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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I made the mistake of test driving a MCS thinking I *might* decide to get myself a brand new car rather than a used newer vehicle (most likely a Miata). Well I got hooked, and have been seriously looking into purchasing a 2005 MCS.

A search has been performed, but I have found it difficult to pull together much information that is useful, particularly as much of it is very old. I apologize if some things here should have gone elsewhere.

1) What options/packages do you recommend and which are not worth it? Particularly the sport package and the harmon kardon speaker system? I realize the sport suspension comes standard on the MCS, but I wonder about the ride quality difference between the 16" and 17" tires. Many reviews have said the sport suspension on the MCS is harsh as it is and I'm sure the 17" make it worse. I have driven the MCS with 17" and it was quite stiff, I'm not sure if I will be able to try a MCS with 16" wheels before I order. Problem is the Sport Package comes with everything else I want, and it is almost too good a price to pass on simply because I don't want the 17's and instead have to option everything individually. Opinions on the Convenience and Premium packages as well?


2) What is the MINI Select payment plan? There isn't much detail on the MINI website, but the payments are far cheaper than the traditional finance.

3) What is the current status on the reliability issues (particularly the stalling issue)?

4) Pricing. Being in Detroit, I am inclined to talk to Motor City MINI, which on this board seems to have its lovers and haters. I am most curious about the success of getting cars for under MSRP. Has it happened? Often? Was it difficult?

Any additional comments on the MINI are greatly appreciated. I am very interested in purchasing this vehicle and am trying to get a bit more info. It is either Mazdaspeed Miata or MCS. I plan to keep the car at least 4+ years and want to make the best decision. I love RWD and convertible, but MINI is just about as much fun and a bit more practical and comfy as well. A bit concerned about reliability. The miata is nearly indestructible, the MINI seems to be anywhere from less so to much less so.

I'm very torn. I can get a great deal on a 04 Mazdaspeed or pay ~ MSRP 05 MINI. Very hard decision.
 

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Some answers from one view:

1. I recommend the sport, premium and cold weather packages. I also most highly recommend the limited slip differential. Take the 17s and if in a few days or months you are sure you don't want them, buy some aftermarket 16s and sell the 17s,

2. I recommend you eMail Mini.Assistance and ask them for an explanation,

3. I have also fretted over this one. After watching this and other forums for some months I have concluded that the reliability of these cars has been improving steadily as the model line gets older. My MCS is due for delivery in Feb. '05 and I am confident that I won't have any major problems. Most likely there will be some rattles to be worked-out,

4. Don't expect a deal below MSRP. I live in So. CA and am purchasing from Julie Saxa at Classic Mini in Mentor, Ohio so I won't have to pay a $3000 premium over MSRP! There are several dealers that you can read about here at Mini2 that are highly suggested. Julie at Classic is one of them. There is another on Long Island, one in Nashville I believe and others....do a search. There are some dealers that might have a small reduction on convertibles as it is winter time...you can check on that also, although on the verts, you can't get the same suspension as on the MCS hatch,

I also debated between the Mazdaspeed Miata and the MCS. The MCS wins as it handles as well or better, has more interior space and utility, has a tilt-wheel, has cruise-control (both of these the Mazdaspeed Miata does not have), it gets better gas mileage, the crashtests in the MCS are better, it will be better in wet or snowy weather and you can get it with a huge sunroof....I am sure I have left out a few things, but this is good for now!

You will be assimilated.
 

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All 4 wheels pointed down
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Welcome to the MINI forums!

1 – I live in Arizona for one. So I recommend the Sport/Premium Package. The cold weather is not really an issue here and if I want heated seats, I leave the car out in the sun when it is parked. ;) But, because of where you live, I would also opt for it. I wanted the convenience package but was unable to get it due to my build date. The main item was the garage door opener, but for US$200 alone, a bit steep. I have the 17s on the car as we speak (approx 11 days since I took delivery) and I love it. It really depends on the person for which tire combo you get. My background consists of modifying Honda Civic HBs/CRXs for autocrossing and the dragstrip, so my idea of a rough(er) ride may be different than someone else who wants a car to just drive. Other considerations for tire size is speed over traction/handling. People will tell you that they get off the line faster with the 16s (lighter wheel, possibly smaller circumference), and with the 17s, you get a better cornering ability. For me, I am planning on continuing up the chain for more power along with getting a lighter 17” wheel, so the 16” does not appeal to me. My preference.

