I am looking at buying a used Mini Cooper - a 2003 - 2005. I have bought used Subarus and used Volvos with 60K plus miles and haven?t regretted those decisions. I see some Minis out there with 70K and higher, which are more in my price range of $15K. Is there any reason to think a used Mini with so many miles will not be a good choice?
Not for $15K…Car markets are VERY soft. Cash talks.
The lowest I’ve seen is 12K for a 2003 with lots of dings. East coast near DC. Dealers really loaded these things up and even used, they are running over 20K.
But my real questions is about whether a high mileage mini is asking for trouble…
Mini is an exception to the rule of car markets. They are high demand used or new. At least they are a great car for what it is.
Check the web for clutch issues. Seems like that is a problem area. AND it seems like the replacement cost is quite high.
I thought the MINI sold new for near $20K. $15K should get you a really nice, newer, low mileage one.
And, get a CarFax and PPI (pre-Purchase Inspection)
Keep in mind that the previous generation MINI’s had Chrysler-built engines. Not exactly confindence-inspiring.
Thanks, I will check into the clutch issue. the Mini MSRP is $20K but when you load up the options, they can go up to $38K. Most of the used ones have been loaded. There are a few under $20, but most low mileage Minis are $18K and higher.
As with any used car, it is very important to have a potential purchase inspected by your own mechanic PRIOR to purchase. Additionally, I always advise that you only buy a used car if it comes with all of its maintenance records.
In the case of the Mini, the maintenance records can be particularly important because many Minis came with the “free factory maintenance” plan, but that only covered oil changes that were indicated by the car’s onboard maintenance reminder. For many drivers, that meant only changing the oil every 10,000-12,000 miles. And, Mini specified that only synthetic oil should be used in their engines. If someone did use synthetic oil, the engine might be in decent shape, despite infrequent oil changes–or perhaps the engine has become sludged or otherwise damaged. If the prior owner did not use synthetic oil, the engine might not be in good shape by 60k or so.
Many conscientious Mini owners opted to pay for oil changes on a more frequent schedule than the maintenance reminder indicated. As others have said in this forum, oil is relatively cheap, and engines are quite expensive. Personally, I would want to see evidence that the oil was changed on a 6k schedule if synthetic oil was used, and that the oil was changed on a 4k schedule if non-synthetic oil was used. In any event, I would suggest that you look for a Mini that comes with maintenance records.
If you are only finding overpriced examples near you–search broader! We have many examples of low-mileage MCSs around Atlanta for dirt cheap! It will be worth your drive for a day to get a much better car in the end.