2002 BMW Mini Cooper 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cool, fun to drive and stunning looks

Faults:

Took it back to the dealer once to get them to 'control' the rattles coming from everywhere in the car.

Occasionally it was hard to engage 1st gear and often hard to engage reverse.

The interior marks just too easily, so even a low mileage car can look tired. You end up either worrying about using the car for anything or trashing it.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2006

2002 BMW Mini s-class from North America

Faults:

Nothing really, just a lot of rattles.

General Comments:

This car is great. I don't know how the normal cooper is, but the s is very speedy. I drove this car from Santa Barbara to L.A. almost every day for work, and I haven't had any problems, except that I feel pretty rattled at the end of my commute due to the stiff suspension. this car is fast, and handles incredibly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2005

2002 BMW Mini One 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Not fit for today's wear and tear

Faults:

Off side front side repeater falling out (retaining catch broken).

Interior mirror vibrating badly.

Brake shoes wearing unevenly.

Clutch replaced at 29,711 miles.

Clutch replaced at 40,648 miles.

Clutch replaced at 45,412 miles.

General Comments:

We run a driving school and have dozens of cars of various makes. We were pleased to take possession of what was intended to be our first Mini One and looked forward to a long and fruitful association with such a "sexy" machine.

I couldn't believe that the clutch needed replacing after less than 30,000 miles, but was told by the dealer that this was quite normal for this vehicle - something to do with the small size of the clutch plate.

I REALLY couldn't believe it when the clutch failed again after another 10,000 miles although this was covered under warranty "as a goodwill gesture".

The final straw was when the clutch failed yet again after a further 5,000 miles with the dealership claiming "abuse" by the drivers.

This is a common misconception about learner drivers, one that is not borne out by the performance and reliability of the other cars we run, most of them being almost half the price of the Mini.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th June, 2004

29th Jun 2004, 17:06

New drivers are always hard on a clutch. They are usually riding it when they take off. Especially untill they get the feel for it.

8th Aug 2004, 08:54

I also have a Mini as a driving school car, in fact this is my second as the first was so bad, BMW offered me a replacement.

The clutch on mine went at 20,000 miles then at 22,000 then at 34,000, then at 42000 then we swapped it at 53,000 so it was probably due to go again.

Our replacement Mini has now had it's clutch replaced at 20,000 miles so in my opinion it is NOT the fact it is a driving school car and learners can't control the clutch as stated earlier. If you think it is then why not sit in on a driving lesson and see for yourself.

We are now considering going back to the Vauxhall Corsa where clutchs lasted for about 65,000 miles.