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Bad choice for a transmission?

A transmission specialist told me to avoid an automatic CVT engine on a Mini.



Is is prone to trouble?

You might check on Mini forums. I think I heard that this was true - it was only used for the first few years, I believe. But you’ll want to check with a group of Mini drivers.

Personally, I would not get a Mini with a CVT, anyway, it’s the opposite of ‘fun’.

The problem with CVTs is that they cannot yet be repaired or rebuilt–at least in the US.
If any repair is needed, the only way to deal with it is by installing a brand new transmission from the manufacturer.

If you have trans problems while you are under warranty you would not be in a financial pickle, but after warranty, that sure does sound expensive to me!

Just don’t get an automatic Mini, period. Why bother? Get a 5-speed with the supercharged engine.

The Mini isn’t really known for being a practical car. It is known for being a fun car. If you want reliability and longevity, maybe you should look at other small cars.

The only car to buy with a CVT is a Nissan; they have had very little problems with theirs. I agree that at present, no one repairs these units, not even the Nissan dealers. They get changed out under warranty.

Once the warranty runs out you are on your own, and $3000 may not cover a new one.

I wouldn’t want a Mini with an automatic transmission at all but did this trans specialist give you an exact reason as to why you should avoid this or is he simply basing that recommendation on fear of the unknown or his perception?

The Mini CVTs are made by ZF and they have a long history of building reliable manual and automatic transmissions for many vehicles; clean up to 16 speed units on heavy trucks.

The thing with CVTs is that they will be very expensive to repair if they fail but this is true of any CVT no matter who manufactures it.

When is the last time you priced the replacement of any automatic transmission ?
"Nissan has more than a million CVTs in service around the world and uses them in powerful cars such as the 290 horsepower Maxima, and says their long-term reliability is comparable to conventional transmissions."
With few moving parts the repair costs has to be with availability and expense of parts and training of techs, not in it’s complexity. It appears to be a replaceable item, just like many components have turned into.

Subarus position, correct or not, is that it will out last the rest of the car. Time will tell, but in other forms with other equipment (hydrostats) it is absolutely the way to go with ICE engines and has proven as durable as any other transmission. IMO, it’s prone to trouble as related to the car it’s engineered in. Cars with poor reliability in general will have more trouble prone CVTs cause that’s the way they are engineered, shoddily.

I agree with Jeffmw05. There’s no reason to buy a MINI with a CVT or automatic transmission. Takes the fun away. I disagree that it’s impractical. It has plenty of room inside for passengers and shopping, and ours averages 40-43 mpg.

We’ve owned Nissan Maximas–1995 and 2005. However, we traded the Maxi for a MINi [heh heh] last year instead of getting a new one for two reasons. It no longer comes with manual transmission, and has the worst turning radius of any car we’ve driven. The MT made up for bad turning radius, but the new one feels like it’s being driven by an invisible driver, not?me. FWIW, the MT Maxima averaged over 30 mpg, the AT gets much less, unless you drive the MT with a lead foot.

The CVT works fairly well on the newer cars, but any kind of automatic transmission is expensive to repair compared to manual. You want the convenience of CVT/AT? You’re going to pay!

“The only car to buy with a CVT is a Nissan”

Jatco (Nissan) makes transmissions for many different manufacturers, including:

Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru, BMW, Volkswagen, MG/Rover, Land Rover and Isuzu.

My Jeep has a Jatco transmission.