Last post on Aug 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM
You are in the MINI Cooper
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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#360 of 406 Re: Thinking about buying a Countryman [kandrive]
Apr 22, 2012 (11:21 am)
I found a good deal on a used 2011 All4 automatic a couple months ago. I had test driven the All4 manual and auto at the MINI dealer prior to this. So here are my thoughts so far.
1. As far as reliability, the 2011 Countryman was part of a recall that affected turbo cars for a cooling pump. This was a circuit board replacement at the dealer (painless). I have read of 'several' owners of manuals not being happy with the feel or action of the clutch pedal. I felt the same way on my test drive. My last 4 cars were stick and I actually liked this car better as an auto.
2. My 2011 still has warranty left and I stopped at the dealer specifically for the recall, but let them check the car over. I thought the level of service was very good. They did the recall work, found and replaced a leaking gasket and changed the oil. Cost...zip. But regular servicings under warranty are decided by the onboard computer. Reading the owner's manual, they are spaced out a bit on the long side. I will probably get some things done earlier on my own. I have seen some owners complaining (on MINI owner sites) about dealer service costs. I've owned German, Japanese and American cars. Hopefully my costs will be more like a VW than an Audi. If you have another car, maybe you can put up with a MINI that you love 98% of the time.
3. The S requires premium. Appears that the base does also. I do appreciate that it gets much better gas mileage than my AWD Subaru or Audi did. My around the neighborhood mpg has been 24-25.
4. Can't help you there. No problems that I know of.
5. I don't have the sunroof, so I can't say. A Cooper I drove for a day made me wonder if the shade was adequate to really block the sun out on days I really wanted to stay cool.
6. I think the turbo motor is just fine for the All4. But think the added weight of the Countryman is just too much for the base motor. Just my opinion. The base motor 0-60 times were sloooooow.
7. Runflats work. Runflats are also harsh at times. Add the sport suspension, 18" or 19" tires and some people might be unhappy. The Countryman doesn't have a spot for a spacesaver spare, but some MINI websites are selling them. There is also a 'compressor fix-a-flat' kit from Continental that I will probably get for more security. You should definitely try the runflats on roads you normally drive.
I like the car. It has just enough room for my needs. Gets better gas mileage than any AWD car/SUV with similar performance. It could never be described as boring. Options I would recommend (the blue tooth, xenons - I don't have them and wish I did and they're cheap as an option, I wouldn't have ordered the backup warning system - but it's actually quite good, the rail is stupid - at least go for the split or even opt for the bench). Hope that helps.
#361 of 406 Re: Thinking about buying a Countryman [kandrive]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 22, 2012 (5:39 pm)
Subarus are generally very boring and they have had their issues, too, let me tell you. Been there, done that.
I hear the new Subaru BRZ is a hoot to drive, though, so you should give that a test drive.
#362 of 406 Re: Thinking about buying a Countryman [shark715]
Apr 24, 2012 (5:43 am)
Thanks, Shark715! This is really helpful info to help plead my case. I've test drove quite a few cars now and I can't help going back to the MINI Countryman - the ride isn't bad at all, as opposed to the Kia Sportage that Edmunds suggested, even with the run-flats. I doubt seriously that I'd get up to 100,000 mi. on the MINI in the next 15-20 yrs. - I have a Ford Explorer, brand new off the dealer floor that I've had since '99 and I only have 74K on that after 13 yrs. It's still going strong but will be leaving with our daughter when she goes off to college soon. This Countryman will pretty much be an "around town" car for me (adding in a little fun with some side-trips once in a while) and I'm not usually rough on my cars. We'd probably get the Base model Countryman and not opt for the "S" or All4, so I don't think we'd get the turbo, but I am a bit worried about how much power the Countryman has. We live in the foothills and we have some slightly steep terrain once in a while. The other cars I've tried (in this Class) all seem to have this same issue and are not as quick as the Countryman was at all (and also not FUN!). Also, we have 2 MINI dealerships within 15 miles of us, so warranty repairs/service wouldn't be a headache. These are all "pros" in my book. That being said, others are advising my husband that BMW parts are difficult to get, they are expensive and that there might be transmission problems with an automatic 6-speed that Countryman offers. Also, husband has heard that the turbos are a problem. He's getting all the negative feedback and I'm only hearing the good things so we've been going round and round on this. All replies to my questions have been extremely helpful, so thanks!