2 – My understanding of the MINI select program is similar to a lease payment program, but you “own” the car. The payments are setup on a specified plan, and number of months. Once that plan is up, you can trade in and up or select to finance the remainder of the balloon payment. Does this make sense?

3 – I have an ’05 MCS, while only 800 miles are on him, I have not experienced any issues to date. Not to say there won’t be any! But maybe someone with more miles on their ’05 can jump in here!

4 – With the price and MSRP, I like to look at the MINI in economic terms. Where the supply is limited and the demand is great, the price will go up! There is an inverse relationship occurring here! With that said, I have yet to hear of someone haggling down the price of a MINI. If you don’t want to pay the price at the dealership, they will find someone who can/will. Someone very quickly as that individual will not want to wait all that time for their MINI to come in! Hence, you, the purchaser, is stuck! Take it with a smile and the comfort of knowing that you will have a perma-grin from some time to come! This is the most fun vehicle I have had to date!

One of the secondary reasons I like the MINI so much is that you have some room to move if you want to “mess” with it. Whether it be JCW, Dinan or the other aftermarket companies, you have the “option” of building up some more power. If done right, without making the local dealership nervous, you can still keep your warranty. I like options and the ability to “exercise” them.

Hope this helps, and again, welcome to the Forums!
 

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Motoring At Last!
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A few comments, not necessarily in the same order:

About Julie Saxa at Classic: what he said. Julie has been great! They've got a special going on (maybe only for NAM - northamericanmotoring.com - members?) right now. If you order through them, you'll get a gift cert for $400 off in accessories. Classic also offers a 20% discount to NAM members - not sure if these can be combined.

About prices: Here in Sacramento, the dealer is asking $2500 above MSRP. MINIs are selling big in California. In other parts of the country, maybe not so. I saw a post on NAM where someone bought a convertible for $200 below MSRP. Apparently the convertibles haven't caught on the way MINI thought they would, and some dealers have "excess inventory." MINIs also hold their resale price extremely well - rated tops by somebody (prob. JC Powers, but I don't remember) in the sport compact segment. I test drove a 2003 MCS with 23k miles on it that the dealer was asking more for than the one I'm picking up at Classic next week! The only thing it had that mine won't have is leather seats and the cold weather package. (But again, this is a regional market-thing.)

About reliability: Several car mags have done long-term tests of MINIs and the results have been pretty consistent. Very reliable cars with a few minor problems fixed under warranty. Very low costs to maintain and operate. The current issue (Dec.) of Automobile has one such.

When I was test driving the 03 MCS, I told the salesman I didn't like the wheels that were on it. He shrugged and said they could swap them. You might ask your dealer if you could do something like that. Might not fly on a new special order car. Don't know.

I've driven a whole lot of sports cars in the last 38 years - MGTDs, MGAs, TR3s, Sprites (including a bug-eye), Austin Healeys, XKEs... That half hour I spent driving the MCS was the most fun I have ever had behind the wheel! I doubt that you'll regret your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the replies so far. They have been very similar to the way I've been *feeling* about the car, but I am glad to get some other opinions.

Let me ask a specific question in regards to the Premium Package. Sunroofs are nice, but IMHO not necessary. Hearing some poor words for the sunshade on the MINI with the sunroof, what is the overall opinion? Also, auto AC. Never had it before. Seems nice, but again, maybe not necessary for me. The rest of what comes with the premium I like, the steering wheel controls, cruise, and computer.

Also, on the convenience package I really don't for much other than the rain wipers. But for $400 can I go wrong? Is it possible to option ONLY rain sensing wipers?

Lastly, opinions on the center mount speedo. I've driven cars with them (Saturn and Toyota Echo) and found them VERY awkard. But I've heard maybe this is simply because I'm not used to it. Because of my experience, I'm leaning towards the chrono pack, not because I really want the pack, but because I want the speedo mounted next to the tach. It is what I know I like and also adds some balance to that area, as the lone tach gauge is a bit awkard all alone too. Is the chrono worth $300, especially considering I'd already have the onboard computer from the premium package?

EDIT: Leatherette or cloth? I'm not a leather slut, one who likes leather just because I'm supposed to like it because its supposed to be luxurious. I want the most comfortable seat with the best grip. I don't want cloth that is cheap and I don't want leatherette that is cheap.

