2002 BMW Mini Cooper 1.6L 4 cylinder from North America


You're not paying for the quality factor


Intermittent stalling from the beginning.

Loss of power at 6000 KM (Car would go into "limp mode")

Rattling tail gate (from the beginning).

Passenger door trim is loose around the tweeter.

Main wire assembly harness and throttle body replaced at 8000 KM (this fixed the loss of power issue).

Constant rattle and creaking from the panoramic sun roof.

Head lamp washers stopped working at 10500 KM.

Dash board rattles and steering column creeks at 12500 KM.

Driver and passenger side doors do not close properly all the time due to window adjustments.

General Comments:

I would like to point out first and foremost, that Mini's level of service when handling all that has gone wrong with my car has been extraordinary. Repairs have been made in a timely fashion and promptly.

I have talked to other Mini's owners about the problems and some of them have had similar problems, but not to the extent which I have.

I still truly believe that Mini's are not a bad product. I just received a 'buggy' unit.

Aside from all the repairs that have been made, the fun factor on the Mini is superb.

The cockpit is well laid out and the controls are easy to reach.

For a vehicle that appears to be tiny, it has a large cabin. I'm over 6 feet tall and have no problems with leg room in the front. The rear seats are a different story.

Handling is exceptional, with lots of grip turning corners and in perilous weather.

The engine is a bit under powered at low speeds, but reasonable at higher speeds (50 KM/H - 120 Km/H).

Overall Mini has the right idea, but they need to work on their quality assurance, and fit and finish.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th November, 2003

19th Apr 2004, 18:36

I am sorry to see that you too have suffered as I have.

See here: http://www.carsurvey.org/review_56231.html

I'll never buy another one again. I was bored with getting them recovered (4 times) and fixed (>40 times).

Shabby car and disbelieving service to-boot.

I've ordered a Skoda now.

13th Oct 2007, 10:06

I really liked my Mini Cooper, but my patience and wallet has been challenged. My engine cylinder head suffered exhaust valve failure on no 4 cylinder. All exhaust valves have been changed as they were about to fail. The dealer found a suspect fault and offered to change a head gasket for £1400.

My car has only covered 44k miles. For this reason I entrusted the work to a local engineer and an independent garage as I'm appalled that a quality car should suffer after only 5 years with a FSH, and do not have confidence in Mini.

I have maintained and restored Jaguars for 18 years.

22nd Oct 2007, 15:09

Further to my experience I have had the cylinder head removed The engineer thinks that the exhaust valve was at fault on no 4 cylinder from manufacture. The valve has radial cracks believed to be from the forging stage of manufacture.

The mechanic CHANGED THE AIR FILTER WHICH WAS CLOGGED WITH OILY DIRT.This item should have been replaced as part of the TLC service, it appears to be the original having never been changed.

The cylinder head has been completely overhauled and the engine runs with smoothness and better than ever.

The motoring press have always commented on this engine's courseness, perhaps it is a case of build quality.

I am once again enjoying my mini as it was originally intended as a quality drive. Its not the car,its down to build and maintenance quality.

2002 BMW Mini Cooper 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Never, ever buy one


This was over a 32 week period.

Power steering failed.

Gearbox failed.

Clutch broke twice.

Airbag light permanently on due to faulty seat connector.

Fuel pump pressure low.

Gear selection cable failed.

Stutters on pull off in first.

Both front seats replaced twice due first to them collapsing and then to hopeless attempts to re-fit new ones.

Steering column replaced.

New battery box and fuse box covers.

Drivers door trim replaced.

Scratched centre console on delivery.

Rattling dash.

Broken heater - not connected on delivery.

Windscreen replaced 3 times due to poor fitment.

Drivers seat leaning to the left.

All backed up by lies and time wasting from BMW dealerships.

General Comments:

A great little car made pointless by dreadful build quality and BMW service centres that couldn't care less. I really wanted to like this car, but BMW will go to great lengths to make you hate it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th June, 2003

23rd Jun 2003, 05:46

I also own a cooper (2003 model) My experience is the total opposite of yours. I would recommend a mini to any one and my local dealer is 1st class..

My mini has done nearly 4000 miles so it's of similar mileage to yours. You have been very unlucky or I have been very lucky.

Good luck in the future with her!!