a lot less than a Z4. I dont think the OP was comparing the two to be honest. Having owned a Z3 had a few goes in a Z4 and spent quite a bit of time in an MX5 I still rate the MX5 and would have it over the 2.0 Z4.

Some might see it as femenine, but then again some of my mates say that about the MINI. Fact is that the 2.0 MX5 is a great rear wheel drive drivers car.

Also there are very few MINIs that run 300bhp
 

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Personally I love the look of the MX5 and now having a convertable hard top it's even more tempting! I would go for my MINI all the time as it's just...well...fast n funky! Ok so allot of people think it's a girls car...but then again an MX5 is haha! RX8's are just too commonplace now adays and cost a fortune to run 22mpg with oil to boot! MINI wins all round in my eyes niggles or no niggles they're still reliable motors :D
 

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MINI defector
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Comparing a MINI and MX5 is very hard.
They are two different types of car.

MINI is great straight out of the box anybody can have fun with it. Just chuck it into a corner and it'll go where you point it!
MX5 with it's perfect balance and RWD is a car that you can enjoy too, but I found the enjoyment and ultimately more rewarding experience came from the fact that you learn ALOT about how a car behaves and how to balance it. You can get a real sense of achievement finessing the MX5 around corners rather then just chucking it in and seeing it come out the other end ;)

Horses for courses I say!

I would have another MX5 no question :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was going to say in my original post that they're both birds cars so that bit doesn't bother me. But thought better of it. With my MX5's adjustable coilovers lowring it around 50mm over std, modified lights, side mounted number plate and growling exhaust I've managed to lose a lot of its girliness.

I know they're both completely different cars but expensive the MX5 certainly is not. My last service cost me less than £30 but I do all the work myself. There are no computers, no fancy gismo's just a steering wheel, engine, transmission and wheels. All you need and in my opinion should have on a car. Hence the reliability becomes a major issue. If it breaks now I can usually fix it cheaply. Even little niggles. But when those niggles have to go to a main stealer or even a local garage at the best part of £50 an hour on labour these days it gets pretty pricey.

I hate the MK2 and the MK3 looks like tractor in std guise but with a little work on the springs it can be made to look a little more sensible.

My current car is such a fun car to drive and unless it's p'ing down I never have the roof up and it's so easy and cheap to fix/modify it becomes difficult to find something that can replace it.

Decided to keep her for the time being but a mini in the future hasn't been totally eliminated. It'll probably come down to a Mk3 MX5 or a Cooper S and the Cooper S will win out because I can transport my other half and the brat's, sorry children, she's planning on having next year. As the Borg say..........Resistance is Futile :D and a Cooper S isn't really a bad compromise.
 

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Having been driving my sisters MX5 the last 2 weeks I was very glad to get back in my MCS this morning... If it were me making the choice between an MX5 or a MCS the mini would win hands down.

Rear wheel drive handling is alot of fun and would be a major tempting factor though! :) I would miss the power/torque/sound of the MCS too much so would get a MCS... I was surprised by how uncomfortable/loud the mazda was and I have 30-40mm springs on my car - the mazda was alot worse! 3.5k rpm at 70 got very tiresome (not alot higher than the S but the extra volume was significant- perhaps a little unfair as the mazda isnt for cruising a dual carriageway) - fuel consumption was worse than my MCS too..
 

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MINI defector
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I was surprised by how uncomfortable/loud the mazda was and I have 30-40mm springs on my car - the mazda was alot worse! 3.5k rpm at 70 got very tiresome (not alot higher than the S but the extra volume was significant- perhaps a little unfair as the mazda isnt for cruising a dual carriageway) - fuel consumption was worse than my MCS too..
I'm very surprised you found the MX5 uncomfortable :confused:
It has a much more pliant ride then the MCS because it's near perfect weight balance, therefore the suspension doesn't need to work so hard to deliver the handling. Result is the springs and dampers can be set for a more forgiving ride.
I had lowered eibachs on my MX5 and compared to my MINI which is on std suspension not even sport the MX5 always feels more planted. The MINI is too jittery and easily throw around as the suspension set up is too hard (not an uncommon BMW trait though)
The motorway part I can understand though, it's a rag top after all.
Exhaust note is nice on the MX5 though :cool:
 

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JCW 250
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I'm very surprised you found the MX5 uncomfortable :confused:
It has a much more pliant ride then the MCS because it's near perfect weight balance, therefore the suspension doesn't need to work so hard to deliver the handling. Result is the springs and dampers can be set for a more forgiving ride.
I had lowered eibachs on my MX5 and compared to my MINI which is on std suspension not even sport the MX5 always feels more planted. The MINI is too jittery and easily throw around as the suspension set up is too hard (not an uncommon BMW trait though)
The motorway part I can understand though, it's a rag top after all.
Exhaust note is nice on the MX5 though :cool:
Dont get me wrong the handling was alot of fun but it was just more jittery than my MINI - realy surprised by it TBH. Alot of fun round the bends and when having fun in general but when just relaxed cruising it was alot harsher than I was expecting and made me glad to get back in my mini - perhaps her suspension is shot!! :)

Re the exhaust note: true :) low revs it is more meaty than the mini but as you rise up the revs it sounds a bit more thrashed - sounds like it doesnt like being at 4.5k rpm....
 

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ITS RAINNIN' SIDEWAYS
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been reading this with interest having swapped my second cooper for a new mx5 2.0 sport with the electric hard top just over a year ago. initially i thought the 5 was more torquey but not as chuckable as the coopers but once i got it lowered onto the eibach springs it became everything it should have been & an easy match for the mini's handling.

it's interesting reading various forums that there seems to be a lot of people moving both ways between minis & mx5's & i think it's a compliment to the mini's handling that it is so closely matched to such a well balanced & focussed car as the 5
 

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I had a MX5 From new in 1996 to 2001 when got first mini

Was without doubt the most relibale car ive ever owned Nothing and i mean nothing at all went wrong with it Simply brilliant . Gearchange second to none

Kids now so Mx5 not an option for me afraid as need 2nd car to carry them too- They love the mini!

If i could justify a 3rd car it would be on my driveway -

But being without a mini now im on my 4th - simply not an option for me - its part of my DNA

Gen1 cooper on 15 inch wheels 2001-2004
Gen1 facelift on 16 inch wheels 2004-2007
BMW 645ci 2007may -2008April (Sorry dont know what i was thinking about)
Gen2 Cooper S with stage 1 JCW kit 2008April 2008 October
Gen2 Factory works April 2008 - current loving it
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well the plot thickens again. After seeing what my insurance premium will be on the 5 this year my Financial Controller has decide that maybe we should be looking at changing for a newer car and she really likes the mini. Especially as its cheaper to insure a supercharged 53plate than it is to insure my 1.8 very slightly modified 15 year old MX5.

I think its more that she's always wanted a mini and as its my turn to replace my car (she changed hers last year) as soon as I said mini she jumped on the choice. We're off to test some on Saturday.
 

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Well the plot thickens again. After seeing what my insurance premium will be on the 5 this year my Financial Controller has decide that maybe we should be looking at changing for a newer car and she really likes the mini. Especially as its cheaper to insure a supercharged 53plate than it is to insure my 1.8 very slightly modified 15 year old MX5.

I think its more that she's always wanted a mini and as its my turn to replace my car (she changed hers last year) as soon as I said mini she jumped on the choice. We're off to test some on Saturday.

:puzzled: Why didn't she get a mini when she changed cars last year ?

I don't think you'll regret getting one but, can't compare to MX5 as I've never driven one !

Good luck with your test drive :wink:
 
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