Last post on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM
You are in the MINI Cooper
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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#361 of 409 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 409 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 409 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 409 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 409 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 409 Re: one data point [busiris]
Apr 26, 2012 (7:05 am)
Great info - thanks!
#367 of 409 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 409 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 409 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)