The Pros and Cons of Owning a Mini

Updated on May 31, 2020
davidlivermore profile image

David has had a variety of life experiences which he loves to share with his readers.

A highly customized Mini Countryman in the showroom of a dealership.
A highly customized Mini Countryman in the showroom of a dealership. | Source

What Is a Mini?

So what is a Mini? It's basically a small economy car that is known for its speed, extreme drifting, and unique look. There have been various types of Mini cars over the last several decades, but their popularity has surged because of their availability almost all over the world, their unique look, and their race car-like quality.

Mini, which is owned by BMW, is recognized at making some of the most popular small cars. While the Cooper is the most recognized model, there are other cars from Mini to choose from.

I have owned a Mini Cooper for four years. I thoroughly researched the brand before buying it, and I did not want to write an article until I felt experienced and knowledgeable about what vehicle had to offer. This article will cover my experience owning this car. I will go over its pros and cons as well as go over the current models offered by Mini.

This Mini has options added after it was purchased from the dealership.
This Mini has options added after it was purchased from the dealership. | Source

The Pros of Owning a Mini

I'll start with the positives as to why you should own a Mini brand vehicle.

  • Fun to drive. The main reason I wanted a Mini was because they looked so fun to drive. Once I got behind the wheel, I knew it was a good choice. They can quickly go fast, make turns without a problem, and can practically park anywhere. A don't really care to drive, but when I do, I want it to be in a fun car. Of all of the vehicles I have owned, the Mini has been the most fun.
  • Customization. When I was first shopping around for a Mini, I went to their website to play with the various options I could have on the car. A cool thing about this car is that you can customize it almost anyway you want. Not only does the Mini stand out among other cars, you can make your own Mini stand out among identical models.
  • Affordable. If you choose not to get any options, this can be a very affordable car to buy. Granted, having some of the neater options are nice, they are not required.
  • Less frequent maintenance. A Mini doesn't need an oil change or regular maintenance done every few months like other cars. Instead, you can go two years before having the car checked out. With the standard three-year warranty, you can take it to a Mini dealership for it's first maintenance. However, I like to get my oil changed sooner somewhere else just so it can have clean oil.
  • Great gas mileage. Even though these cars use premium gas, it does offer decent gas mileage. I only have to fill up my tank once a month, and that is driving to and from work as well as other places around town. I can do about six to seven hours of solid freeway driving before needing a fill-up.
  • High resale value. A Mini brand car has a pretty good resale value, assuming the car is in great shape and has no problems with it. If and when you decide to get rid of your car, you will earn more back than what you would with other vehicles. I tend to change cars every five years, and while I may not with my Mini, having a high trade-in value is definitely a bonus.

Example of one of the older Mini models, which isn't for sale, but is nice to look at.
Example of one of the older Mini models, which isn't for sale, but is nice to look at. | Source

How Much Is a Mini Cooper?

Here are the MSRPs of the 2019 models of Mini Coopers, as well as the prices for the various other models offered by the brand.

Mini Hardtop 2 Door

  • Classic: $21,900
  • Signature: $24,900
  • Iconic: $29,900
  • John Cooper Works: $31,900

Mini Hardtop 4 Door

  • Classic: $23,400
  • Signature: $25,900
  • Iconic: $30,900

Mini Cooper Clubman

  • Classic: $25,400
  • Signature: $28,900
  • Iconic: $34,900
  • John Cooper Works: $35,900

Mini Cooper Countryman

  • Classic: $27,400
  • Signature: $30,900
  • Iconic: $35,900
  • John Cooper Works: $37,900

Mini Convertible

  • Classic: $27,400
  • Signature: $29,900
  • Iconic: $34,900
  • John Cooper Works: $36,900

Some of the drawbacks of Minis are that there isn't much leg room or trunk space.
Some of the drawbacks of Minis are that there isn't much leg room or trunk space. | Source

The Cons of Owning a MINI

Unfortunately, there are cons to buying and owning a Mini as well, some of which I have experienced personally.

