"Bought new 2011 Cooper S with automatic transmission in May 2011. I has approximately 19k miles to this day, and so far I have not had a single issue with the car (knock on wood). I had the dealer changed the oil at 15K miles and that was it. Handling, braking and acceleration are excellent. Interior space is adequate in my situation since I rarely take more than one passenger. Comfortable enough for long distance, quiet enough for normal conversation at 70mph highway cruising. Mine is the out of the box cooper, not a JC Works Cooper so it has the standard suspension, and nothing has been modified on the car. I use this car just for daily commute, I averaged 32 mpg between ciy and hwy, and alway use 89 Octane gas. The car needs about 3/4 quart motor oil every 4-5 thousand miles so oil consumption seems normal. It's hard to comprehend other bad reviews from which those unfortunate owners experienced from engine issues down to every buttons in that car during early year of ownership, so it seemed. May be their issues were due to the ealier models? Or may be I am lucky with mine? Perhaps its true color will reveal on mine someday but so far it has proved itself worth keeping."
"I got my 2010 MINI hatchback in March. I have the base engine with auto. I never thought I would have so much fun driving. I use to drive a Camry (boring) and an Accord (decent), but driving a MINI really does make me happy. I have a family of 4 and a minivan is generally our mode of transport. But my 2 little kids always want to be in the MINI. We've gone to MINI rallies and met other happy owners as well. This small car is just great commuting to work and running errands. I would never take it on long family trips unless it's just me and my wife. Even though I had to take it to dealership on 2 occasions to fix a rattling noise, the dealer provided me with a loaner car, Cooper S. After driving the turbo version, my base MINI does feel underpowered. However, the overall driving feel and handling of the base MINI, imo, is better than the S. Plus, the ride of the S is really harsh. Both versions have the Sport mode and it really makes a difference in the base model, not so much on the S. Fuel Economy has been good at 28 mpg for combined driving. The interior takes time to get use to because of the layout of the door locks and window switches. The big speedometer in the middle might be a turnoff for some but I like it. Is there anything I don't like? I wish the base model had an extra 20-30 hp. The S is really too powerful for the driving that I do."
"I've had this car for 2 years now and the only problem I can say I've had is a slight rattle in the driver's side door (what MINI doesn't have a unique noise these days?). I love my little car. I drive about 10 miles to work every day through suburban roads in the DC metro area. It's not the most comfortable ride, but the driving dynamics MORE than make up for it. I find my base version has just enough pep to get me around town in a fun and timely fashion!
I was worried about reliability initially, but so far so great! I have a lot of people come up and talk to me about my car, or make "The Italian Job" comments, hah. Owning a MINI has definitely been a unique experience, one I can't say I've had in the past with "regular" vehicles."
"This car is so much fun. I am young and childless, so this car is all I need. I am constantly amazed at how smart it is; from the windshield wipers slowing when I come to a stop (they are speed-sensitive) and the car tells me when it needs maintenance/average mpg/average speed and more. For those interested, it has an auxillary jack for electronics. For those with harsh winters like Wyoming, the defrost system is speedy and the cold weather package is absolutely great. Something to keep in mind, Minis use synthetic oil only and require premium gas."
"I custom ordered it, I waited 4 months to get it. It is SO much fun to drive and it really stands out in a crowd. The downside is that I have had major mechanical issues and many minor problems. In less than 2 years, my timing chain fell off, I've had electronic issues, my sunroof leaked and has been re-adjusted at least 5 times. Today the engine light went on and the car started sounding really bad. It seems like I am always at the dealership having SOMETHING fixed. I love my car but I would never buy another MINI."