Are the prices on a used Mini good enough to justify going used? Where can I find the model year changes from 2002-2003-2004-2005? CarMax has some, but they dont have very detailed pictures or specifications.
Considering the great resale value of the car, I say get it new. You can always sell it in a year or so and make back most of the money you spent. I believe many members on here do that to upgrade to a newer MC or MCS.
I am in the boat that likes to get things new. It'll be hard the day I have to buy a car used
I bought mine used from a guy in Texas. It was only $19000 for a 03 MCS. It has air intake, reduced pulley, stiffer back suspension, and 4 (yes 4!) ralley lights on the front. You really have to do you homework and look around. There are tons of great deals floating around. I found mine on cars.com. That site is pretty good.
I'm leaning towards an MCS '03 with 20K miles. I can get navigation, aero-kit, all 3 packages and leather for under $24K and still have a year of warranty left. Now I could spec a new one w/ the features I really must have and it would be a mere $3K more.
If I had the money for a new one and didn't mind the wait (a Jan-build with the new options), it's not bad to go new since these cars do hold their value very well and the '05s have some very nice changes.
That said, I recently purchased a used '03 MCS that had all the options I wanted (3 packages, nav), in the color combo I wanted, with 9k miles on the lock and nice extras like the aux gauges, full stongard, car cover and an extra set of wheels. I saved over $6k compared to purchasing new so I whole heartedly support the used option, it's hard to argue with that chunk of change.
If buying used, be patient to wait for the exact combo you want... there are alot of Minis forsale in every configuration so make sure you get what you want at a good price!