  • Mini knows you want one. When people shop around for a car, they can bounce from dealership to dealership without really expressing they want a particular type of car. Unfortunately, when shopping for a Mini, most dealers will know that you want one of those in particular. If you express you drove a long way, loved them for years, etc., then they can turn that against you.
  • Can be expensive. If you want to get multiple options, then the price of this car can skyrocket. With all of the options I wanted, the price of my vehicle jumped by over 30%! Granted, it was worth it, but it made it the most expensive car I have ever owned. So be prepared to spend a lot of money if you want various options to make your car unique.
  • Dealerships aren't everywhere. In my case, the closest dealership is about an hour and a half away. It is certainly a pain to drive to. I am lucky that I have one that close. Other people may have to travel hours to get to a Mini dealership. If you do buy a car, then ensure that you learn about your warranty. The flatbed service they offer to pickup your Mini is only for a limited area, and even getting a rental while your car is being repaired can be limited in how far you can drive it.
  • Maintenance can be expensive. Once your car is out of warranty, all repairs will need to be covered by you. There are extended warranty options, but those are expensive as well. Despite Mini brand cars becoming more common, the repairs can be very expensive. So if you purchase one, be prepared for that if your car starts to have issues.
  • It's a small car. I went from a sports car to a Mini, which to me was a big jump in size. A lot of people complain that these cars have very little storage space. It's not meant to be a family car, it's meant to be a fun car that can barely fit four people. I can hold a lot in my car, it just requires a bit of effort. However, the more expensive models have more space.
  • Uses the most expensive fuel. Despite the decent fuel economy, the Mini does require premium fuel. You can use the cheaper types of gas, but it won't be great for your vehicle, and it will require more fill-ups, so it's strongly discouraged that you do that.
  • Non-Mini dealerships won't do a good job servicing your vehicle. I took my car in to a local repair shop to deal with a couple small issues, as well as get an oil change. They couldn't fix the issues I had with my car, and missed a very critical issue that my dealership found months later. So don't rely on a non-Mini dealership/repair shop to take good car of your vehicle.

Secret Compartment in the Mini Cooper

Common Mini Cooper Problems

The Mini Cooper is a fairly reliable vehicle, but it does have its share of common issues. Here are some that can be frequently seen.

  • Clutch Failure: This was a fairly common problem with first and second generation Mini Coopers. The usual cause was hard driving, and it could occur as early as under 20,000 miles.
  • Transmission Failure: The first generation vehicles were notorious for an automatic transmission that would routinely fail. A lawsuit actually forced BMW to offer a warranty specifically for the transmission. The coverage was for eight years or 150,000 miles, whichever came first.
  • Water Pump and Thermostat Housing Leak: The water pump leaking on the first two generations of Minis was a fairly common occurrence. They often had to be replaced at over 50,000 miles. The thermostat housing in the second generation models were made of plastic. This would naturally break down over time.
  • Radiator Support Problems: The radiator support is made of plastic and is located in a low spot on the front of the car. It is very delicate and can be damaged by hitting a low curb when parking.
  • Electric Power Steering Pump Problems: The electric power steering pumps were prone to failure, enough so that BMW ordered a recall. The main cause of the issue was either low power steering fluid or the malfunction of the electric cooling fan.

My Mini Cooper S, which I have owned for four years.
My Mini Cooper S, which I have owned for four years. | Source

My Personal Experience Owning a Mini

I'd like to offer some of my own experience buying a Mini, just to give you a taste of what I had to go through.

I had wanted this car for years. I did a lot of research before deciding to buy one. I actually had to go to three dealerships before I finally purchased my car. I will cover each experience with each dealership.

  • Dealership #1 - I was on vacation one week and decided to make the two-hour drive to test drive a Mini. I arrived at the dealership and felt like I was more of a pain since I wasn't buying at that time. I was given a short test drive and was sent on my way. That thoroughly discouraged me and I stopped looking for awhile.
  • Dealership #2 - I decided I would buy a Mini, despite my negative experience, but it took months for me to get to that point. I made an appointment with this dealership to test drive a vehicle. When I arrived, I was advised there were no automatics to test drive, as they were all still "wrapped up." They had a lot full of cars, but none of them were automatics. The salesman had the gall to state I could still make a down payment on a car, even though I hadn't test driven the one I wanted yet. I walked out as I was very upset.
  • Dealership #3 - Even though I was upset, I was close to another dealership. I made the short drive to that one. The salesman was very nice; I was able to find the car I wanted, and I purchased it that day. It was a great experience, it was just a shame that it took three attempts to find a good dealership.

So now I owned a Mini. I had a couple small issues with it. It was nothing too bad and nothing that warranted taking it back to the dealership. I did take it in to a local place after a couple years to have the oil changed and to look at a minor issue. Unfortunately, they couldn't fix it.

I recently took it in to my dealership to get full maintenance done on it, as well as have some issues looked at. Unfortunately, it was going to take more than a day, so I was given a rental and would have to go back the next day. By the time I arrived the next day, it still wasn't done. I basically wasted two days on getting the car maintained, but it was worth it.

