Brilliant smallish car. Slightly softer suspension please!!
This is a list of the things wrong with it when I bought it at 35,000 miles (i.e. non-routine service items), which I have been slowly putting right.
Rear caliper seized. New caliper and rear discs/pads. Probably due to a lady driver - too gentle for too many years?
Front suspension bushes replaced.
Power steering pump noisy replaced by local BMW dealer for free - visiting technician from Germany.
Body Control Module (BCM) replaced due to abnormal electrical events - cutting out/instrument panel appearing to go through some odd buzzing / seizing up for a few seconds. This might have been due to poor design of battery terminals, which may have loosened off over a few years.
Mini battery clamp design is crap - see previous paragraph. It looks like they designed it for easy manufacture, but I bet it is a significant cause of many electrical gremlins, because it looks like it does not clamp very well. How can BMW go backwards in technology for a simple, but critical part. Did the loose battery terminal CAUSE the BCM to fail?
Only the Airbag Warning Light to sort out now. It was off after BCM was changed, but came on again. One final gremlin to fix.
Handling and engine are brilliant!
However, this is at a cost of comfort. My wife does not like being a passenger for more than 5 or 6 miles.
Short journeys giving about 33mpg.
My wife loves the design.
Regarding Lifetime Transmission Oil. Don't believe it!! It is fundamentally engineering nonsense. Call it Transmission Lifetime Shortening Technology. I change the transmission oil in every car I own, immediately when I buy a secondhand car and then every 50,000 miles.
Gearboxes run-in. Yes, they wear significantly in the first 10,000 to 20,000 miles. The local BMW dealer service rep told me I didn't need to do it. When I asked him if he would pay for a replacement transmission/gearbox when it wears out, he said he wouldn't. The oil might be CHEMICALLY O.K. for lifetime, but if it is full of swarf (metal bits that get worn off the gears) then it is no better than grinding paste i.e. it is not PHYSICALLY O.K. for lifetime. The garage mechanic (not BMW) that did change the gearbox oil said that he was surprised at the amount of crap that came out... yes it had only done 35,000 miles... I was not surprised... BE WARNED!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th October, 2009