The original Mini was a fun, likable little car, but in terms of reliability, it was far from stellar. The new MINI, on the other hand, benefits from all the technological advances of the last five decades, making breakdowns a thing of the past, right? Wrong. On a recent Sunday one of our KBB editors found himself stranded in the KBB long-term MINI Cooper S. Even after extensive futzing with the start button and key fob, as well as an attempted jump start, the MINI's engine refused to turn over. The best the Cooper could muster was a mysterious yellow "!" displayed in the tachometer-mounted display. A web search of a MINI owner's message board pointed to a potential clutch switch failure. This non-starting situation would normally be an annoyance, but with the car located more than 100 miles from home, it became a serious inconvenience. But, rest assured, MINI Roadside Assistance, a tow truck
, and a local dealership all stepped in to help us get our vehicle home and starting once again. Look for a more detailed account of our MINI's journey back from the brink in the forthcoming MINI Report 17.