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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#2333 of 2671 Buying a Used 2002 Mini
Jul 11, 2006 (11:34 am)
I'm amazed by the volume of posts on this forum!
I am ready to purchase a 2002 Mini Cooper for what I think is a great price. It's got 21,200 miles on it, leather, roof, 5-speed and CD changer. I'm bringing it to a dealer to check it out before I commit. My question to the forum is, is it worth it? On the flip side of that question, and considering that I've seen many other Mini's with more miles go for more money, why is it so inexpensive? The dealer that I am buying the car from says it was listed for $2000 more and sat on the lot for 3 months. So perhaps he just lowered the price to get it off the lot?
I relaize that I am answering my own questions here, but I am very close to closing the deal, and wanted a little more feedback that my own.
#2334 of 2671 Re: Mini Reliability [markjenn]
Jul 11, 2006 (7:39 pm)
I couldn't help but put my 2 cents worth in to your earlier post: "In the most current issue, they've published some updates, and Mini has improved to average and is now a recommended car. This is pretty strong evidence that, while it may not match Honda or Toyota reliability, it's improving with every year of the current design, and is now an easy match for virtually any European car and most American cars."
I currently have a 2001 Honda Civic EX with only 74,000 miles. Well, this is my first Honda and my LAST!! I've had problems with this car that's inexcusable. Examples:
* I had to pay to repair the sunroof only 2,500 miles past the factory warranty.
* I just had the automatic transmission replaced at only 70,000 miles (and it had been serviced with all Honda parts/AT fluid 6 months ago). The dealer charges a whopping $3,500 to replace the transmission.
I don't have much faith in "Asian" cars anymore than any other makes. Hopefully I'll have better luck with my MCS that I have on order. The only thing I'm still debating on is whether I should buy the extended maintenance & warranty. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions about extending the maintenance & warranty? Also, is an alarm better to get or a Lo Jack?
#2335 of 2671 Re: Mini Reliability [bfromhold]
Jul 11, 2006 (11:03 pm)
The only good data we have is Consumer Reports and they definitely show better reliability for Asian cars as a rule. Of course, this is just the averages and you can get a Toyota lemon or a Land Rover that is totally reiable. But while I'd still recommend a Honda or Toyota to someone whose #1 priority is a reliable car, the Mini's record has improved to the point where I don't think it's a big issue PROVIDED you have a dealer within reasonable driving distance. And I'd wait a year on the new model - BMW has a terrible track record of problems with new or revised models.
The odds are that you'll spend more on the extended warranty than you'll make back on claims. If this weren't true, they wouldn't make any money on them and they most certainly make money on extended warranties - it's one of the most profitable segments of the car business, for both the dealer and the insurer. But peace of mind is worth something too. So buy it for this reason, not because you think it's a good deal, because it generally isn't.
If you do get an extended warranty, you need to make sure it's from a reputable insurer - I don't think Mini itself has a factory sponrsored extended warranty program. And bargain hard - their is usually a lot of negotiating room in their list price for the warranty. There's no reason to get it when you buy the car - you can always buy it later and from another dealer. Finally, be careful of bogus piecemeal insurance like "wheel and tire insurance" and the like. They're almost always a total rip off.
The car is under factory warranty for 4 years, so I don't see any reason to commit to an extended warrany for while.
#2336 of 2671 Re: Buying a Used 2002 Mini [chedder]
Jul 11, 2006 (11:07 pm)
Since you don't mention a price, it's pretty hard to comment on whether the car is "worth it".
Personally, I'd steer away from the 2002 cars at anything other than a blowout price. They have been extremely troublesome and tend to be plagued with shoddy interiors and rattles. 2002 was a clean sheet new design in a new factory - always a recipe for lots of problems. Mini made hundreds of changes in the 2003's and 2004's that have improved the car remarkably. 2004 and on are the "good years".
#2337 of 2671 Re: Buying a Used 2002 Mini [markjenn]
Jul 12, 2006 (5:36 am)
Yes, mentionig a price would've been a good idea..
They are firm at $15,000. Is that a "blowout" price? Compared to others that I have seen, it is the best so far.
The '04's look to be around $2000 more.
I've read the posts about the rattling and (ugh) tranny problems. the rattling and interiors QC I can deal with. My biggest concern is the engine and tranny, which is why I am bringing the car to a Mini mechanic to look at.
Jul 12, 2006 (6:09 am)
A reporter aims to speak with anyone who has owned a vehicle and found its controls to be complicated. Please respond to jfallonedmunds.com by Monday, July 17, 2006, and be sure to include your daytime contact info and a few words about your experience.
#2339 of 2671 Re: Mini Reliability [markjenn]
Jul 12, 2006 (7:17 am)
Actually, I'm buying/ordering a 2006 MCS from Rasmussen Mini in Portland, OR. For some reason they don't have the back order problem like here in Washington. I was promised the car will be delivered sometime in late September to early October this year. They are selling the car to me at MSRP, and they're even throwing a few freebie items into the deal: sunshade and mats (front, back & boot). However, they are charging $175 for document fees and the trip permit (I guess I'm pretty much paying for the "free" items, huh?).
I drive about 18,000 miles a year, so the 3 yr/36k maintenance is really only going to last me 2 years & the 4 yr/50k warranty will be up in 2.75 years. That's why I'm debating so much on the extended maintenance and warranty. Plus, considering the bad luck I've had with my Honda, I'm not too optimistic on reliability anymore. Interestingly enough, the price for the extensions are cheaper than the dealer here in Washington. Not too sure why... I guess I can wait and think about it. I don't believe I'd have to pay tax on the extension if I paid it Oregon as well?
I'm also still toying over the possibility of getting the security alarm or the Lo jack. Are these cars hard to steal? I rarely park my car for extended periods of time in questionable areas. Do I really need an alarm? Has anyone out there had theft problems or vandalism to their cars?
#2340 of 2671 Re: Mini Reliability [bfromhold]
Jul 12, 2006 (10:50 am)
Sounds like a fair deal at Rasmussen. Most folks seem to like them.
Like I said, get the warranty if the peace of mind is worth it to you. But shop hard and read the fine print - don't make a snap decision when you're in the finance mgr's office signing the final paperwork. As I said, unlike most other mfgs, I don't think there is a standard extended warranty backed by Mini USA, so the price differences may be due to the different coverages of different carriers. If you don't have time to do the homework, I'd just postpone it - there is no advantage to buying the warranty at purchase unless you absolutely have to roll it into the financing.
Don't know much about security systems or the theft risk of a Mini. A lot would depend in where you park the car and how good your insurance is.