There was an oil leak, which is apparently common in Minis, but for whatever reason they don't tell people that or do a recall. Had it been ignored, especially since the local repair shop didn't find it, it would have crippled the vehicle. There were some recalls as well, but for whatever reason, I was never notified of those.

Despite all of that, I was pleased with the service. They talked to me throughout the process, and for the first time ever, I was taken back to my vehicle where the mechanic explained some of the repairs to me. Even the mechanic was friendly. So despite the issues I had having to take two days off work to get this done, I was happy overall with the experience.

I love my Mini, it's the best car I have owned. I am concerned about any future repair costs, but I think if you take care of your car and have a Mini dealership look at it directly, then there shouldn't be many issues. I recommend this car for anyone who wants something fun and exciting to drive.


I eventually traded in my Mini. Once the warranty expired, I didn't feel comfortable owning it since I did not have a local dealership close by to service the vehicle. I do miss the vehicle and will probably pick one up again if a dealership ends up in the same city I live in.


Still no Mini dealership in my area, but I know I still want another Mini in my lifetime. I still have concerns about reliability, so I need a dealership close by if I ever were to consider one again.

Still Want a MINI?

After reading everything, do you still want a MINI?

See results

Great Mini Video

The Vehicle Models Offered by Mini

These are the models that have been offered by Mini.

  • Cooper - This is the hardtop Mini, and it's the most recognized model. It's considered the basic, and cheapest, model. This is the model that started the craze for the brand.
  • Clubman - This is basically a longer version of the Cooper, allowing for more legroom. It has a different method to open the trunk. If you want more space, this is the way to go.
  • Convertible - If you live in a nice place, then the convertible version is the way to go. The top goes down nicely, and it seems to be a popular model among celebrities.
  • Countryman - This could be considered an SUV. This is the first model to have doors for the front and backseat passengers. It can also have four-wheel drive.
  • Coupe - This is the fastest of the models. Unlike the other models, this one has quite a distinct look. Expect this one to be a tight fit. This model was discontinued in 2015.
  • Roadster - This is basically the convertible version of the Coupe. This model was discontinued alongside the Coupe.
  • Paceman - Another cross-model, this is the two-door version of the Countryman. Production for this model ended in 2016.
  • John Cooper Works - You can choose to upgrade to the John Coopers Works edition of most of the Mini models, but it comes with a high price tag. If you want the best engine, you can go with this.

What Model MINI do You Want?

What model of MINI do you want the most?

See results

MINI Cooper S

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Is it worth it to buy a second-hand MINI rather than new?

    That's hard to say. I know one person who has a MINI that has lasted for a long time, while mine was having recall issues. It depends on the price. Get a report on the vehicle as well.

  • How does a mini handle in the snow?

    Deep snow may cause an issue because of the low clearance. There is also a concern about those tough up hills.

    However, it will greatly depend on your choice of tires. If you live or plan to go someplace snowy, finding tires good for that will be your best bet.

    Since they are great at turning, you'll want to be careful you don't turn yourself into a spin either.

  • Could I bring a Mini to a BMW dealership for maintenance and repairs?

    Call a BMW dealership up and check if they will service a MINI. My local BMW dealership could not service my MINI. Even if they say they will verify that they will accept your warranty just in case it's a warranty issue. Just because they can service it, doesn't mean they will accept the warranty.

  • So what kind of car did you get after you were done with your Mini?

    A Nissan Juke, which was a complete mistake. It broke down within two years, the dealership treated me poorly, and the car lacked the power I wanted. So I switched to a Chevy Camaro after that, which I have to do this day. It's a 2018, and is a great car. Dealership has treated me well, the car runs like a dream, etc. I love it.

  • I’m on the fence about buying a Mini, don’t get me wrong a Mini Cooper is my dream car but the only thing holding me back is the fact that I’m scared about the problems that regularly occur with them. Is it worth the risk?

    I felt it was at the time because I enjoyed the look of the car, driving it, etc. It was a great car. I only traded it in when the warranty expired and I had to drive an hour out of town to get it serviced at a dealership. If you have a dealership in your city that can service it, then I think it would be worth the risk. Besides, mine didn't outwardly have problems with it, it just had some recalls that needed to be resolved. Had it broken down due to those recalls though, I wouldn't have had it fixed so easily because of the distance to my dealership.

© 2014 David Livermore


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      10 days ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      First off, courtesy cars can be a bit of a gamble since you have no idea how they are treated. Sure, it's only 5,000 miles, but that's still a lot of driving. My current vehicle is considered used, but only had about 30 miles on it, and it had a $2,000 discount. I'd ask for a bigger discount if you can.

