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  #1  
Old 08-21-2013, 05:37 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Does anyone here own or owned in the past, a Mini? a new model from around 2005 and up, I am thinking about getting one for a daily driver and wondered what people think about them.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by The Old Hyde View Post
Does anyone here own or owned in the past, a Mini? a new model from around 2005 and up, I am thinking about getting one for a daily driver and wondered what people think about them.
I think they are AWESOME!!!!!! Unfortunately I haven't owned one yet. I tried in like 2005, but was still upside down on my car loan and the dealer wouldn't work with me. Sorry I can't be of help as far as user knowledge, but did I mention I think they are AWESOME!!!?
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Ahh, finally a thread I can weigh-in on and speak from experience!

We bought a 2007 Mini Cooper S new and have put 90,000 miles on since, using it primarily as a daily driver. My wife and I work at the same company and thus can share the car for our 45 mile round trip commute of mostly busy interstate driving.

The car has phenomenal handling and is pretty fast, making it a great tool for dicing through rush hour traffic. It is plenty roomy for we two and has gerat capacity in the rear hatch area with the rear seats folded down. We average around 30-31 mpg but the engine prefers premium so that needs to be considered.

All this said, it is the most expensive car I have ever owned to maintain and I have two Porsches for comparison pruposes. The pats are expensive, the labor is expensive and there has been a long list of parts that failed prematurely early. Mini USA has picked up some of the tab but not all.

The 2007 models have been noted now for being very unreliable as this was the first year with the turbo engine as opposed to the supercharged engine before that.

My recommendation would be guarded. I would stay away from 2007 model year and before Minis and if I had to buy used, would get one with an extended warranty.

Let me know if more detail is needed and good luck!
Croc
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

I have thought briefly about a Mini Cooper myself.

Can you really get a drum set in one though? With a passenger?
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by brady View Post
I have thought briefly about a Mini Cooper myself.

Can you really get a drum set in one though? With a passenger?
I would say a bop set certainly. Full size with a 22" kick, some toms, hardware, and gig bags? Likely not, and certainly not in the 2006 MY and earlier before the wheelbase was stretched a bit.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:30 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Croc, thanks for that info, I will stay away from an 07 model. also the premium gas, does that only apply to the s model mini? I hate buying premium gas!!! im almost thinking about the clubman ( I know) just for the space and ease for my 2 kids.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

There is some disagreement as to the use of premium: is it required or recommended.

As far as I know, Mini recommends premium for all models past and present. These engines run over 10:1 compression so more anti-knock additives / octane boosters are required in the fuel used. Of course knock sensors are used in these engines to control timing advance / retard so if you do use lower octane fuel, it would likely only cause some non-destructive knocking at cold start-up.

I don't like the price of premium fuel either but in a car that gets such good mileage, I consider it cheap insurance and the way to get all the horsepower the engine has to offer.

I too like the looks of the Clubman and think the additional capacity and access would be most welcome hauling around kids and drums.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:56 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Ive always heard that you get the best mileage from premium so the cost difference evens out. all it would take is my wife finding out for me to be a dead man though! Im leaning towards this clubman s model I see online, I may give it a test drive. The drum space is certainly pushing me towards one.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:57 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Had no idea these had such a high compression ratio.

FWIW, I think they look really cool and if I didn't have 2 child car seats and drum gear to lug around, I'd probably go for one.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by The Old Hyde View Post
Ive always heard that you get the best mileage from premium so the cost difference evens out. all it would take is my wife finding out for me to be a dead man though! Im leaning towards this clubman s model I see online, I may give it a test drive. The drum space is certainly pushing me towards one.
You're in the UK, right Hyde?

Well our 'regular' is actually the US equivalent of premium. It has a higher octane rating (87 in the US is regular, in the UK it's 95 (I think)) so there's no problem running it with regular UK petrol.