Thanks again. I am going to go up to talk to the dealership again tonight, maybe even talk financing a bit. I'm quite excited.
 

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The sunshade question does come up often! It was “interesting” for me in that Hondas come with a solid piece to block out the sun. You open or close it! Kind of like eliminating the sunroof all together, if you will. So for me, this sunshade is not ideal, but it is what it is. I have heard word that MINI was going to come out with some sort of actual piece to “block” the light but I have not heard of it since, and that was a little while ago. If they do, I can only hope that it can be fit in earlier produced ‘05s.

The interesting thing that I heard about the rain sensing wipers is when the windshield needs to be replaced from rock chips/cracks. I believe I heard/read somewhere that if you have this option, no one but MINI can replace the windshield for fear of losing your warranty on this option! Pretty stiff! I also heard that this costs $1300! The windshield. So, with that said, I can’t locate where I saw this, but for you, I say do your research on this option so you know what you are getting into. Cannot imagine your insurance company being excited about paying for a new windshield at that price, or you making up the difference after they cut you a check for a ‘standard’ windshield. If you find out, let me know! Maybe someone can help that has experience, whether it be to confirm or kill this theory.

As far as the speedo in the center, I leave the digital speed on my tach front and center while driving. If this is an issue for you, consider including the chrono gauge pack. This may ease your concern. I initially spec'd it, but I ordered the MINI before the part numbers came out for the '05 MY, hence, I did not get it! :(

I am with you on the leather! I opted for the cloth (grey/black) and like it very much so! I don’t believe it feels cheap but then again, this is a subjective opinion. I would go to the dealership and sit in every MINI possible. Or, look in the paper and go for a “test drive” depending on the interior!
 

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I didn't want the extra 60+ pounds from the sunroof, so I ordered the MFSW, auto A/C and OBC ala-carte. The MFSW is a must because it has radio and cruise controls. With the auto A/C you just set the temp you want and forget about it ... nice but I'm sure the manual A/C would suffice. My OBC is 10-15% over-optimistic on MPG estimation and I don't trust the RANGE function ... wish I hadn't ordered it :(

Leather costs $1350 ... money which would be better spent on performance mods. The Leatherette looks really nice as does Space Cloth.

The Chrono Gauge Pack :rolleyes: The center speedo is part of the charm of a MINI ... you'll get used to it ;)
 

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To date, re-sale value of the MINI has been stellar. However, an all new re-designed model will be launched for '07 MY (slightly bigger, new turbocharged engine for MCS, possibility of AWD etc.). Unless this new model is poorly received by the general public, the re-sale value on the current one will probably take a hit; just something to factor in to your deliberations.
 

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On the miata versus Mini, I work with someone who owns a 04 miata and i've driven it a few times and ridden around in it even more, compared to the Mini, the motor is very noisy, I had to shift before 4k rpm, just based on the motor sounding like it will blow, road noise is much louder and the gear ratio seems poor compared to the mini. The stock mini motor revs to red-line without sounding like it is going to blow up, my only problem with the gearing is 1st gear which seems much too tall (but that was fixed in 05 and i've got an 03) and I've accidently driven 90 because the ride, while not smooth, never gets harsher.

Regarding the tire size, I haven't worn my original run-flats out, but when I do, I plan on getting standard ZR tires, they run much smoother from what i've read on here. Sure I have to worry about flats, but I've got AAA and a cell-phone. You might be able to take the car right to a tire store and get a good swap out price for the run-flats and drive away with a good high proformance tire. I'd recommend 215/45/17's, as you get a little more meat between the curb and the rim (mine are already scratched up from curbs... grrr). My understanding is smaller rim is better, mostly because you gain more side wall with an equal circumfrance tire. From what the salesperson said, hitting a pot hole with an 18 inch tire is like someone hitting you in the face.

I think the sport package is worth it, simply for the headlights, wow they light the road up. My wife loves the sunroof from the premium package, and i've never had problems with the sun in So. Cal. The auto AC is nice but take it or leave it.

Reliabilty wise, i've got an 03 and only problems i've had with it is the drivers side door window motor going out and a few squeeks from rubbing interior components.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Posted this on the Miata forum:

after driving the Mini cooper S and Mazdaspeed back to back this evening, I find myself even more torn than before.