      I have never purchased protective coating, but I've only most of my cars for five years or less. If you own it for longer, it may be worth getting.

      The warranty is another gamble. The consensus is that you shouldn't get it since it could be a waste, but my MINI had issues even during my standard warranty. It really depends on the cost. Considering they are used vehicles, it may be worth it.

    • profile image

      Purple Shark 

      11 days ago

      Hi, David. Thank you for this thoughtful, well-written article. I've learned so much!

      I'm looking at 2019 and 2020 Cooper S models at a dealership near me. They were both dealer courtesy cars and have about 5,000 to 6,000 miles on them. The 2019 has a better sound system, which is important to me. With the "discount" of it being a courtesy car the price of the 2019 is $26k. The 2020 price is $28.6k.

      First, I was wondering if you think $3k is enough of a discount with the mileage. Second, do you feel it would be worth it to pay for the extra "protective coating" on the paint since in Philadelphia we get some intense summer and winter weather. The one car is green so I worry about it fading, etc.

      I was told by MINI owner/addicts to be sure to get the extra warranty on brakes and wipers and the tire warranty for sure. I would be grateful for your perspective.

      Thank you! :)

      Marie :)

    • profile image


      8 weeks ago

      My experience owning a Mini wasn’t a good one either. All of the common problems you mentioned happened to me. I had an 02 hardtop base model. I was cursed with overheating issues one after the other. The radiator broke and starting leaking anti freeze after pulling into a parking space and lightly tapping the cement block in front of the parking space. Another time it was the thermostat. both engine cooling fans in my car went. I spent over 2,000$ trying to fix it and the cooling system, which after all that the AC still didn’t work. just for the transmission to fail at 86,000 miles. I found out later about the class action lawsuit brought against them for faulty transmissions in that model. You really do have to bring the car to the dealer for maintenance if you want to make sure the problem gets solved. Do not buy one any earlier than a 2013 model, a sales dealer at Mini literally told me that. It’s sad because they really are SO much fun to drive and have great handling... only way I’d own one again is when I am extremely financially stable and able to blow money on this car as necessary. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went to, so I felt the need to share. Good luck!

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Mini’s are great cars, super fun to drive! Finding the right mechanic is important especially if you’re not going to the dealership. My local mechanic is BMW certified and a mini guy, which has saved me some money in the long run. We live in a cold wintery place that uses a lot of salt in the roads so rust, brakes, and rotor replacements are the biggest issue. Be careful of the older models with the Peugeot engines, there can be a lot of turbo, oil burn, and timing belt issues. But I can say this is our third mini S hardtop and we are never going back.

    • profile image

      Michael Evans 

      6 months ago

      I also had a terrible time buying my first one, took two years by which time the one I wanted was no longer sold. I ended up with a manual salt volcanic orange which everyone seems to like. I decided to sell it the moment I felt it was going to begin having problems, as a retired mechanic I've always had this feeling with cars just before things get bad. My wife didn't want to sell and claimed I imagined problems. It's a year later after having had all the brakes, engine mounts, battery, complete clutch and tyres changed. ( They go hard here in Mexico, because of the extreme heat ) I meantime have bought a clubman which has a lot of room ) I meantime have bought a clubman, the other one despite being small, I still managed to carry two passengers and a full size scissors type step ladder. I still want to sell the old car but have paid out a lot and people here rarely tend to take into consideration the fact that it has had new parts. So I would lose a lot, it's done less than 30,000 kilometres, and is 2015. Have you any knowledge of potential problems with the clubman, it's just the basic automatic version, 2019, there is one thing I don't like, it only came with runflats which are no good here because of the roads in fact I have already changed one which was split after being run off the road.and driving over raised markers on the roadside. Overall I love both cars, but it would be handy to be prepared for any potential problems. Thanks. Michael Merida Yucatan.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      7 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Sorry to hear that. The potential problems with mine is why I traded it in, including a recall that I wasn't told about that could have stopped my car dead.

    • profile image 

      7 months ago

      Disappointed with Mini Cooper S. Recently the timing chain broke and the car only covered 48000km. Very expensive repairs. The dealer doesnt want to know about it when i called to ask why the chain should break with low mileage and regular servicing. I live in Perth, Western Australia.

    • profile image

      Alan Cohen 

      8 months ago

      MY Mini Cooper 2015 drove hard as a rock and the AC unit blew semi cold air which really sucks in Florida. Besides that it drove like a rocket

      and handled impressively and it was easy on gas. Now taking all that in consideration you have a that might lead you to other choices

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      11 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      It's hard to say. Mine had issues while someone else I knew didn't have issues. It should be checked out fully before you make the purchase.