My mother has had a Clubman since 2009. Hers is a diesel. It's a very nice car with one or two drawbacks. Firstly, with the way the boot opens, there is a line that reduces visibility in the middle - it's not a major issue just one to consider if you're going to be parallel parking a lot. Secondly, I'm not the biggest fan of its gearbox - it's not quite as positive as an Audi (or even my Ford) but it's still quite good. I'm assuming a manual if you're in the UK. Also, it's an 'actual' four-door car. Two doors for the front, one for the back and then the boot doors. The door at the back is on the right hand side and opens 'forward', so in the UK it's in the middle of the road - just something to remember if you have kids. My mother calls it the 'suicide door' but it's never caused us any difficulties.

It's comfortable, gets good mileage and is nippy - even though it's a diesel. I like it very much. The Clubman does have very good luggage carrying ability but it is no way a 'small' car like the old Minis were. It's been very reliable for her so far (fingers crossed) and has had good dealer support.

I prefer my Fiesta but that's a personal choice. In 'objective' terms, her Clubman is probably a better car than mine.
  #11  
Old 08-21-2013, 09:36 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Thanks, never thought about the back door posts in the middle. when I drive it, ill see if its a big concern.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Not to hijack your thread, but if you're looking for a car with the following criteria:
- small car with decent gas mileage
- ability to haul some drums
- isn't super expensive to buy or maintain
- actually fun to drive

I can recommend the Mazda 3 hatchback with the 2.3 liter engine. If you want it to be really fun to drive, then get the 3SPEED version with the turbocharger.

I have owned the 4-door model since 2005 but I wish I had bought the hatchback. I have one friend with the hatchback and another with the SPEED hatchback. They both bought theirs after riding in mine.
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

For fun/cool factor, I think that the earlier supercharged cars trump the later turbocharged cars. If you want more power, an under-driven crank pulley for the supercharger ups the boost.

Avoid the 1st gen non-supercharged cars. (Cooper as opposed to Cooper S.) They had what is known as the Midland gearbox (5 speed), which seems to be made of cheese.

On the supercharged cars, the coolant reservoir is prone to leaks, the dipstick gives up and the harmonic balancer (crankshaft pulley) quits. The power steering cooling fan quits and, if not detected, takes the power steering pump with it.

With the direct injection turbocharged cars, watch out for carbon build up on the engine valves.

Parts are only expensive if you buy them from the stealership.
  #14  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Hi Drummers
I have a 2006 6 speed, sport. Any one of my drum sets fit in the mini. Must use front passager seat. A drum set ok. Drum set and a PA system does not work! You would need two mini 's. Have a 146000 miles on the car. Denis
  #15  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

I've owned two Mini's. A 2004 and currently a 2011. Great cars, good fuel economy and very fun to drive but the lack of trunk space bothers me some times.
Luckily one of my band members have a van which we use for gigs because my whole kit (drums/cymbals/stands) wouldn't fit in my car.
I got into skiing lately and it's also become a problem so next year I'm changing it for something bigger but at least now I get to say that I owned a Mini!!! =)
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

I've pulled a few mini's over for speeding and their owners sure seem to like them :-)
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Parts are only expensive if you buy them from the stealership.
I hear you but about 10,000 miles ago, our Mini had a catastrophic tensioner failure which bent some valves and caused other assorted engine mayhem. I had my stack of by the book by the dealer service receipts that showed when they had replaced the tensioner and all the other $1,000s of dollars of work we had done to support they better pay for this sumbitch.

I learned that lesson orignally with a 2002 Audi A4 that had a massive engine failure due to oil sludging. The regional Audi guy was fighting paying for it until I brought in 19+ pages of receipts again by the book and by the Audi dealer to suppor tour assertion we had done everything correctly.

