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· Future owner??
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks, I've been looking at the '05 MINI Cooper as one that I may want to purchase but am a little hesitant. Could I give you all a brief discription of my driving habits and let you, as owners and drivers of the car, give me some unbiased advise on whether the MINI would be right for me? (yeah Steve, come to a MINI owners forum for unbiased advise...right! :D )
The main reason I am hesitant is because I am looking to buy a car for a daily driver and not a weekend fun car, and the closest MINI dealer is over 100 miles away so reliability is of the essence. I am also a person who keeps my car until well after it is paid off, so I don't purchase very often and don't have the money to start doing so. I travel around 60 miles per work day from the country to the city and back, average around 100-150 miles during weekends and also like to travel occaisionally with my wife to the vast far reaches of South Carolina and as far as Florida, USA. I do have two teenage stepsons, but we already have a midsize sedan for travel that may include them or for extraordinarily long trips.
I've looked at pretty much every car in this price bracket and I must say that the Scion Tc is the most attractive to me in terms of the common sense approach...it's much less expensive, proven motor, more horses, more standard equip. The thing is, though, I keep coming back to the MINI...it's got some sort of mystical power that keeps trying to pull me in!
I guess the reason I am here is to see if y'all could reassure me that the MINI would be there for me for years to come If I decided to get one. The several thousand dollar diffence between the scion and mini is looking pretty good in favor of the scion...convince me that it's worth it to go all out and get a MINI!

Thanks for listening to me rant!!
Steve Boland
 

· Registered
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267 Posts
Steve,

I have a MCS on order for delivery in Feb. or March of '05, and I have the same concerns you do. They have been increased of late with the reading of some threads about brake failure. I think these are isolated incidences and as yet, I haven't found out a definitive answer or result to the incidences. Nonetheless, brake failure is completely unacceptable. Rattles, misalignments, a leaking seal...well although unwanted, at least they can be handled fairly easily without a possible loss of life.

I am still moving forward knowing that as time goes by the quality of the product is getting better. Also, the product is more interesting and better equiped than the TC and the performance better. A good friend just got a TC and I have to admit it is great. He added the strut brace, TRD exhaust, fog lamps and CAI. It's up to about 172 hp and is a totally solid vehicle, but no LSD, no leather, doesn't handle as well, isn't as raw....

If you have the time...think about it a bit! I have read in the various forums that in buying a Mini, its driving experience, mystic, personality, etc., you have to just put-up with the fact that they are not "Toyota" reliable. I understand this, but for around $30,000 well equiped and with tax & license, it's pretty expensive proposition.
 

· MINI2 No.1
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42,306 Posts
It's VERY unlikely a MINI will ever leave you stranded, however you may encounter a few quality issues, that will (or certainly should) be resolved with your warranty. Any web forum will have a larger number of horror stories than "real life" samples, it's simply the nature of the beast. We'll also have more complete, through and through enthusiasts, again, that's the way it works.

Basically, I can see no reason you shouldn't buy a MINI from the description you gave of what you want. And to be honest, once the mystical MINI force has pulled you in, it's pointless trying to resist.

:D
 

· Future owner??
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Well, thank you both for the advise! Unfortunately, Andromcs, I will not be getting the S if I decide to go with the Cooper. I lost most of the use of my left arm about 15 years ago which could make driving with a manual transmission every day too much. I have driven my brother's truck several times with no problem, but I just don't see myself doing it every day especially with the city driving that I do...if the auto tranny was available for the S, then sure I'd definately look into doing that.
I suppose the real deciding factor for me will be the all so important test drive :cool: Toyota is going to let me drive one of theirs this weekend, but I will have to wait at least two weeks after that to drive the MINI because I'll be busy until then...still not sure about any of the others I've considered, the WRX and the Volvo S40. I've pretty much narrowed them out of the equasion mainly because of price.
I do have plenty of time to mull over the cars, my current car is a wonderful vehicle that will surely last long enough to find it a replacement...or companion, depending on whether I decide to get rid of it or not.
Anyway, thanks again and if I decide on the MC, you'll surely see me here some other time!