    • profile image

      Ken F 

      11 months ago

      Although I owned a brand new Mini Cooper S back in 2008 and I loved the car in many ways I would still not really recommend buying a used one to anyone. The new Mini Cooper has been around for more than 15 years now, which means we have a lot of repair data on it and that data clearly shows that yearly repair cost are much higher for the Mini than for other subcompacts or even for midsize cars.

      Also I have to say that the torque steer is HORENDOUS on the Mini. Most front wheel drive car manufacturers had managed to pretty much completely eliminate torque steer in their cars by the mid 90’s, yet my 2008 Mini had much worse torque steer than even early 80’s cars.

      I also had a problem with the 1st/2nd synchromesh from day one on my Mini. Basically when first driving the car each day the transmission would bite a bit when shifting from first to second gear, although the problem would go away after just a few minutes of driving (once the gear oil circulated and heated up a bit). Long story short, the dealership refused to do anything about it.

      The other thing I hated is that the car will not allow any engine braking in first gear (and maybe not second either). I remember getting a big surprise the first time I had to make a left turn across heavy traffic and into a parking lot. I punched it as soon as I had an opening and then immediately let off the gas expecting the engine to instantly slow me down to a crawl right before entering the lot. But the car just kept going at full speed and I had to quickly slam on the brakes. Basically the ECU overrides your own throttle input and chooses to reduce the throttle very gradually rather than suddenly. I cannot remember if this is still the case with the stability control turned off but it doesn’t really matter because if you want the stability control off you have to remember to turn it off each and every time you start the car up (you cannot change the default to “off”).

      Anyway, while the Mini Cooper (especially the “S”) can be a very fun and fuel efficient car, if you are buying an older one that is out of warranty it is probably going to cost you a lot of money in repairs over the years, and it might even occasionally leave you stranded somewhere.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      11 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Really it's your call. It's hit or miss on the reliability. If you can get a good warranty on it near a place that can service properly, I'd say go for it.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      I’m looking to buy a mini one 2016 from a mini dealership.

      What are your thoughts?

      I have had a Clio & Fiat 500 both with a lot of problems

      I want something reliable but have always loved minis

      I have always Hurd good and bad things about them

    • profile image

      Ken K 

      11 months ago

      I'm the original owner of a 2005 MINI Cooper S (R53) and still love driving it everyday. The handling on a MINI is amazing including in snow (I live in Canada).

      I do find that my MINI requires a little more TLC compared to say a Toyota. I doubt MINI would ever win any reliability awards. That being said, I haven't had any catastrophic issues with my MINI, after almost 15 years, driving everyday, in Canada (snow, extreme temps, salt on roads).

      The major downside of a MINI are repair costs. MINI dealerships can be VERY expensive. Parts are really expensive and then marked up on top of that by MINI dealerships by 200% or more. I've found that independant garages, while a bit less expensive, are not particularly good at diagnosing or troubleshooting MINIs.

      I've dealt with a relatively constant flow of repairs, replacements, and fixes for any number and variety of "minor" components. My MINI does burn oil. Not at an alarming rate, but enough that it needs a top-up midway between oil change intervals. Yes, it can be a little bit annoying at times, but I just tell myself it's a part of the "quaint charm" of owning a MINI Cooper S. If reliability is your top priority though, MINI may not be a great choice.

      That being said, nothing "major" has ever failed (knock on wood). For example, I've never had a problem with the supercharger, engine, transmission, drive train. I'm still driving with the original clutch, exhaust, and suspension (after 15 years and 125K miles) which could even be described as, dare I say, quite reliable.

      I don't doubt that one day, my supercharger will blow up on me, perhaps forcing me to put my R53 out to pasture, but until that time there really isn't any other car I'd rather be driving.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      12 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Well just the standard Cooper version is the cheapest one for the most part. Granted used prices can affect that, as well as the resale market of the MINI brand. But the Cooper tends to be the no frills version.

    • profile image

      Nikos Warren 

      12 months ago

      Which Mini Cooper year would be the best? I want a cheaper version and i was going to buy a used version

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      12 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      First gen was in 2000, second generation 2006.

      I don't think any generation is considered bad, just depends on the vehicle. Mine had issues, but someone else I know who had the same generation as mine had no issues.

