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Old 07-30-2014, 05:42 AM   #1
blk-betty OP
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Mini Cooper S - How reliable?

Sister and bro-in-law have a 2014 Mini Cooper S Paceman and love it. I started looking at the Countryman S and damn I can't find anything positive regarding reliability.

All reporting indicate below average with internet forums spilling over with dissatified owners. They all seem to really like the car but admit to a love-hate relationship claiming it's the price you pay for driving a "fun" car.

I was planning on test driving the Mini this weekend but I'm afraid I might like it enough to discount the negative reports. I'm looking to unload a 3 year old BMW because the free mainenance period will be up soon and I'd like to make my next car a long term keeper without the need for "repairs" plaquing me after the warranty period expires.

What say you?
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:52 AM   #2
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Seems fine so far, small fuel tank though...like any(modern) BMW, trade in or sell when the warranty expires to ensure that positive ownership experience.

Long-term, meaning 5+ years?
Based on a Clubman experience-No.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:31 AM   #3
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Long term in my mind would be 7+ years. Currently have an '03 4Runner bought new now with 150K miles and have nad virtually no issues other than normal wear items.

Will be keeing the 4Runner and whatever I buy I'd like to keep for 3-5 years after pay-off (probaly a 4 year loan). Didn't really consider a Mini until Sunday when talking with my sister who loves hers.

I want a small wagon that is also somewhat fun to drive and don't want to spend much over $25K for a new car. Serioulsy considering Subaru Crosstrek and plan to drive one this weekend but afraid the test ride may be less than inspiring.

Other option woud be to sell the BMW and the 4Runner and get a new 4Runner or similar but I want good fuel mileage.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:50 AM   #4
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The Mini is a lifestyle car, imo; there are many more practical options.

At @ 30mpg, fuel economy is not its strong suit.

Before anybody else says it- TDI?!

(just kidding, I crossed VW off the list permanently after my 2001 "ownership experience". Twice.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:11 AM   #5
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Wife has a 14 Countryman S all4 and an 07 mini. 07 has been very reliable. 14 has 8,000 miles and has had no issues. As mentioned the small tank is a pain in the butt. Also it is not a wagon by any means, in fact the back is almost a joke as it is so small, think two carry-on bags and it's stuffed full. The Countryman headlights are not worth a damn, and can be very easily over-driven. The only big cost on the 07 has been the run flat tires.

She picked up the extended warranty to cover her for an expected 7 year life cycle on the 14, but to be honest, I had her get the coverage as the internet bitching made me gun shy of the turbo models. The 07 May damn well be with her longer than me. She is crazy for that car and calls it her therapy.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoses View Post
The Mini is a lifestyle car, imo; there are many more practical options.
that hits the mark squarely. i was also looking at the Clubman. decided that was too large and expensive.

you'd be hard pressed to find a true wagon at that price. closest thing would definitely be the Subies... any of them. the quality is usually better. i had a '96 legacy wagon a few years ago. it was a base 2.2 awd auto car. only had to replace the crank position sensor on it. otherwise, it was a very trusty car with excellent fit and finish. other than that... it was flat boring.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:58 AM   #7
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If you are serious about an 8 - 10 year ownership esperience....

Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
What say you?
...and you're looking for:
A. Good Mileage (30 MPG or Better)
B. a "fun to drive" Package
C. Hatchback / small wagon cargo capacity

I think I'd look first at either the Focus Hatch or the Mazda3. Neither will "pin you into the seat..." but both are good handling / well-balanced platforms with solid engines and lots of upside. Another good option would be the Hyundai Elantra Touring offering...they'd dropped it from the lineup a few years back, but it's rumored be back in for the '15 Model Year. I've had nothing but great experiences with my '09 Sonata over the past 150K miles.

I've looked long and hard at the Mini line...just can't get past the owner feedback on maintenance / service issues.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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I just checked consumer reports and basically they say the car sucks (countryman) although they are trending toward better reliability.

Here's something to consider, gleaned from consumer reports:

Much worse than average

Based on the latest survey, we expect reliability of new models will be 208% below average
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheddarhead View Post
I think I'd look first at either the Focus Hatch or the Mazda3. Neither will "pin you into the seat..." but both are good handling / well-balanced platforms with solid engines and lots of upside. Another good option would be the Hyundai Elantra Touring offering...they'd dropped it from the lineup a few years back, but it's rumored be back in for the '15 Model Year. I've had nothing but great experiences with my '09 Sonata over the past 150K miles.