The Mazdaspeed is superb. The handling and feel is just phenomenal. The grip is great, the car does what you want, right when you want it. Overall an excellent car at an excellent price. Downsides: the engine just still isn't oomphy enough, and compared to the MINI doesn't really like to rev and feels a bit rough. The turbo gives it kick, but turbos aren't really my thing I think. So fast you hit the rev limiter like that, and on partial throttle in upper revs, the turbo scared me a couple times. I'd have the car doing just what I wanted, left my foot in the same place, and got MORE power. Maybe I'm just not used to that, but it was a little spooky.

Then the MCS. Hopping from the Mazdaspeed to the MINI suddenly made the MINI feel a little sloppy to be honest. That feeling of driving a go-cart when I drove the MINI last week was still there, but the car didn't feel nearly as sharp as I remembered. Still great handling, but move the wheel back and forth quickly and it seemed a bit sloppy compared to the Mazdaspeed. Still great, just not as great. However, the MINI you realize just how luxurious that little car is. I LOVE the supercharged engine, smooth and powerful, right now, not rough and a bit peaky like the Miata. The car is just FUN FUN in a lighthearted happy manner, it makes you smile to be inside it. Gearbox is just okay, but the vision, room, stereo, seats, etc were very appreciated, and of course the car had a bit better ride. Funny, I thought it was harsh on Thursday, but after the Mazdaspeed I thought it was perfect on less than perfect roads. I HATED how easily the front end broke loose under power though. the TCS kept kicking in, especially on corners. Turned it off and they'd just light up. I really hope the LSD will cure this, because it was the biggest gripe.

And so I find myself right back to where I was. There is no doubt the Miata was the better handler, and being that I am moving back to the Bay Area, when I think of going for a spirited weekend drive up the PCH, the Miata seems almost perfectly suited for it. RWD, a convertible, and incredible handling, even if the engine isn't just what I was looking for. But then I think about the rest of my life, and a MINI with more power, more room, more luxury and almost as much fun to drive makes sense too. But I know it won't be as much fun on the PCH. Where the Miata would get me out there, I sometimes wonder if with the MINI I would choose to go. But no doubt the MINI would be great for commuting, going skiing, etc and be almost as good to drive.

So what have I got? Two cars I absolutely love for two different reasons. Can't get em both. Do I get the purest car (Miata) and enjoy it on the twisties on the weekend, or get the slightly more luxurious car that is almost as fun, but more practical, or at least fun in a different way? MINI is several thousand $ more, but resale is great. Miata is the best one yet, but to be honest, it drives so similarly to every other Miata ever made that I sometimes wonder what I'm getting in the 04 Mazdaspeed that I'm not getting say in a 96 (besides the obvious, the feel is nearly the same).

I'm wondering if maybe I should sit tight on this. Don't really want to, but neither of these is exactly what I'm looking for maybe. I want the handling and RWD of the Miata in the MINI package Maybe the NC will be different enough from the other Miatas that it will work.

Sometimes I wish I could just choose and be happy. Instead, no matter what, I'd wonder if I should have purchased the other.
 

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The Miata wasn't an option for me, as it's too small - I sit ON the Miata, rather than IN it. My "other car" was the Ford Focus SVT; which is, conceptually, not much different from the MCS.
I got only the Sport pack, as the other packages seemed to offer a lot of "stuff" that doesn't add to the elemental enjoyment of the MINI, while adding cost, weight, and complexity. I find the car plenty luxurious and accommodating, even without any of the comfort and convenience options.
The 17"/SS+ combo is not especially harsh, and replacement of the runflats with standard performance rubber is supposed to provide obvious improvements in both ride and handling.
My car is an early model, and while I've had plenty of niggles, they've always been properly sorted by the dealer.
Another nice thing about the MCS, is how easily (and cheaply, really) it can be hot-rodded. You can add 15 hp with a pulley, and 15 more with intake/exhaust/chip.
 

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IMfreakingO of course: :D

1. go with Sport Pak "ala carte," get the xenos and fogs and stripe your car, but space DSC and the 17" S-lites. As far as the former, too intrusive/big brother, and just something else electro-mechanical to go wrong. I hated Stabilitrak on my Caddy and I'm sure I'd hate BMWs version as well. As far as the latter, go drive an MCS with the lighter 16s and one with the heavier 17s--maybbe on some nice rough Detroit streets-- and you'll feel the difference. Sold me.

2. can't help ya there.