      I love the car, I'd still have one if I could get it serviced at a dealership close by. It's your call if you want to risk it. If you have a good warranty and a place to get it serviced, go for it.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      I found this thread very informative! I owned a 2003 Mini when I lived in Hawaii and loved it. I bought it used and immediately had it serviced. Never had issues with it, and especially loved how I could always find parking in tight places! I’m now back on mainland and commute. The parking and gas mileage considerations have brought me back to looking at Mini Coopers. What years are considered 1st and 2nd generation cars? Was there a period where they were bad? I ask because I had a great experience with mine, and will be buying used. Looking at a mini 2 door S. Any advice?

    • profile image

      colleen fraser 

      15 months ago

      Just sold my 2012 Mini hardtop (bought new) three weeks ago. Why did I sell it? When it reaches the point where you're on a first name basis with the tow truck driver it's time to let it go. At 5K miles the Mini spun a rod---covered under warranty at the dealership. At 42K it needed new ignition coils. At 48K it needed a new water pump. At 51K it needed a new head gasket. At 63K it needed another new head gasket. At 63.9K it needed a new engine temperature sensor. I got mechanical breakdown coverage through my insurance co. when I bought the car new, so my co-pay for these repairs was only $250.00. The M.B. coverage is only good for 100K or 7 years. No way was I going to keep the Mini without M.B. coverage. In 64K miles I had more problems with the Mini then I had with all of the other cars I've owned combined. Definitely a blast to drive---but I'll never buy another one!

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      The comment of long oil life is a contributing factor to many engine problems with the N14 engine. The N14 engine uses a lot of oil and requires a weekly oil check and fill depending on the mileage. You may likely survive low oil levels with other cars, not the 2007 through - 2010 Mini Copper S, and a few other Mini models, that mistake will cause your timing chain tensioner to fail as well as other problems and most likely a ruined engine. Don't wait a year between oil changes!

    • profile image

      Gary h. Watanabe 

      16 months ago

      I owned 3 mini's from 2001 to 2014.

      If u want a fun car to drive get the mini coupe SS. It drives like a "go cart", quick n with great handling. The next best thing to n actual race car.

      I got older (now 77) so I got i to a Beemer.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      16 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I know nothing about BMWs, so I can't compare their maintenance to the MINI's. I had a poor experience due to the recalls being issued and distance to get it repaired. If you have someone local, great. I knew someone who purchased a used MINI and it's ran great. It's all luck of the draw.

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      Do you know how the maintenance and repairs compare to the 3 series or 5 series BMW? I have owned 3 of them (used) over the past 15 years and I have loved every one. They have been solid, reliable cars that have required little work. However, when they do need routine work or replacement parts, it is costly.

      I need a new car and am considering a Mini, but wonder how they compare in this respect,I would be buying a used one and have a fantastic mechanic that only works on BMWs, Minis and Mercedes. Any thoughts on this?

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      17 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I don't know enough about the A250 to offer input on it's engine and systems, however, based on looks alone I don't like it. Plus the cost seems high, as I expected it would be.

      However, if you are going for reliability, the A250 may be the better choice.

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      i am torn between A250 and mini countryman all 4....would appreciate your thoughts...

    • wpcooper profile image


      18 months ago from Barstow

      It looks like a nice car, and I've always been curious. But with a track record like you mentioned and the expensive maintenance costs, it doesn't seem to be worth it.

      Glad I came across this article.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      19 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Yup, despite the issues I had with my vehicle, the dealership was pretty good about explaining everything to me. My last vehicle, a Nissan, the dealership did a bad job explaining things to me and treated me badly.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Just curious and had to ask, is this true? This was the first time you had ever been back into a shop and had a mechanic show you what he was doing?

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      19 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      It almost sounds too good to be true. MINI is a great car if the reliability is there. You better check the fine print.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Looking into purchasing a used mini countryman. Happy to say there is a dealer not far from me. They offer a life time warranty on the engine & transmission. Was wondering if that sounded like a good deal?

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      20 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I think the Paceman is great. The one you are considering is used, so hopefully you'll be able to find out if it had any issues.

      Oddly enough, I considered a Mustang once, but made the switch to a Camaro.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Hi David

      I am considering a Paceman JCW all4 2013 with only 39k miles. it looks and drives likes new.

      After owned several Mustangs 1989, 1990, 1992 five .0 liters and 2000, 2001 and 2002 GTs 4.6 litters.

      I was looking for another mustang and then decide that it will be my 7th and start looking for another fun car. after some months of looking and test I made a click with this Mini. some friends has told me to go mini cooper S hard top. that paceman model is ugly and is not rerally a " MIni" but I still like it. The JCW upgrade makes it a rare animal. However I still 50/50 if go with it or still with Mustang Mach1 2004 that is also like new- from a collector

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      21 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Yes, as it's a great car, but only if you have a dealership nearby who can service it.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      would you recommend a mini as a first car?

