Fun Car, No Hassles
I've had two now, a 2002 MCS and currently a 2003 Cooper with sport package and automatic. This car is a great little around town ride and has not needed anything except scheduled maintenance. The finish and interior hold up well. The regular Cooper with cvt automatic is kinda pokey, but in stop and go city traffic the auto is nice.
Very Unreliable and Pricey Repairs
I've owned an '03 cooper for about 3 years now and it's one of my worst purchases I've ever made. As far as the looks and everything go, that's obviously going to be personal opinion. I happen to like the way everything looks though. It's very fun to drive, and the fuel efficiency is great. That said, if you plan on getting one expect to shell out a lot for repairs. Repairs are going to happen to you within a year and a half. I know two other people who have mini's and they have had to undergo some serious repairs; one of them was smart enough to trade it in and get a different car before it got too bad. Just do a search online for mini cooper repairs and you'll be hit with a list of them. I guess I'm "lucky"; the only repairs I've had were the common ones: - broken power steering motor ($1100 with parts and labor - 5 new tires over 3 years (this isn't really the fault of the car, but tires for them are EXPENSIVE. The runflats are $250 PER tire; regular tires start at $100 - broken locks on both doors. There are workarounds for them, and I am not going to repair them. Common problem. - Windows work intermittently. One way to temporarily fix this is to hit the door really hard in a certain spot, but this only works sometimes. VERY common problem. - Water collects inside of the hatch door. This is a problem when it rains. When you open the door all the way, water will pour out into the back seat and cargo area. - The emergency repair kit is located under the mat in the cargo area. Water collects in it from when it goes into the hatch door, becomes stagnant and produces a nasty odor. I didn't know what this was for a long time. I've finally had enough and am going to cut my losses by trading in for a different car. Again, save yourself many headache and a lot of cash by researching these problems.
What an amazing car
My girlfriend has a 2003 MINI Cooper. It is an amazing, smooth to ride and drive. It has very good mileage and is very reliable to drive on all kinds of roads - freeways, state highways and rural roads and in-city driving. Seats are comfortable and all controls in the car are within hand's reach distance. Granted the space is limited in the car, but it truly provides value for the money.
My lease is almost up on my MINI and I can't wait to get rid of it. First, it was a plethora of electrical issues--now the hatch is inoperable because of a broken hinge. All of this wouldn't be so bad if the dealer were close by and the warranty wasn't up. As it stands, this MINI is a costly, inconvenient toy. It still handles great, with good MPG--but after 5 years, I want out of our relationship. Recommended with reservations.
I've owned many cars but this little car is awesom
Not all cars are designed for everyone. Taking that in consideration I would have to say it was designed for a medium built person. My primary focus is on practicality. It drives very good, it handles very good, you can park very easy and I have all the comfort I need handy, I have traveled from Florida to Los Angeles in this car with my wife with about 2 weeks worth of luggage and found it to be a very smooth riding car for it's size. The fuel economy is awesome, I checked the on-board computer and the average miles per gallon was 49.7 now my Mini is not stock as it came from the factory, I have installed several Hi performance systems and the trip is mostly Highway. I just adjusted the AC to 68 degrees, turned the Iphone music on (the Iphone is interfaced with the radio) turned my gps device on and took off. I would buy another Mini again without any second thoughts.
Most entertaining car I've ever owned!!
This MINI has been my favorite so far. Granted, it's small, and that can hinder some people. But for others, that is the desire! I have always looked forward to getting behind the wheel. It has NEVER let me down in any way. It's like driving a go-cart since it's very easy to handle; and for a 4-cylinder it has great get-up-and-go! I love the security of the FWD in the winter too. With the back seats folded down, you can haul many items. The MINI gets a TON of attention on the road since it's so adorable to look at. I would recommend this vehicle IF you aren't carrying children around on a regular basis and IF you enjoy just plain reliable fun.