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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#1535 of 2671 Mini Cooper for commuter driving?
Sep 15, 2003 (10:00 am)
Hi, my brother has the 2003 Mini Cooper S and is convincing me to buy a Mini too. I'm looking into buying the 2004 Mini Cooper Base with the premium and Cold pkg, DSC, R85 17inch wheels, spoiler, dim lights and audio upgrade. Now, I will be using this as a commuter car and I drive about 30K miles a year. Any commuters out there? Can this car hack the rigors of everyday driving or is it just a weekend car? My bro is no help as he babies his mini and keeps it in the garage all the time. Thanks.
#1536 of 2671 the MINI can hack it
Sep 15, 2003 (10:58 am)
I commute my MINI daily (40 miles) and rally it on some weekends (winter especially, I love snow driving) and so far aside from a wheel alignment and recently some new wiper blades it has held up really well in the wear department (it has had some quality issues but mine is an '02 and current ones are supposed to be better -- service under warranty has been excellent at least). If you drive it hard it eats tires but if you don't drift and squeal too much they'll probably last longer.
Up to now mine hasn't been garaged so it has also been through some winter. Only real problem there is the glass isn't that hard. Road sand caught in ice under the scraper causes some scratches like I've never seen so be careful when ice scraping or use the defrost options instead and be patient.
#1537 of 2671 The car can hack it, can you?
Sep 15, 2003 (11:55 am)
People say the ride is quite stiff and harsh.
#1538 of 2671 if you want a soft ride
Sep 15, 2003 (12:09 pm)
...get a Buick. The MINI handles well and it shows. Will it loosen your fillings? No. Can you feel the road? Yes, and to me that's a good thing.
Sep 15, 2003 (12:28 pm)
Ok, so why did your salesman say 'we're salaried' then say well we can't give you a discount, because that's where we make commission. So then they're not entirely salaried.
Anyway, If you want cheap floor mats, a few dealers sell parts as a discount (as much as 30% depending on the item and its markup) so you can just call one of them and get the floormats for less then $100.. I do know however if you have the option of going to another dealer, you have more bargaining room, just get a price quote from another dealer, even if its an hour or two away, and see if you can make them fight. You're in more of a problem when you're somewhere with only one close dealer.
I doubt the salespeople I've dealt with are not commision based on the cars, they always seem to not mention it, and no one ever said the price wasn't negociable, like saturn (BMWs certainly have negociable prices on less popular models), its just demand says there's waiting lists at MSRP, so why should you pay less. Your salesman is making up excuses (and poor ones at that) on why you should pay MSRP. I don't except you can get a discount (check the residual values, paying MSRP is a good thing, unlike horribly supplemented cars whose value drops like a rock)
Sep 15, 2003 (2:53 pm)
Thanks for the info. How many miles do you have on your mini btw and how often did you have to bring it back to the dealer then? Was it for quick fixes? I do hope that the 04 is a lot better as I don't have that many vacation days. =) Also, do you have the harmon kardon setup? Somebody told me its 300 watts. The standard audio is okay but doesn't have much bass. I can definitely hack the mini. I drove it from NYC to Boston and back (500 mile trip). Its a fun ride. Going over bumps is kinda like being on a body board going over a wave.
#1541 of 2671 kagedude
Sep 15, 2003 (3:45 pm)
I got a 03 Cooper for a commuter car and play toy, only option needed for me was the color (Indi Blue). I put a 100 miles a day, this car can take it and then some. I have 10500 miles so far and only trip to the dealer is for the free scheduled service included with the Mini. No problems no complaints.
GO FOR IT !
#1542 of 2671 I'm off to the dealer...
Sep 15, 2003 (9:09 pm)
Great. I can't wait to test drive a base cooper this weekend. Thanks everyone for the advice.
#1543 of 2671 kagedude and rayt2
Sep 16, 2003 (6:15 am)
I have over 20K miles on my '02 MINI thus far.
Most of the problems were quick fixes like back of driver's seat trim popping off and topping off the coolant (seems like there were air pockets from the factory as it wasn't leaking but went down in level a couple of times) but April I needed a new tranny and the doors and windows started acting Christine-like so the car was off the road for a while for a new gearbox and electronics. They gave me a rental all that time but it still wasn't fun driving Ford Windstar, Taurus and Protege cars. Anyways, getting back into the car after the repairs made it all OK again.
I haven't heard of any recent cars having those troubles. There were some recalls on the original 5-speed tranny and on the seals to some of the electricals which got wet and corroded on my car (that recall wasn't done here for some unfortunate reason) -- hopefully they're sealed right from the factory now. Enjoy your testdrive and let us know.
Mine is also IndiBlue, Ray. Great choice
#1544 of 2671 best wheel/tire for CVT
Sep 16, 2003 (12:11 pm)