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      22 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      No idea if that's a good price or not. Some have good experiences with used vehicles, some don't. All depends on how the car was treated and what's been done to it. Try to find out the service/recall history on the vehicle.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      I am looking at purchasing a 2010 Mini convertible. It is for $16K and has 22K miles with brand new tires. It has had only one owner all of this time and no accidents. Is this a good price? I'm a bit concerned about what you said concerning expensive parts/labor. Should I be worried?


    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      22 months ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Nope it's not.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      is Mini a clean/green vehicle

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have had an 02 Cooper, 06 Cooper S Convertible and now drive a 2011 Countryman S. These are great cars. I have just reviewed all of my repair/maintenance activities for the Countryman. I had a lot of work done for the first 4 years under warranty. Since then it has just been oil, brakes, tires and a battery plus one oil sensor. I have a mechanic in AZ that used to work at the Mini dealer and he is awesome. The car runs great and I am itching to buy #4 so I can pass it on to my son. Take care of your Mini and it will take care of you. Buy a manual and you can't help but smile every time you walk towards your car! Having so much fun driving should be illegal.

    • profile image

      Yvonne P. Rivera 

      2 years ago

      My keys don't work. Can't gas up door won't open. Running on empty.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      2 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      It is, but you could get lucky. I know someone who owns a Mini and it's been running perfectly for years. However, mine did not in a shorter period of time. So it's a roll of the dice.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      What a disappointment on this Mini vehicle. I was thinking of getting a new Cooper but after researching this car on various Mini forums I decided not to get one. To me, this is a problematic car and coming from BMW is a joke!

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      2 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I had to take mine to the dealership I purchased it from, then another dealership that was a bit closer. Still, it was a long trip and make it a difficult process.

    • profile image

      Apple Grace 

      2 years ago

      They say if you love your Mini you should also love your Mini repairs.

      How do you ensure that your Mini ends up in the hands of experienced technicians though?

      Love your idea in here sir!

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      2 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I don't think anything is wrong with it, per se, just it's a style I don't think fits the Mini brand. But I know it's a popular model none the less.

      If you like it, get it!

    • profile image 

      2 years ago

      I am looking at a Mini Convertible! What is wrong with the this style?

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      2 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Agreed, which is why I turned mine in. It was hard to maintain it since there was no local dealership and the local auto shops didn't quite understand the vehicle.

    • profile image

      Matt F. 

      2 years ago

      These are great cars but they must be treated as what they are - European cars that require a high level of routine maintenance. If your follow the MINI maintenance schedule or Condition Based Maintenance indicator your car will be destined to have many very expensive repairs. Oil changes should be at 5K, brake fluid every 2 years, coolant every 3 years, gearbox or transmission fluid every 30K, spark plugs at 60K for S models, and air filters as needed. This doesn't sound like a lot, but even routine maintenance is very expensive on these cars. About 2x what an American or Japanese car costs.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      3 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      @Viki No information on the newer models, though I know they tend to be more reliable than the older models. They learned from their mistakes (though mine I did have issues).

      @kevin I'd be more worried about mechanical issues. 2007 is a fairly old model, so you can expect some issues to crop up within a few years I bet. So it's a risky buy depending on the price you are being offered.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Im looking to buy a mini. Its a 2007 cooper with 62,000 miles. the car fax says there are have been no issues with previous buyers and it only comes with a corrosion warranty. It seems to not have any rust from the pictures ,but is this something I should be worried about?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I'm in the market for a Cooper Countryman S. Found a 2015 model with low mileage. Any information on the 2015 Countryman S out there? Thank you

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      i own a mini cooper S 2012 the clutch failed with only 54000 kilometers and cost me 2500 to fix , still fun to drive but i wouldnt recommend it

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Loved this review. Being a person who knows nothing about cars and wanting to get mini cooper, you increased my confidence. Thank you.

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      4 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I am the author of this article, and as much as I love the look and feel of a Mini, I can't recommend them.

      Mine started to have issues fairly quickly, and with the 1.5 hour drive to the closest dealership, it wasn't cost effective. Plus, I was never advised of a recall on a part that could have lead to serious problems with my car.

      If you want to risk it, then go for it, but buyer beware.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I am about to purchase countryman model but still thinking of it as worried about the long term cost of maintenance as this will be costly affair. Is there anyone can let me know an honest answer of this issue? to own or not to own?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Are mini's reliable? I've read up on ConsumerAffairs and the list of issues on reliability and cost of maintenance and repairs is astounding... kinda puts me off getting one although I really want a 2016 model of the Clubman...