Overall did we save any money over buying OEM parts and having a competent, non-dealer service agent do the work then paying later for these large failures? I cannot answer that question.
  #18  
Old 08-23-2013, 04:41 AM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

I am an ASE master mechanic and own my own business. Work on them and they are the most expensive pieces of junk one can buy. Parts are very expensive , most of them being dealer only parts, alldata(most shops auto information website) has no diagnostic information on them , (even though my European scan tool can get the codes and datas),

I would recommend to stay away . Although they are cute , the are a little bit like dodge Chrysler products :gold plates turds :)
  #19  
Old 08-23-2013, 03:16 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by drum4fun27302 View Post
I am an ASE master mechanic and own my own business. Work on them and they are the most expensive pieces of junk one can buy. Parts are very expensive , most of them being dealer only parts, alldata(most shops auto information website) has no diagnostic information on them , (even though my European scan tool can get the codes and datas),

I would recommend to stay away . Although they are cute , the are a little bit like dodge Chrysler products :gold plates turds :)
I haven't heard of them being junk. every car brand has issues. as far as dealer only I don't mind that. I do all work, brakes, oil, even wiper blades myself. the most expensive piece of junk would be a Mercedes actually. I agree Chrysler is garbage though. Im still getting one as soon as the right one comes along. thanks for all the good info guys, judging by what ive read im getting a 2010 or newer ( maybe even new).
  #20  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:47 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

They just have a lot of issues (air bags, fuel pumps, timing components, vacuum pump falling apart and thus seizing the engine) , coding/reprogramming issues , and the list goes on .......
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Don't waste your money. I have worked in the auto biz since 1975 and I can assure you that Mini's are crap.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

I can't speak for the general brand reliability, but I had one of the very first "new" Cooper S models (supercharged) in the UK. Ran it for 3 years & over 120,000 miles without fault outside of service components. Great little point & squirt car. I recently drove the new turbocharged version, & found it to be a little boring by comparison, & a touch on the bulky side too.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I can't speak for the general brand reliability, but I had one of the very first "new" Cooper S models (supercharged) in the UK. Ran it for 3 years & over 120,000 miles without fault outside of service components. Great little point & squirt car. I recently drove the new turbocharged version, & found it to be a little boring by comparison, & a touch on the bulky side too.
Wow, Andy, 40,000 miles a year! I thought my 30K/yr was a lot.

Don't know anything about the mini-cooper sorry, but it looks like a practical buy.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Don't waste your money. I have worked in the auto biz since 1975 and I can assure you that Mini's are crap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I had one of the very first "new" Cooper S models (supercharged) in the UK. Ran it for 3 years & over 120,000 miles without fault outside of service components...
Mmmh... different opinions, its it good or bad?

There's only one way to find out.....

.... FIGHT!!!!!
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Wow, Andy, 40,000 miles a year! I thought my 30K/yr was a lot.
Slightly off topic... Andy and I went for a ride in his Audi A6, I can tell you that the car can fly (literally), so it's no wonder why Andy does so many miles a year :-))
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Wow, Andy, 40,000 miles a year! I thought my 30K/yr was a lot.
That was 10 years ago Jeff. Now I'm down to around 25,000/year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Mmmh... different opinions, its it good or bad?

There's only one way to find out.....

.... FIGHT!!!!!
Noooo - Bob may well be right. I can only sight my experience with one vehicle. Bob's experience is likely encompassing many vehicles, as well as industry chatter.

That said (& here's were I really get into hot water), most NA made cars are so agricultural in their engineering that reliability is possibly the only bonus to owning one other than the satisfaction of burning cheap fuel with wild abandon ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Slightly off topic... Andy and I went for a ride in his Audi A6, I can tell you that the car can fly (literally),
More like "falling with style" ;)
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

The ride quality is below industry standard for the price range.
The ergonomics of the interior, seat comfort, controls, etc, are below average for the price of the vehicle.
The auto transmission is terrible.
The power steering system is a joke.
The cars are time consuming to repair, thus driving up maint costs.
There is no spare tire, so expensive Run Flat tires are required.
Crap is crap!
I do make a lot of money on them though :)
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  #28  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:19 PM
The Old Hyde
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Bob, do they have an interference motor? im worried about engine damage that keeps being mentioned.
  #29  
Old 08-26-2013, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about a Mini Cooper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Slightly off topic... Andy and I went for a ride in his Audi A6, I can tell you that the car can fly (literally), so it's no wonder why Andy does so many miles a year :-))
I've had the same... pleasure.

I'm just glad I was never in Andy's old Scooby.
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