3. Despite what some biased consumer report rags may say, the MCS is actually quite reliable and holding up well. Build quality is vastly improved, but expect some rattles and squeaks, mostly road surface specific. And I've talked to 2 service managers who are raving about how well the Pentagon engine is holding up here approaching five years. Like the slant 6, it could be the next Chrysler success story. Too bad it's being dumped for a Poo-gee motor :(

4. The MINI is also holding up well in resale and residual values, and what with the dealer markups and long waits in some places, that unless it was a demo you won't find a new untitled car for under MSRP. This is the beauty of 1. limited production and 2. the MINI moniker :D MSRP is quite common everywhere in the country now but Cal, but watch the so-called "prep" or "doc" fees, they're like markups under a different guise. The Destination and Handling charge you have to pay means manuf. to consumer, not dealer.

Oh and get the heated seats. :) Get the heated seats. :) All is bliss. :p All is bliss. Jimbo
 

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Go for the Mini

Having sold my wife's '99 Miata for a 2004 MCS, I'm obviously leaning toward the MINI. My wife had 2 Miatas- an original '91 and the 2nd generation '99. Both were very reliable, fun cars. I actually preferred the driving position of the '91 over the '99, but I'm sure that's just personal. I find the interior layout and ergonomics of the MINI superior to the Miata. Part of the reason I prefer the MINI is the increased utility of the car and the overall safety. Though both are small light cars, the MINI does offer crash protection that just plain doesn't exist for the Miata. No one plans on being in an accident, but if you ever are, you're much more likely to sustain serious injury in the Miata. A lot more injury actually.
The gas econony of the 2 cars is about the same. I'm sure the turbo MazdaSpeed is a little bit less than the regular engine, but even with $2.55/gal prices in California expect about the same. I always found the Miata to be very noisy with the top up. Lot's of wind noise around the mirrors and A pillar with the driver's window down. We had the filp up wind buffer which helped a little with the top down, but above 50 you can't hear the radio in the Miata. The MINI's sound system is much superior.
Even though I prefer RWD, I actually enjoy canyon carving more in the Mini than in the Miata. Again it might just be personal taste (hell, it's all about personal taste) but I also find the seats in the Mini more comfortable and more supportive for aggresive driving. My wife disagrees. She preferred the driving position of the Miata. Chocolate or vanilla?

If you're buying the car, as compared to leasing, the Mini is the better investment in the long run. If you're leasing, it's still better. Though the Miata's resale value has held up well over the years, it's not nearly as good at the MINI. Even with a lease this is reflected in the higher depreciation which is the bulk of the monthly leasing cost.

And finally, the Miata is at the end of it's days. The current body style is now 7 years old (the '99 was actually introduced in Sping '98) and it's at the end of its production cycle. The reason the MazdaSpeed is getting the big promotion is to try to squeeze a few thousand more sales out of the old platform before Mazda unveils the next generation. It may not be the most important consideration, particularly if you're planning on keeping the car for decades, but if you're looking to get something else in 3-4 years, it does make a difference. You can' really go wrong with either car, but there are differences and you just have to decide what's most important and what compromises you're prepared to make.
 

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CooperSAZ said:
3 – I have an ’05 MCS, while only 800 miles are on him, I have not experienced any issues to date. Not to say there won’t be any! But maybe someone with more miles on their ’05 can jump in here!
August delivery, 4100 miles so far, only 2 minor quibbles:

1) Steering wheel is slightly off-center while traveling straight
2) WAY too much brake dust on the wheels - black after 4 days

otherwise, my 05 is feeling fine :)
 

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Poisonedwell said:
August delivery, 4100 miles so far, only 2 minor quibbles:

2) WAY too much brake dust on the wheels - black after 4 days

otherwise, my 05 is feeling fine :)
Minis and BMWs suffer from excessive front disc dust. My 2001 330CI BMW produced copius amounts of brake dust as does my 04 MCS (with white wheels no less). Nothing you can do about it except replace the pads and/or rotors.
 

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Easy to fix the brake dust problem - buy 'Green Stuff' pads. Ordering mine in January.

As for option packages, I think the leather's nice, so I'd definitely buy the 1/2 leather at least, if not full leather. Otherwise, I think (with hindsight) the viper stripes (still quite uncommon even if Ford with their damn Fiesta copy are trying it) and the manual A/C are all that's necessary. DSC I'm not convinced of (too nannyish) and everything else is frills - bought lots of it myself, but now I've had time to use it, not entirely sure it was worth it, esp as most of options are worthless when it comes to resale values.

