I had my Mini for around 2 years and I loved it. Nothing went wrong and it cost nothing to maintain thanks to the 5 year TLC (service) package and 3 year warranty. However, I did sell it just before the warranty ran out (going back to University I had to), and I would have hesitated keeping it as it seemed like things could go wrong and I know the dealers would cost loads to get issues sorted.
The ride (I had the 17" wheels and factory sports suspension) was very hard, but AMAZING road holding around corners. Much more easy to drive than the 911 I had before (of course, the 911 is a beast by comparison with 2 times the power). You do feel the holes and bumps though, its not exactly a relaxing drive.
The interior was lovely and good even on long journeys (1300 miles across Europe in 1 day). You can cruise at about 100mph OK, anything over that and the engine feels a bit too pushed. Speaking of which, the engine (1.6) is the worst part. Its dull and unrefined, it really lets the whole car down. It also drinks a LOAD of fuel given its size, especially with the a/c on.
The interior space is really 'mini' in that its very small in the back seats and the boot will fit 4 shopping bags and that's it. best treat it like a 2+2. The front instead is great even for really tall people like me (6ft5). We once 'squished' 4 people, 1 suitcase and 3 bags inside, but only for a short journey.
I only drove around 5000mi per year, mostly in London, this is what the car is really good at, but it can 'do' motorways without problems.
The dealers were the worst aspect, I had really bad service from Stephen James Enfield's service department. Hexagon Kentish town were much better, but neither comes close to the top service offered by the brand specialists I used for my other cars.
If you're thinking of buying one my suggestions are:
- buy with less than 10k miles on it, under a year old and with remaining warranty and TLC if poss.
- sell before the warranty expires
- buy as high spec as possible, but:
- avoid the factory leather seats
- avoid the sunroof as it rattles too much.