PS, I forgot to ask! Does BMW offer service work on these cars, or do you have to take a MINI to a MINI dealer?
 

· Obsessive Not Compulsive
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413 Posts
With no offense intended for those who may be considering the purchase of a Scion TC, would you rather own a more perfect but bland car, or an exciting but less perfect car such as the MINI?
I picked up my Cooper May 1st, and while it's more of a weekend car right now (I drive an Employer supplied car) I do expect it to be my daily driver soon, including in our less than hospitable winters.
I also expect to own the MINI for well over a decade, as my recent track record of ownership has included 11 years with a Jetta, 9 years with an Accord, and currently on 8 years with an 850 Volvo. (hey I'm not that old, some of those years overlapped!)
The only niggle with my Cooper to date is a rustling noise from the clock/headliner area, and some minor loss of coolant from the expansion tank, had to top up twice.
Nothing earth shattering, certainly not enough to warrant a trip to the dealer who is 160 miles away.
I expect nothing less than a reliable ride from my MINI for many years to come, the solidity is impressive for a car with a large hatch area, and the car is quiet at speed.
For a long term ownership experience the extra cost of the MINI over a TC becomes less of a deciding factor. Good luck with your decision. :)
 

· Registered
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188 Posts
i agree with MINNOW... the MINI may be less reliable, but.. cmon... it's a MINI. For me part of owning a car is about what the car means. The Scion is Toyota trying to reach the young population with snazzy ads and so called customized cars, but the MINI is a classic. It represents ingenuity and fun, it also has a lot of history behind it. These factors not only change the "feel" of the car, but also the people you meet. And let me tell the MINI people are wonderful. reliability might suffer a bit, but I don't believe it is by THAT much. As Paul said you only hear the horror stories.

Lastly, for me the MINI will be a daily driver. I live in Chicago, so the weather gets as worse as it does everywhere else in the US in terms of diverse conditions. Also, although the dealership is 100 miles away, anytime you need to take your MINI is make it a lil trip, I"m sure you'll have lots of fun driving on the way there.
 

· total MINI . com
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32,464 Posts
I'm not sure a MINI is less reliable - a few have had some problems but the majority do not - and how many of the problems people have had have left them stranded, very few.

I drive a Cooper and do 50 miles a day commuting to and from work. I'm on my secodn Cooper and have had no problems with either of them. And it means hte journey to and from work is also fun - it doesn't have to be jsut weekends :)

Go for it ..... the force is pulling you in :D
 

· a.k.a Handsome Rob
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2,955 Posts
Hello,

I don't know where you live but if it is in the So Cal region you might have troubles. I live in So Cal but, my closest dealer is a two hour drive. The problem I have is the service department. Like many others on this site the quality of service is in the toilet. Either they don't fix everything you ask or break more stuff or leave your car a mess. I have filed complaints and they are going to be flying out a MINI rep next time I go in for service for some unresolved issues. The only place I found great service was in another state in Las Vegas!
Tavis1 :red:
 

· M5 Extraordinare!
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7,034 Posts
I travel about 60 miles a day now, just reciently started that but for over a year and a half the car has never left me stranded either... it has made quite a few trips back and forth from Los Angeles and San Diego. I have had a oil gasket leak but that was a minor problem and was fixed under waranty. It took more than one trip to the dealer tho because they didnt have the part in stock. :rolleyes:


Major problems I wouldnt worry about it at all. Like Paul has said, the MINI wouldnt leave you stranded... we havent really heard of a case like that yet here. Minor problems there might be a few... like rattles and squeeks BUT those are mainly comming from 2002, 2003 and early 2004 cars... I read they improved a lot on the build quality on the 2005s so there shouldnt be too much more of those...

Honestly I think you'll be ok with the MINI. Theres someone at North American Motoring www.northamericanmotoring.com with their MINI over 100,000 miles and is still going very very strong.
 

· MINI2 Newbie
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176 Posts
My MINI has been totally reliable and a great car. I would highly recommend it for your needs. It is such a practical car being a hatchback with great visibility (helps you see better and avoid accidents). Handling is superb, and BMW luxury and quality is legendary.
 