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      i bought a Mini Cooper 6 months ago. The dealership wasn't local so they bought the car over to test drive and took my Mazda mx5 to value. I was allowed to go to the Lake District for the weekend..over 2 hours drive each way, but fell in love with it within 30 mins. When they came to collect the mini and bought mine back I was when the salesman asked me if I wanted to buy one I asked to buy the one I drove. Very happy with the vehicle...I had it checked today for the ambient was me messing that had caused the problem...but they sent me a video showing they had checked the tyres and brakes as standard and Even valeted the vehicle...didn't cost me anything. Very pleased.

    • PoggyDobby profile image


      4 years ago from Probably Earth

      A very interesting article. I certainly liked the structure and how certain capsules were placed.

      Although I enjoyed reading, it didn't persuade me at all into believing that owning a Mini is beneficial. I mean, at that price you can get a faster, easier to take care of and probably more reliable car (e.g. Volkswagen GTI). No offence to Mini Cooper drivers but paying extra thousands of dollars to add some "unique" aspects to it is absolutely ridiculous, a rip-off to be accurate. Apart from that, I haven't seen any "extreme drifting" or high performance Mini cars "known for their speed". Correct me if I'm wrong.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Like so many others, I also have been desiring a Mini for quite some tyme. I am also trying to wait til I pay off my student loan b4 purchasing one. But thanks for the stellar review & the Mini is definitely my choice

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks, I was thinking of buying a second hand mini because new one is imported and very expensive. Your reviews are very useful to me

    • bankscottage profile image

      Mark Shulkosky 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I bought a Mini in Nov., 2002, a Green 2003 CooperS. I bought it because I had just paid off my student loans. I enjoy driving mine. It handles like a very peppy gokart. I only drive it in the summer and store it in the winter (live in northwestern PA with a ton of snow). I still enjoy driving it and usually can get another person to ride with me without any problem. It is tough to get a 3rd or 4th person to join us because no adult wants to sit in the small back seat. As the car has aged, I have noticed that the ride had gotten a little harsher and noisier. While the car is fun to drive, it is not much fun to ride in on long trips. My goal is to keep it until I can put antique or classic plates on. Drive on.

    • TheGutterMonkey profile image

      The Gutter Monkey 

      5 years ago

      Didn't Kevin Arnold use to ride one of these in The Wonder Years?

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      5 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub, David. I didn't know there were different kinds of mini coopers out there. Thanks for sharing this hub on this expensive car. Voted up for interesting! Congrats on HOTD!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I see Mini Coopers on the road fairly often around here and I think they're adorable. I had no idea that MINIs were available in the various models that you described. Glad you're enjoying yours. Congratulations on HOTD!

    • Nicoinstitches profile image


      5 years ago from Ottawa, ON

      I have own my Mini Cooper for 4 years now and still love it. It has become our main car.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      Minis sure are fun to drive, that's the part I like. Really, this is a great review on these little cars. Congrats on HOTD!

    • davidlivermore profile imageAUTHOR

      David Livermore 

      5 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      Oil problems I haven't heard about, but there seems to be consistent technical issues. I would expect the check engine light to go on, but I would take it in for yearly maintenance for them to solve issues like that.

      Don't trust what they tell you either. They may say that issues like that have been resolved, but that isn't true. It's a gamble.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi David, this is a great and honest write up. I am still looking to own my first Mini Cooper and really worried about the after warranty cost. I am eyeing 2014 models because of the technology it has. However, the resale value is still up there. I can't wait for my bucket list to happen.

      Any feedback on 2014 models like oil problems and check engine lights which are difficult to being unable to be repaired like the 08 and lower models?

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      You know, if dealerships are really friendly and establish relationships with you, then they're likely to keep you as a customer. It's amazing how many don't get that. I started shopping for a New Beetle (this was back in 2000) about six months before I wanted to get one. I went to the VW dealership and test-drove a turbo. I had a great rapport with the salesman and when I was ready, I had promised him that I would buy the car from him. All these years later I still remember all that.

      I might have to look at a Mini for my next car...I'm into smaller fast cars that can still drive in the mountains and snow. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      The Mini is certainly an iconic car. I have been somewhat perturbed by Mini's recent insistence in making larger vehicles. It gets a way from the core concept, which is "Mini":) Wonderful overview on a very interesting vehicle.

    • Tolovaj profile image


      6 years ago

      With all the pros and cons it looks being an owner of Mini still shows class. It's obviously not a car, it's part of the lifestyle. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      6 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Exceptional review of this car! It's always good to hear from a real buyer. Enjoyed and voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)