Especially don't understand what you Yanks are worrying about when it comes to mileage - please. If you had to pay what we have to for your fuel, then fair enough, but it's practically free over there! (what else do you invade the middle east for? ;) )

Go for the Mini, definitely. The Miata is ancient, and although a very good car (excellent in fact) is about to be superceded, probably by a much better model - if you must, buy an MCS then (because of its much superior resale) sell it again when Mazda come out with the Miata v.3 :)
 

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Mazdaspeed Miata vs. MCS

Just found this thread since offline quite awhile. Here is my two cents:

I too couldn't decide between the MCS and the Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata. So I bought them both, 24 hours apart! I got the Miata on a Monday and the MCS on a Tuesday. Had I gotten the MINI first, I think I would not have gotten the Miata.

I LOVE both cars, but the MINI gives me so much more...people here have already pointed out all the advantages. Not that I am about to give up the MIata, but if I had to choose just one, after having both for 12 weeks, I would go with the MINI.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, I am quite sure I'm going to be doing this MINI thing, but am looking for a few last opinions.

First deals with the rain sensing wipers. See here: http://forum.miata.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=019698 I've used them before, but as explained in the link, I'm a little wary about replacement cost should the windshield break. Also, is the sensitivity adjustable (MINI owners?)

Other is the Auto Climate Control. I will be getting the panoramic sunroof, computer, cruise, and multifunction wheel. The Premium package contains all these items, including the ACC. So, if I get all those items as stand alone, minus the ACC, the premium package costs an extra $50 over the stand alones. Basically I'd be getting the ACC for $50. However, I have had limited experience with ACC in other cars. When I did drive my father's acura, I found that many times I didn't just set it and forget it, I fiddled with the controls to override where the ACC directed the air. If I wanted it at my feet, the ACC often had it coming out of the dash vents, and vice versa. I do like the set it and forget it during the summer for some reason, and also like the fact that you set the temp, it waits till the car warms up, then blasts the cabin until the temp is correct and dials everything down. But in my limited experience, I found I rarely just "set it and forget it", and that is the main point of ACC right? Complexity worries me a little too, not much can go wrong on manual control. For $50 should I get the ACC or just forget it?

Cloth or leatherette? I would ideally like all black cloth, but the MINI comes in space grey, which is sorta a black bolster/grey middle seat. Leatherette is solid black. I like the look of the color leatherette, but the feel of cloth. Is the leatherette grippy? Sweaty? Cold? Help?

Chrome trim is $200. Might look nice, but might not be worth the $. Opinions?

Lastly, the wheels. I will get the sport package with the 17" runflats performance. Being that I have decided on BRG paint, white roof, and hood stripes, I'm thinking of getting the white wheels rather than the silver. They are a no cost option, and I'm looking for opinions.

Oh, and SIRIUS is on the website, but cannot be selected and priced yet. Anyone know details on when it is available? The dealership did not have the answer when I asked.

I appreciate all the help you have given.

Oh, since the car wouldn't arrive till Feb-March or so, when can we expect to at least see the NC at an autoshow? I am thinking about waiting for the NC, Solstice to arrive, and drive them. But I'd be talking about 8+ months likely that I would be without a MINI just waiting to try the other two. 8+ more months of my 1990 626 doesn't sound that much fun. I've already put 180,000 miles on that thing, and I'm ready for something newer and better.

Thanks.

Ah, and whats the buzz on the special editions? Are we talking paint like Miatas or some real "special" items?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Let me ask one more question, a little less specific since I know things can vary easily.

However, my location says Detroit, but my new job is in San Francisco. Let me ask if anyone can recommend financing (I am eligible for the college graduate payment plan through MINI if that makes a difference) company. In addition, any recommendations on insurance? I am most concerned with the price (GAP insurance is highly desired), but I also want service if I make a claim. I am willing to pay slightly more for a company with good customer satisfaction. I have heard too many horror stories about people who find the absolute cheapest rate, wreck the car, and can't get their claim quickly and properly handled. If helpful, i am a 24yo male, no points, no accidents, nada. Completely clean record. Is there a good website to get quotes?

Also, maybe it can be found somewhere easily, but being as this is will be my first fully covered car, what are the different coverages and what is sufficient amounts for each of these?

Thanks again!
 
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