· Track addict
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5,935 Posts
You say the saving on the scion of $2000 dollars is tempting for you? Which do you think will be worth more in say, 4 years time? You might get that $2000 dollars back if you need to sell the car. Most Toyota type cars in the UK are worth considerably less than half their value at the 4 year point, mini is looking to retain considerably more than 60%.


just a thought.
 

· M5 Extraordinare!
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7,034 Posts
Tony*t3 said:
You say the saving on the scion of $2000 dollars is tempting for you? Which do you think will be worth more in say, 4 years time? You might get that $2000 dollars back if you need to sell the car. Most Toyota type cars in the UK are worth considerably less than half their value at the 4 year point, mini is looking to retain considerably more than 60%.


just a thought.
Humm in response to your comment... how many people actually sell their cars in 4 years time? I know for me and my family we've always owned cars for about 10 years before selling them.
 

· Track addict
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5,935 Posts
EBMCS03 said:
Humm in response to your comment... how many people actually sell their cars in 4 years time? I know for me and my family we've always owned cars for about 10 years before selling them.

Different on your side of the pond then.... Most people in the UK would sell a car they bought new at around the 3 year point.
 

· Racer X
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17 Posts
Sure, go ahead and purchase the Scion - just one thing, though - you will always be haunted by the MINI. Every time you see one you'll ask yourself, "What if?"
That was my dilemma. I really wanted the MINI, but the Toyota RAV4 was my more practical 'other choice' vehicle for many reasons (the dealer was much closer, it has more interior room, a cassette player and CD player, blah, blah, blah). Finally (after 6 mos of indecision!) I followed my heart and bought a MINI. If the MINI doesn't work out, I figured, at least I would've given it a shot and gotten it out of my system. I could eventually trade it in on a RAV4 if things don't go well - take my lumps and kiss the MINI good-bye - but at least I would have answered my "What if?" question.
 

· M5 Extraordinare!
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7,034 Posts
MiniRoo said:
Sure, go ahead and purchase the Scion - just one thing, though - you will always be haunted by the MINI. Every time you see one you'll ask yourself, "What if?"
AHahah cant it be said for the Scion too? Driving in your MINI you see a Scion... WHAT IF?? :D
 

· Registered
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49 Posts
Hi Swamp well speaking from my own experience I have a One here in the UK which is a tuned down Cooper and the car although a 'town car' is an excellent motorway cruiser so if your comute involves motorway/freeway miles then I would say the MINI is a good choice although I couldnt comment on the auto box.
On reliability well MINIs admitedly have had there share of probs most of these have now been resolved, although my boss got one of the first Coopers here he has had no real probs :)

Plus as everyone has already said the Mini has one thing 99% of modern cars dont



A personality :D

Go for it.
 

· Range Rover SDV8!
Range Rover SDV8, Triumph Tiger & Triumph Trophy
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5,141 Posts
I drive a high spec Volvo V70 for work and do about 3,000 - 3,500 miles a month. For fun, I have a MINI Cooper.

During one month recently I had to drive the Mini for work and did about 3,000 miles in it, including some pretty long trips. I did not miss the Volvo and would have gladdy used the MINI indefinately if it hadn't been for the fact that I need to carry loads that often completly fill the V70. My MD (Who drives a huge Toyota SUV) came out with me for the day and insisted on leaving the SUV on my drive and we did about 120 miles in the MINI that day! He loved it and we went out in the MINI the next time as well. You will find this sort of thing happening to you as well.

The MINI is in the same league as the V70 for build quality (try and say that about any other small car!). I have absolutely no quality problem with the MINI at all. I am confident enough in the quality to know I will have the MINI for at least 6 or 7 years. Probably a lot longer.

We nearly always use the MINI at the weekends INCLUDING the weekly trip to do the food shopping. The boot is more practical than you would think.

I wouldn't recommend the MINI if you need to carry adults in the back very often, unless you are less than about 5 foot 8 inches tall and you can bring your front seat forward quite a bit. But then, you say, that you have another car for that purpose.

Go for the MINI with confidence. :D

We don't have the Scion in the UK, altough I think I can imagine the sort of thing!

Can you post a photo of one?

Tigger
 
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