Pros: "fun to drive, can park anywhere, mostly reliable"
Cons: "Falling apart, poor customer service..."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I thought that buying a car manufactured by BMW would ensure a higher quality vehicle and overall experience. Definitely not the case here. My biggest disappointment is that the interior is cheaply made and things are just breaking and falling apart.. and have been for a while now. Door handles popping out of the door (attached to the speaker cover), glove box handle finish peeling away (happened right away), emergency break handle part broke and fell off, the cushion for the elbow rest in the center quickly fell off and the part itself is cheap plastic. There is actually quite a bit of this cheap plastic in the interior.. it looked ok in the beginning but has not aged well at all. The color of the plastic molding that frames the center console is fading and becoming see through so that it looks cheap and awful. The seats have torn open at the seams - I have a convertible and take very good care of it, I never leave the top down when I park it and I'm not rough on the car by any means.
Another huge disappointment was that BMW customer service was horrible. My make, model and year was listed in a recall - and I was experiencing problems with the car that to a TEE what was described in the recall. But when I contacted the dealership they informed me that my specific VIN number was not in the "lot" that was included in the recall. I contacted BMW corporate to see if they would do anything for me given the very clear evidence that my car was having the recall problems. They gave me the run around and eventually held their ground that my car was not included in the recall. With less than 25K miles at the time - my car was having problems it should not have had. Unfortunately it was out of warranty because it was more than 5 years old. Fortunately - that has been the only mechanical issue I've had with the car and it has otherwise been very reliable.
Another major complaint is that my alignment is constantly being ruined by even the smallest bumps/dips that are sometimes totally unavoidable (i.e. there is a big "seam" in the freeway that I have to go over). This is ridiculous.
Yes, this is a "Mini" -- but everything inside does not have to be! The cupholders (especially the ones in the center console) are worthless. You cannot fit anything taller than a small sized cup (which still barely fits) in there because the knobs for the windows & fog lamps block it.
For how small the Mini is, there is a surprising amount of headroom and leg room in the front seats. Definitely not much of either of those in the back seats.
The driving dynamics and reliability have been the two saving graces of this car. It is very fun to drive, get's decent gas mileage for a super charged engine, and I can park it just about anywhere. The negatives far outweigh the positives however, and not only will I tell everyone that I know how poorly the Mini cooper is made, I will never buy another Mini or a BMW ever again.
In the last few weeks my convertible suddenly stopped working. I have no idea why-- it was working just fine before. It also started leaking.. after the recent rains I opened my trunk to discover it was soaking wet- which is truly unfortunate considering we are supposed to have an "El Nino" year. This is the last straw for me and the car is going goodbye, even though I'm upside down in the financing. I'm so unhappy with it that I'm willing to bite the bullet to get rid of it."
Cons: "Back seat is hard for my 65 puppy to get into now"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is a 2005 Mini Cooper S convertible, manual 6 speed with leather seats. So much fun to drive, top pulls back with in time for red light to Change to green. Has had consistent service, recently had spark plugs replaced Drives great, mostly driven freeway, but in town, up the coast . Has had following done: replace wishbone bracket and bushings, expansion tank, gasket pan replaced, exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe, oil pan gasket, tires . Has cup holder for front and rear seat, great sound system"
"I have owned this vehicle for about a year and a half now. Everytime i take it into the dealer for an oil change, they quote me about $10k worth of repairs that need to be done.. And issues keep coming up such as:
Engine noise due to timing chain (which i have replaced 2 times in <40k miles
Airbag light on and off for no reason whatsoever
Dashboard just pops open and doesn't go back up
Strut mounts crack and break
Engine mount cracks
Power Steering failure
and the list goes on....
I am a die hard BMW fan and thought to invest in a MINI but stay away. I would much rather spend 2-3k more and get a decent older used 3 series. My second car is e90 335i and it is a beast in sheeps clothing. It puts a smile to my face everytime i see it. The cooper s convertible on the other hand...."
"I bought my 2004 Works Cooper S new in mid-year and have had a blast driving it. The only real problem I had was the power steering pump but a few years later I was re reimbursed the full amount by BMW. I knew when I bought it, it wasn’t really an ideal four seater so I removed the rear seat and made a flat floor so now it’s like a small van. I have made quite a few modifications to the engine but still get an average of 33 mpg. I would recommend a 2004 Mini Cooper S but not the newer models due to all the recalls. I'm now 70 years old but my baby makes me feel like a teenage."
Pros: "A sports car with a back seat, for driving enthusiasts"
Cons: "Harsh suspension; no spare tire; expensive parts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"The Mini Cooper S is basically a sports car with room for a buddy & golf clubs. You must LOVE to drive. Otherwise the harsh suspension, the compromise for space, constant new tires and the parts expense will overwhelm you and will not turn into a good experience.
I own a 2006 S with nearly 150,000 miles. I've only had one thing go bad that wasn't normal wear n tear (water pump). I've been thinking of selling it, but also might put in a Cooper system and keep it just to drive the canyons on weekends!
I can't speak for the newer minis. I'm sure there are models now that offer more comfort during the ride. But do a little auto soul searching first or you will not be happy."
"I have loved this car for its looks and driving dynamics. But, it has been a MONEY PIT. We bought it with 10,600 miles on it in 2004 and I thought great, just in time for the engine to be broken in. We were told by the dealership that it was rated at a 300,000 mile plus car. That's what personally sold me. We have made sure to take it to the dealership for all repairs for documentation purposes. Thousands plus dollars we've put into it over the years, only to be told that they want another $3200.00. Part of the repairs include a minor leak in the seal to the engine. SERIOUSLY! The car has less the 85,000 miles on it and has been driven with tender loving care. I'm told that Honda doesn't even want to see you for the first 150,000 miles. This car doesn't even rate at American car standards and that's just bad. Disappointed.....to say the least!~"