And btw - I really HATED the Subaru!!!
#363 of 406 Re: Thinking about buying a Countryman [kandrive]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 24, 2012 (6:37 am)
the MINI aftermarket parts industry is quite healthy actually. Modern turbo technology is very reliable, too.
#364 of 406 one data point
Apr 24, 2012 (7:33 am)
Most anyone who posts here will typically have experience with one or possibly 2 MINIs.
FWIW, my daughter bought a 2007, new, and now was over 85,000 miles on it.
No reliability issues.
6 speed automatic has been fine.
Closest dealer to her [ she lives in Maine ] is over an hour drive away, in Boston.
She really, really wanted a MINI.
#365 of 406 Re: one data point [rayainsw]
Apr 25, 2012 (3:42 pm)
Agreed. My wife bought her 2005 Mini convertible 5-speed manual (non S model) new and has right at 70,000 miles on it.
I change the oil every 5K miles.
As far as maintenance issues go...
- Right top engine motor mount replaced
- Thermostat housing replaced (with a redesigned upgraded one)
- The part of the electronic dash that controls the clock, which continuously lost time.
- Power steering cooling fan with a redesigned upgraded one.
Out of warranty:
- Another right top motor mount
- Passenger seat airbag sensor
- Leaking power steering fluid supply hose
She also was able to get almost 50k miles out of the original RFTs.
The car has never left her stranded.
There's little doubt in my mind that she would have had less maintenance issues with a Toyota, but then again, she wouldn't have enjoyed driving it nearly as much.
And, the later designed models (2006 onward) have an overall better reliability history IIRC...
#366 of 406 Re: one data point [busiris]
Apr 26, 2012 (7:05 am)
Great info - thanks!
#367 of 406 Re: one data point [busiris]
Apr 27, 2012 (6:50 am)
I've been reading other forums and now I've come to find out two of the most common complaints about the Countryman. They are:
1) The motor mounts seems to be a recurring problem but are fixed during the warranty period.
2) Cooling fans for both the transmission (?) and the power steering
3) Rattling or noises coming from various areas inside the car - some in the dashboard, some in the side doors. Apparently, these are common and the dealer can't find "fixes" for them.
4) No temperature gauges are featured.
5) Various leaking hoses
6) Stuck fan relays
7) A/C problems
8) Communications package not supported with Android-type phones
Do any Countryman owners have experience with these problems? If not, or if my info is incorrect, responses would be appreciated.
#368 of 406 Re: one data point [kandrive]
Apr 27, 2012 (2:09 pm)
I don't have a Countryman, so I can't speak about many of the items you listed, with one exception.... Squeaks and rattles.
Squeaks and rattles are not acceptable in any decently made modern auto, and especially in an upscale auto.
Any dealer than can't sufficiently remedy a "duplicate-able" noise isn't much of a dealer, IMO.
My wife's 05 Mini convertible does have the occasional rattle/pop/squeak associated on cars with soft tops, but for a car approaching 70K miles and 7 years of age, it's incredibly quiet. The AC works as well today as the day she drove it off the lot.
I've found BMW is somewhat limited as to which bluetooth formats/phones it supports, but you should be able to get a list of supported phones from the Mini website or dealer. I do know some Android phones are supported, just not the specifics.
Every manufacturer is going to support iPhones.
Earlier model Minis definitely had cooling fan issues and leaking/weeping hoses, but I don't know about the later generation models. Same goes for the upper-right-top motor mount.
#369 of 406 Thermostat Housing.
Jun 06, 2012 (8:40 am)
Our 2006 MC (R50) with 68K miles on it developed a coolant leak. We had coolant problems while under warranty and they were "fixed" twice by the dealer. Somehow this does not show up at the current Mini Dealer (we bought the car new from at that time the only dealer in the State) which is closer by than the original one. At Our last major checkup we were told that we again had a coolant leak and that we needed a REDESIGNED Thermostat Housing because the original is faulty. The dealer cost is astronomical for such a job. ($350 plus) I decided to do it my self but I'm unable to find the REDESIGNED housing. Maybe I have to go to the dealer and pay top price.
Does anybody know where I can find this NEW housing so I can attack the job myself. (BMW/MINI P/N would be greatly appreciated)