Are Mini Coopers reliable?


#1

My wife is interested in a used mini cooper, but I haven’t heard anything related to long-term reliability?


#2

The new Mini is a BMW product. They are as reliable, or not, as any other used car. It all depends on how the vehicle was cared for by the previous owner, or owners.

You can get a good used Mini or a bad used Mini.

My son bought a Cooper S with about 65K miles on it. He has been driving it for about six months without any major problems.

Just remember, It’s a BMW. Expect to pay maintenance and repair costs accordingly.

Consumer Reports rates the Mini, both the Cooper and Cooper S, as “average” as far as reliability goes. The '06 and '07 models rate slightly above average.

Owning a Mini is not like owning a Civic or a Corolla. Expect to pay a bit more, but the Mini will be SO much more fun to drive. Perhaps the trade off will be worth it.

PS

Check the requirement for PREMIUM gasoline before you, or your wife, signs anything. Do you, or she, wish to spend the money for premium every time you fill up?

You have to feed the Mini what it needs, and I’ll bet a used one NEEDS premium.

To me, that’s a deal breaker.


#3

What year was the one you bought for your son? We test drove a 2003 today that looks immaculate on the outside. Has 64,000 miles. Seems very well maintained, but we have a 96 Toyota RAV4 that has 130K that is fun to drive and inexpensive.


#4

Is the Mini a replacement for the Rav4 or an addition? While the truck is 12 years old, it only has 130,000 miles on it. It’s your perogative to change any time you want; I’m just trying to get information to respond in this thread.


#5

Look at the consumer reports. If you like a car enough you may compromise about a few shortcomings. Keep in mind that the repairs if needed will be expensive and you will have to use premium gas. In a stick shift car the condition of the clutch will depend greatly on the skill level of the previous owner.

My advice indulge a little bit, as long as it will not break the bank. Life is too short, and many people are trying to make us feel guilty about our love for automobiles.


#6

I have a Mini and they are very reiable. Consumer Reports rates the Mini well above average. I would stay away from any Mini with the cvt. 2007 they replaced it with a 6 speed auto. Mini’s are great on gas, yea it takes premium but a tank of gas last a very long time.


#7

Regarding the premium gas, even though it’s recommended, I suspect like most modern vehicles it’s completely unnecessary. But maybe someone know more about this than me. I’ve been using 87 gas for years in my Minis find the mileage to be perfectly fine and it runs smoothly.


#8

Dunno,buy one and find out,you may get the BAD one then we would all be liars.

if you get a good one, we would look like GODS,or something.LMAO!

good luck


#9

Also, the good thing about the Mini is the size of the gas tank. The base model(new one) has a 10.6 gallon tank and the S model has a 13.2 gallon tank, so fill ups with premium are still likely to cost less than filling up the RAV4.


#10

My '03 Mini has been very reliable. I have almost 90K miles on it now. It’s a great car.

Personally, I would never use anything other than premium fuel regardless of price. These cars get good mileage and it’s not worth the potential risks just to save a couple bucks at the pump.

There’s a really good article in the current issue of Road & Track (July '08) about buying a used Mini. It gives you all the strengths and weaknesses of these cars and all the things you should look for (good and bad) when choosing one to buy.


#11

I also have an '03 MINI. At one point I got disgusted with the price of premium gas and filled it with regular. I seemed to get a lot of hesitation and general gutlessness in return. In addition, I realized that I saved a measly $2.50 or so. That was my only experiment with regular gasoline. Other than that, it’s given me zero problems.


#12

In our experience Coopers are not reliable. The wife fell for a used '05 S with 56K in April 2010. We did a internet check-out on this car (Auto Check, CarFax and others). All the information we could find (even some items we had to pay for) made us think it was a good buy. And for six months it ran well. We started getting tranny errors codes in Dec. '10 (2C10 to be exact). The car would still run but it was sluggish. We took it to a independent shop that specializes in European brands. A shop which we had been working with for years and we were always delighted with their service. We had several instances with this 2C10 error. Most of the time the shop would clear the error, test it, drive it and release it back to us. Usually with a error data retrieval charge of $115 and and sometimes not. So after a few of the events they took a guess (an educated guess because they compared our MINI to two others) and replaced the shifter ($500). Well, that wasn’t a fix because we had two more 2C10 errors. Their next recommendation, a tranny swap for an estimated $4400-4800 additional outlay. So after a year of ownership we are looking at about $5000 bucks to keep it running right. Our Cooper S is a fun car to drive. MINIs have an enthusiast following. And even used MINIs command a high price. But for me I feel there are much better cars for the money that would provide nearly the same experience.

So if you still have to have one these MINIs then make the extra effort to check out the car you are interested in. Check C.R. and True Delta and find model years that are holding up better. I have found out a lot about MINI transmissions you should avoid Standard MINIs with the CVTs. My Cooper S had the better transmission and it failed! All of the tranny shops I have consulted say the CVT equipped cars are lucky to get 90K. According to the MINI dealer CVTs are not in the newer models.