Last post on Mar 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hatchbacks Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#1935 of 2671 MINI Cooper CVT Lifespan?
Aug 18, 2004 (5:17 am)
I was having qualms about the MINI due to the reports of unreliability, but they seem to be confined to the 2002 models (the first year), and mostly the manual transmission, too. I would be buying a 2004 (or 2005) CVT.
Now, even if the MINI is fairly reliable, can I expect it to last as long as, say, a Honda/Hyundai/Mazda/Nissan? If not, what can I expect? I realize that this is a difficult question to answer, since even the troubled 2002 Coopers are only three or four years old now. But I don't want to buy a car now and have to buy a new one in four or five years; I'd like my next car to last more like seven to ten years.
With that in mind, should I stick with the old reliable standbys (maybe a Mazda3 or a Civic)? Does the Cooper die young?
#1936 of 2671 Re: MINI Cooper CVT Lifespan? [ezorn33]
Aug 18, 2004 (9:26 am)
Its not difficult to answer, its impossible. No one will know until the enough time has passed.
I personally would never buy a car that I was unsure of and I own two MINIs, but I never keep a car once the warranty expires.
#1937 of 2671 Lease the MINI
Aug 18, 2004 (1:24 pm)
I don't know enough to evaluate lease deals, but I believe BMW has always been competitive in this arena. Certainly you can compare the monthly payment on a 5 year, no money down loan vs. the lease payment. Since on a no money down loan you usually don't start building equity until year 3, if the lease payment is equal to or less than the 5 year payment, you have a good deal, and should be able to walk away from a lemon or simply troublesome or expensive to maintain car after three years.
This is what most MINI people are doing, I think - leasing for a period shorter than the warranty (3 to 4 year leases).
I don't know if there are any "zingers" in leases for excess wear and tear. But you should be safe.
#1938 of 2671 Re: Lease the MINI [micweb]
Aug 18, 2004 (7:33 pm)
When you buy, it costs what you pay for the vehicle plus tax and interest minus what you get when you resell it.
When you lease it costs the difference between the the selling price and the price they predict it will be worth when you return it, plus the lease interest, plus any excess wear charges, plus any over mileage charges, plus any acquisition fee charged, plus any disposition fee charged plus tax on the monthly payments in most states.
Unless you overpay and have a high depreciation vehicle, you should have equity before 3 years on a 5 year loan.
I once purchased a new Honda with a no money down on a 60 month loan and sold it 2 years later with equity to spare. The monthly payment was cheaper than a 24 month lease.
The car is going to depreciate a certain amount no matter what (and the lessor needs to be paid for that depreciation) so the lease only works out cheaper if the lease program is subsidized more than a purchase or if something happens to cause it depreciate more than expected or if you can write it off as a business expense.
It is possible for it to depreciate more than expected due to collision repair or the car model or manufacturer later developing a poor reputation (major mechanical and safety recalls regarding fires, rollover scandals etc., manufacturer deciding to pull the brand out of US market a year after you purchase the vehicle etc.) or the car model just being overproduced with too many similar models on the used market in your area when you need to sell.
So, a lease can work out cheaper if that happens and if depreciation savings aren't wiped out in acquisition and disposition fees or overly high lease interest rate.
The depreciation gamble is more on the lessors side, but they hedge their bets with extra fees and conservative residual predictions to make it likely that they will be ahead most of the time. Just like an extended warranty purchase. If you buy an extended warranty, most likely most people will not get the value back out of it (or the company would go out business from the claims), but you are paying for piece of mind.
Aug 18, 2004 (8:48 pm)
ezom, my take is that the Mini might be a car with a lot of nickle/dime repairs and expenses as the miles build up, but one in which the basic structure, engine, etc. is very solid. The car certainly feels that way and BMW has a history of building cars with very robust systems. And the engine is a tractor and I've heard almost no one having serious interal engine problems.
Typically, on German cars, the things that get you are the little glitches in electrical accessories, instruments, etc. So if you're keeping the car long term, my expectation is that you won't have to worry about an engine rebuild at 125K, but you might have to pony up to stuff like sunroof motors and alternators.
Having said all this, if you really value a trouble-free car, I think your odds are better with a Mazda 3.
#1940 of 2671 A/C in Hot Climates
Aug 19, 2004 (3:54 pm)
Hi, I wonder if any one can report on ac operation in hot climates,i live in Tucson, AZ,and heard from 2 owners locally that the ac was borderline at best.
The other point was re service, we have only one dealer in the state, in Scottsdale,I know the service is included but i,ve heard it has to be when the cars says its necs,so i guess i wont be going for a day trip to save $30.00 on an oil change,but what are the big service points, and are they included under the plan.
ps, if you sell a car does the new owner get the whole wtte, service deal transferred for free.
pps, one point i have to make re whats trouble free and whats not,I honestly think a hell of a lot has to do with what the owner of the car puts up with and accepts,my girlfriend drives a 2 year old Toyota Rav 4,as long as it starts every morning she does not care about loose trim,rattles,ect, me , well i,m up at 2.00 am trying to stop a rattle on the ceiling fan.
#1941 of 2671 Re: A/C in Hot Climates [db6]
Aug 19, 2004 (4:59 pm)
I live in the Dallas Tx area and on the hottest days, the AC works fine. I must say this, my wife's MINI has a sun roof and it is definitely hotter than mine w/o. Both have a black roof but the one with a sun roof takes a bit longer to cool off. Both MINIs have FormulaOne aftermarket window film on all but the windshield. OH, the sunroof has the aftermarket tint too and it hasn't exploded yet (urban myth me thinks!).
Aug 19, 2004 (10:57 pm)
I'd rate the A/C in my car as "fair". It keeps up fine with the hottest days (only 85-90 here in Seattle's summers), but occasionally requires a higher fan speed to maintain a cool cabin. I've had worse, but I've also had better.
No sunroof, body-colored roof (EB), BTW.
Maintenance is covered when the service reminder system indicates it. I think it goes something like: oil change, minor inspection, oil change, major inspection, .... at about 10K intervals. So you'll likely get a couple oil changes and one inspection in the 36K free maintenance period. The inspection probably costs a few hundred, while the dealers charge about $75 for the oil changes. I believe everything is transferrable to a new owner.
I agree that people have radically different expectations for their cars and someone's lemon may be another's trouble-free car. But I don't know if you can assume that the owners of any particular make/model are, as a whole, pickier than any other. I've heard people say that Mini owners are picky, but I know a lot of Lexus owners who scream bloody murder if the ash tray doesn't open as smoothly as they think it should.
#1943 of 2671 Washing a New MINI
Sep 03, 2004 (11:38 am)
New owner here. I'd like to know if taking the car to a self-serve car wash and washing without using the brush is acceptable. Thank you!
Sep 03, 2004 (12:07 pm)
Welcome to Town Hall, cancerdoc, and congratulations on your new MINI!
You'll find a whole host of opinions on how to best take care of your car's exterior. You have to be careful with some of the high-pressure do-it-yourself stations - just like with any pressure washer, at close range it can blast off the finish. Sadly, I speak from experience on this one. If you've seen a pressure washer remove old paint & stain from wood, you know how powerful it can be. But many will say it's fine as long as you keep some distance.
You might post a question about exterior care in our Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair discussion while you wait for responses here.
Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host