12th Mar 2007, 19:45

I have a MC 'S', it's a 2003 with 46k miles otc. I love the way it looks and feels to drive and it is fully loaded with nearly every extra. There are a few things though which are driving me crazy! Like the rattling and squeaking, for a BMW the build quality isn't the best at all.

The best bits are the acceleration and fuel economy. In the read ups they said it was poor on MPG, but I've found it to be not too bad at all (30 round town, 40 on a run).

The Sat-Nav is hopeless, I'm not sure if I use it wrong, but when the GPS does pick up where I am its about 2 miles wrong! The Harmon Kardon sound system is brilliant, it drowns out rattles and engine noises superbly.

All in all I'm pleased with the car, not pleased with build quality though. I feel sorry for the person who bought the car from new (21.5k GBP)!! - So I got the bargain.

6th Jul 2007, 16:59

Wish it were better.

We bought out 2004 Mini Cooper S in May 2004 and added the John Cooper Works package. Back in those days in the US you had to pay a premium over sticker for the privilege of owning one. But what a sweet car to drive!

Since then it's been sporadic problems which recently culminated in a huge clutch meltdown.

The car has rattled since day one and after several trips to the dealer (90 miles away) I finally just gave up. I had to laugh though when I read about another person stopping the rattle by pushing against the dash. Same here!

Lots of small things wrong in the beginning. The rubber strip came off of the wind shield and started banging against the roof. Rattles. Nav system loses its way. Rattles. Problems with the iPod interface. Rattles.

The Pirelli run flat tires have been a major headache. 57k miles and we're on our third set at $1000 a set. Plus the run flat indicator goes off for no reason, but then other times it goes off and the tires really are low on air. For no apparent reason.

Did I mention rattles?

Then the clutch just went out. The dealer blamed it on not knowing how to drive a clutch. Wrong. $3k out the door to fix it.

Can't wait to sell it. Hate feeling that way cause I love the "idea" of my Mini.

Sad in California.

27th Aug 2007, 12:08

I am a Driving instructor in the UK, The company I work for only use Mini cars, either One or S.

I am now on my second Mini One, the first had three clutches in 40,000 miles, and one whilst I had posesion of the vehicle. This did eventualy get sorted out, but then it got taken off me and I was given another Mini one again also on a 55 plate so that makes it two year old.

This one has now started to overheat badly, I can find no coolant leak, and there is plenty of coolant in the expansion bottle. but still it overheats and still there are big air pockets in the radiator.

Anyone any ideas what is causing this?

3rd Sep 2007, 10:57

Driving Instructor - my Mini is doing the same thing, I have it in the garage next week - yet again!! They've already replaced the radiator and this only served to make matters worse, I'll let you know what I find out :)

26th Jan 2008, 02:46

I bought an October 2003 Mini Cooper in August last year. 24,000km on the clock in perfect condition - or so it seemed. This month the CVT began making weird sounds so I took it to one of Melbourne's reputable BMW/Mini dealers. Three service technicians looked over the car and told me it was the electric fan on the power steering, and that the car was OK to drive. That same night on driving home the CVT failed completely without a warning light, spilling transmission fluid all over the road. Now the same dealer and BMW are telling me that it needs a new transmission and that will cost at least $10,350 AUD. BMW Australia are not willing to extend any goodwill. I have to get the car repaired so I can sell it, but I will never buy a Mini or BMW again after this experience.

Gutted in Melbourne Australia.

28th May 2008, 04:36

I bought a Mini Cooper 01 (already owned by a lady) from a famous car dealer. Since I bought it it just brings me problems. First the car pulled to the left. I called them and they said take it to a VAT registered garage and did a 2 wheel tracking on it. It didn't work. Then a yellow light appeared. So I took it to the car dealer which said it was the tyre pressure. The car which still pulls to the left was taken to the car dealer and they said they don't know what is wrong with it. They have done a four wheel tracking and it still pulls. NOW I have the airbag light on the dashboard. I am getting fed up with this car but I love it so much. I am starting to get annoyed with it. I thought buying a German car would be a wise decision now I am doubting myself!!!

24th Jun 2008, 12:46

I just bought an 03 Mini Cooper S with 55k miles. It's rock solid so far, and I thrash the heck out of it, it's fun on a stick!

Hopefully I don't go through any of the same issues that you guys had, sounds like you all bought lemons.

I would love to get the JCW kit fitted, but I'll probably just sell in a year and buy a newer one with the JCW kit already fitted.

LOVE the Mini Cooper S. How can you get tired of these cars? They make a lot of cars look so boring!

8th Aug 2008, 16:26

We bought a mini cooper 2002 model from a reputable dealer (its 7 years old with 64K on the clock). Love the style but the wee thing packed in after 20 odd days and my wife was left stranded at the side of the road. Apparently the clutch cyclinder failed. Now the engine rattles in 4th gear and we just don't trust it. Would advise anyone to steer clear of the mini as its just not all that its cracked up to be.

10th Aug 2008, 07:51


I bought a new Mini Cooper last year (April) it now has 10,000 miles on the clock. In January it suddenly lost power and the engine cut out while I was driving. This happened 8 times on a 3 miles trip home. It went back to the garage and no faults showed up. Fortunately on a test drive the engine cut out with the mechanic. It went dead with no warning lights coming on. A solenoid something or other was replaced. Four months later the same fault occurred again and they replaced the same part. (Again no faults showed up on their diagnostic machine.) Now again four months later the engine is cutting out again and the car is dangerous to drive. On each occasion this has happened I have been visiting a town 8 miles away. I normally only make only local journeys. This car cost me almost almost sixteen thousand pounds. It is back in the garage "To see if they can find a fault" I have no faith in my Mini Cooper. I am frightened to drive the car and I certainly would not allow my family to drive it.