I've looked long and hard at the Mini line...just can't get past the owner feedback on maintenance / service issues.
Looked at the Focus and Mazda3 and both are just a little boring on the styling. I want a 4 door Hatchback and don't need a a lot of room so the Countryman would provide the space I'm looking for with the fun to drive quotient but like you, I'm having a hard time with the negative feedback on the forums.

Some admit Mini are not reliable but say it's the price to pay for a fun to drive car, sort of like a few of the motorcyle brands.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:24 AM   #10
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As a MINI tech I can tell you the current generations of cars have kept me busy. BUT, 2014 is going to be one of the last years for that body style and a lot of the kinks have been worked out (leaking oil volume control solenoid, timing chain tensioners backing out, timing chain stretching, plastic water pumps leaking, programming tweaks) to name a few.

Also the Paceman is the answer to a question no one was asking, "I wish there was a bigger TWO door MINI". Maybe the thinking was to ride the coat tails of the Countryman success. Other than the doors they are essentially the same car. The Paceman is a nice car w/o a market to buy it, so there may be some discounting or good financing to go with it.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoses View Post
The Mini is a lifestyle car, imo; there are many more practical options.

At @ 30mpg, fuel economy is not its strong suit.

Before anybody else says it- TDI?!

(just kidding, I crossed VW off the list permanently after my 2001 "ownership experience". Twice.
I still can't believe the MPG my quite large Mazda6 gets!
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Looked at the Focus and Mazda3 and both are just a little boring on the styling. I want a 4 door Hatchback and don't need a a lot of room so the Countryman would provide the space I'm looking for with the fun to drive quotient but like you, I'm having a hard time with the negative feedback on the forums.

Some admit Mini are not reliable but say it's the price to pay for a fun to drive car, sort of like a few of the motorcyle brands.
Are you looking for a manual or automatic trans? If manual test drive a Focus ST, a very quick and seriously fun car...or a Fiesta ST if it is not too small for you...both are MT only and the Fiesta ST has been rated as more fun-to-drive than the Mini in many recent reviews.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw318tech View Post
As a MINI tech I can tell you the current generations of cars have kept me busy. BUT, 2014 is going to be one of the last years for that body style and a lot of the kinks have been worked out (leaking oil volume control solenoid, timing chain tensioners backing out, timing chain stretching, plastic water pumps leaking, programming tweaks) to name a few.

Also the Paceman is the answer to a question no one was asking, "I wish there was a bigger TWO door MINI". Maybe the thinking was to ride the coat tails of the Countryman success. Other than the doors they are essentially the same car. The Paceman is a nice car w/o a market to buy it, so there may be some discounting or good financing to go with it.
Thanks for the reply, appreciate your honesty from the inside looking out. My sister has a '14 Paceman and got a great deal on it. I really want a 4-door, thus the Countryman.

Looking at some press release info it doesn't look like there will be many changes from '14 to '15 on the Paceman/Countryman other than some cosmentic styling and information/entertainment/stereo stuff.

The kinks you mention are exactly the things I've read about....are you saying they have been mostly worked on the '14 models or that they will be worked on the '15-later models. If one is serious on buying, would it be worth the wait for a '15 or try to get a good deal on a '14 while dealer is clearing the lot for new models.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Are you looking for a manual or automatic trans? If manual test drive a Focus ST, a very quick and seriously fun car...or a Fiesta ST if it is not too small for you...both are MT only and the Fiesta ST has been rated as more fun-to-drive than the Mini in many recent reviews.
Was looking at the Focus ST on paper and drove by the 2 Ford dealerships in town last weekend, neither had an ST on the lot.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:34 AM   #15
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Are you looking for a manual or automatic trans? If manual test drive a Focus ST, a very quick and seriously fun car...or a Fiesta ST if it is not too small for you...both are MT only and the Fiesta ST has been rated as more fun-to-drive than the Mini in many recent reviews.
For the $ well worth a test drive. The Focus had way more pep than it really needed
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