Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: The exterior
Cons: The instrumentation
Advice: Look out for the 'go-kart ' handlingThis car looks great on the outside, but the inside is a horror. Gray plastic dashboard just waiting to scratch. Cheesy cup holder I could snap off with my hand. Strange perforated screen under the the sunroof that throws irritating shadows off the shiny dash. Weird tach over the steering wheel that you cannot really see. Speedometer in the tach you cannot read if the sun is coming from the side. Tiny clock that is impossible to see. The interior is so busy, it's like a passenger that won't shut up. Now for the performance. When they say go-kart handling they are not kidding. You take your foot off the accelerator and the care immediately slows. Annoying.The brakes are goosey,too. Instruments at night are an ugly amber and way too many lights.
Pros: The harmon kardon stereo system
Cons: the silver plastic panel on the inside on the car door
Advice: poor craftmenship on the inside of the car so beware!The only gripe i have about the car is plastic paneling on the inside of the door. I had the silver trim fixed because when it was pushed on it sent a crack-like ( almost looks like a spiderweb ) line all along the silver door paneling. Like if you were to bend plastic. I had it fixed on both sides and it is now doing it again on the drivers side. So i guess if you dont touch the door when you get out you wont have this problem ( and i only weigh 100lbs ). I had the cup holder replaced, it fell off. I Had the stripes replaced because they had bubbles under them. Both window rotors had to be replaced because they were squeaking when it got hot out. It happened when you rolled the windows up. The mini dealership mechanic said the belts were worn ( ive only had the car for 6 months at that point ). Lastly the car had completely lost its acceleration. Once started it was ok, but then if i had stopped i had no accleration, i had my foot to the floor and i would only get up to 15 and even at that it took a very long time to get to 15mph. There was no 'vroom' noise. The dealership could not find any problems and its been fine ever since. I guess i have more than just one gripe after all! But i really do love my car even if it aggrivates me! I like the look,the radio, the style, its so much fun to drive!
Pros: All around air bag protection.
Cons: Windows cannot be opened or closed without taking your eyes off the road. They also cannot be operated together. Wiper control is too close to ignition lock. On starting, I often find the wipers running because I have brushed my hand against control.
Advice: Don't buy any dealer add-ons. They are tremendously over-priced!!I have driven my 2005 Mini for six months now and I still love it! My fuel economy averages just less than 32 mpg. The small size and turning radius are excellent, making parking and cornering a pleasure. Acceleration is good in all gears and especially good in second. If I had it to do over again, I would buy the S model for the extra power. So far, I have only had minor problems like lights remaining on when they shouldn't. For example; the left side front and rear running lights stayed on when I walked away from the car once. I went back and tried to turn them off but couldn't. Next time they turned off normally. I have also seen the taillights on by themselves when the car is parked. When the engine is cold, I need to carry too many rpms to get the car moving without bucking and snorting. This clears up when the engine gets warmer. I hope this is an adjustment problem that will be fixed at my first service. Control placement is a problem as noted elsewhere, especially the window controls.
Pros: Power Top
Cons: Interior Comfort
Advice: Drive it for a while to be sure you can get used to its size.Bought the new S convertible in December. Overall well designed, nice extras, tight and responsive. Very poor visibility out of the back window, bordering on dangerous. Seats terribly uncomfortable, hard to get in and out. Performs well, but too small and uncomfortable . Will probably sell!
Pros: Supercharged Engine
Cons: rear visibilty
Advice: go with the Cooper SHandles great. Much faster accelaration than my 2004 Standard Mini Cooper. Because of the backseat headrest, rear visibilty could be a problem. The Mini Cooper S Convertible is probably the funnest car I have ever drove.
Cons: Hard to find (need of more dealers)
Advice: It's a perfect second car. Get the convertible you won't regreat.Awsome grip and handling, very quick.
Pros: looks cute, people love it
Cons: service is a drag, have to go often and 3 hours round trip to get there. no other dealership will fix them
Advice: don't get one unless you have a MINI service center VERY close, you'll regret it if it is more than 30-45 minutes away!get the sport package with the works kit! it is very zippy with a tight turning radius that will get you anywhere easily. service is AWFUL though. i would only get one if you have a dealership in your hometown. no one else will touch these things, even BMW. and standard car places can't get most of the parts or don't know the vehicle well. we have been through 5 runflat tires in one year, all on the same rim. service techs are nice, but i have their number, fax and email memorized by now and we have only had it 1 1/2 years