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MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper Clubman, MINI Cooper Countryman, Coupe, Hatchback, SUV
#477 of 1499 Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!!
Sep 27, 2006 (2:11 pm)
We would like to buy our first mini and are looking at two, privately owned used Mini S types.
Car 1 is a 2005 with 20,500 miles on it. Premium/ Cold weather & Sports packages. Automatic transmission. Harmon Kardon sound system. From the pics looks very well maintained. I happen to know the owner and she is asking $24,000 but would let us have it for $22,000.
Car 2 is a 2004 also with 20,500 miles. John Cooper Works & Power Packages. Sport/ Cold Weather & Convenience packages. Leather seats & Navigation system. Harmon Kardon sound system. The owner is asking around $23,000.
Which should we go for??? I have heard that '05 is a 'better' car, but the '04 is so well optioned. Please advise asap as we need to make a decision within a day or two!
#478 of 1499 Re: Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!! [vzebro]
Sep 27, 2006 (5:06 pm)
Hmm. They're quite different cars. I guess the color is not that important to you?
Car #1 is an automatic, so that would rule it out for me. Knowing the owner is a big plus.
Car #2 is stacked with the JCW and navigation. This car's warranty could expire soon.
It's a personal choice. I don't care much for navigation. Automatic would be a showstopper. That said, if you don't mind the automatic, then I would go with #1. BTW, these prices seem reasonable. May I ask where you live?
#479 of 1499 Re: Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!! [martijnh]
Sep 27, 2006 (6:55 pm)
We actually like that it is automatic - no problems with clutchs that people keep mentioning! Also seems a lot quieter - we have test driven both and preferred the automatic. I guess it depends on the purpose of the car, but we plan on using the car as a commuter car.
I wonder though if most people would want stick shift - don't want to have a problem with resale??
Agree that the warrenty expiration is a concern with car #2.
It's a tough decision!!
We live in New Jersey.
Sep 27, 2006 (6:58 pm)
I'd personally go with a non-S with 6 speed and exactly the few options you want. For about 20K, new.
ie - the NEW 2007 models will have a massive improvement in power in the base version - enough that a 6-speed in it will be about halfway between the old base and the old S.
#481 of 1499 Re: Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!! [vzebro]
Sep 27, 2006 (9:12 pm)
For a NJ commuter car with bad weather and worse roads, I'd never recommend a Mini Cooper of any sort. Their ride is quite punishing over rough roads, they get fairly lousy gas mileage for their size, and they're fairly low slung so they don't handle snow very well even with good all-season or snow tires. (They're proverbial hockey pucks with performance tires.) Finally, I'd always place stone axe reliability and ease of servicing as a #1 priority in a commuter, and Mini's are average at best in both of these areas.
I'd recommend a Mazda 3 which can be had brand new for MUCH less than you're going to pay for either of these used Minis.
#482 of 1499 Re: Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!! [markjenn]
Sep 28, 2006 (7:41 am)
Interesting! I e.mailed a friend who has a mini and asked her opinion _ I've pasted what she said below. Amazing how opinions differ, I guess in the end we just have to do what works best for us and hope it all works out!! Thanks so much for the input though - it all helps!
I completely disagree. The car is front wheel drive so that makes it
better in snow compared to an all wheel drive vehicle. Also, I'm not
sure if the guy that you spoke with had the sports package on his Mini
but with that package comes the dynamic stability control which also
helps with driving in icy conditions...basically if you start to slide
the stability control kicks in and distributes the weight of the car to
stop the sliding. I didn't drive it a lot in snowy conditions because,
you're right, the NJ turnpike is usually cleared and clean in bad
weather, however, in visiting Bobby's relatives in Vermont over
Christmas we drove in a lot of snow and had no problem.
#483 of 1499 Re: Choosing between two used Mini Copper S types - HELP!! [vzebro]
Sep 28, 2006 (7:51 am)
Hmm, I would have to disagree here. The Mini Cooper would not be my preferred car in the snow. It's quite a light car (relative), and when you're sliding in the snow, I don't think the Dynamic Stability Control (which is able to apply brakes to the individual wheels) would help much. Obviously, the Mini's clearance would be an issue.
I own 2 Subarus (in addition to the Mini) and living in Northern California, where we 'visit' snow in the winter around Lake Tahoe, I would always take a Subaru in any occasion where I might encounter snow. Those things run on rails in the snow and there's no way the Mini would be able to match their traction and control.
Sep 28, 2006 (8:01 am)
DSC is a great thing.. and can help in winter weather..
But, your friend saying that FWD is better than AWD in the snow? Well... that sort of kills her credibility in assessing winter weather suitability..
The low ground clearance will hurt more than the light weight in winter weather..
The one thing about the MINI... it depreciates slowly.. This makes a new one a good buy.. but, not so good for buying late-model used.. Same goes for Hondas..
#485 of 1499 Re: DSC [kyfdx]
Sep 28, 2006 (8:26 am)
Good point - but bear in mind we need to compare it to other small cars as we need something great on gas that we can actually park where we live (parking is a nightmare).
So it needs to be in the 'small car class'. We were also looking at the Toyota Yaris.
Right now we have a Mercedes ML500 which does great in snow - but we can't compare the two as we need something small and good on gas.
Sep 28, 2006 (8:40 am)
If you need a small car for commuting, it would be hard to beat the Yaris/Versa/Fit trio...
The cost/size/mileage variables all favor them... and, they are likely to be very reliable..
Another advantage is they all come with skinny tires that should do well in snowy conditions....