BMW MINI

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Kaktus
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: Ireland

BMW MINI

#1 Post by Kaktus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:44 pm

Hi there,

Considering buying an early BMW MINI as a second car, probably an '02 or '03 model year.

My question though is, wasn't there a buying guide for these in a Practical Classics magazine in the last couple of years or so? I've been going through the collection of mags I have but no luck so far, but maybe someone on here remembers in what issue that was?

Or maybe I'm wrong and there never was such a piece in PC? :?

Thanks,
Joakim

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Luxobarge
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Location: Horne, Surreyshire

Re: BMW MINI

#2 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:15 pm

Don't do it. Dreadful car, we had one for a few years and hated it with a passion.
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

Kaktus
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: BMW MINI

#3 Post by Kaktus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:20 pm

Luxobarge wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:15 pm
Don't do it. Dreadful car, we had one for a few years and hated it with a passion.
Thanks, what was it about it that just didn't do it for you?

rich.
Posts: 6791
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:18 pm

Re: BMW MINI

#4 Post by rich. » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:57 pm

my brother had the clubman thing, expensive pile of poo..paint falling off, 70s bl style then he had a breakdown mechanic look at it again, repaired the problem & when he finished he asked have you changed the clutch yet?? a few days later that went..
good luck ;)

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Luxobarge
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Re: BMW MINI

#5 Post by Luxobarge » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:22 pm

Kaktus wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:20 pm
Luxobarge wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:15 pm
Don't do it. Dreadful car, we had one for a few years and hated it with a passion.
Thanks, what was it about it that just didn't do it for you?
How long have you got?

Huge on the outside, tiny and cramped on the inside, especially the back seats (virtually useless) and a microscopic boot. The later models are even worse! Really hard to get in and out of the back, mind you need to be a crippled midget to even fit in the back seats. This in spite of a front door that is so huge when you open it in a car park you it hits the car next to you before it's open far enough to get out of the car.
Bone-jarring ride, I mean really awful, painfully hard seats, generally really uncomfortable especially on bumpy roads (which is most of them nowadays).
Unpleasant to drive - the fly-by-wire throttle is lifeless and gives no feel or feedback, nor does the electrically assisted steering, it feels like driving a computer simulator.
The gearbox has no feel, is squashy and slow - oh, and by the way for the model years you're looking at they were well known for being notoriously unreliable, many if not most will have had to be rebuilt by now, simply not up to the job.
Generally irritating to drive - all the switch gear is in the wrong place and difficult to reach - some switches in the centre you have to release your seat belt before you can reach them! Also labels are difficult to read/interpret, reflections off that stupid big speedo flash back in your face and distract the driver and so on....
Unreliable - ours was still under the 3-year guarantee and I lost count of the number of times it went back to BMW for various problems, mainly electrical but also including whining drive belts, failing power steering, engine management faults etc. Mind you, more than once the BMW engineers left their nice snap-on tools lying around in the engine bay when we got the car back, so not all bad.

It's a triumph of so-called "funky style" over function - we loved it for the first few weeks then when the novelty wore off it became irritating, then we grew to truly hate it.

I could go on. We couldn't wait to get rid.

We replaced it with a 1965 Morris Minor. Far smaller footprint, but larger on the inside with a much more spacious feel too. Bigger boot. More economical with fuel, and FAR cheaper to insure, free tax. Cheap servicing. Lighter. Better visibility, easier to drive. More comfortable, softer ride. Takes 4 people without the rear passengers requiring limb surgery. 4 doors, all of which open fully when parked next to other cars. The only thing that the Mini did better was performance (which didn't matter for the urban driving we used it for), noise levels and safety. I'm struggling to think of ANYTHING else that the Mini did better. Progress eh?

Rant over.
Some people are like Slinkies - they serve no useful purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them downstairs.

Kaktus
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: BMW MINI

#6 Post by Kaktus » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:18 am

Thanks Rich and Luxo, much appreciated!

Sounds a bit like I might need to reconsider our second car option, must find a way to break it to my better half.... ;)

rich.
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Re: BMW MINI

#7 Post by rich. » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:55 am

sis in law has just bought the old "new" beetle convertible she loves that... ;)

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JPB
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Re: BMW MINI

#8 Post by JPB » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:18 am

Kaktus wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:18 am
Thanks Rich and Luxo, much appreciated!

Sounds a bit like I might need to reconsider our second car option, must find a way to break it to my better half.... ;)
The Suzuki Swift is 5th Gear's favourite car in that shape & size and beats the MINI hands down in every single way, VBH and Tiff both said as much during their road test and owners seem satisfied on the whole.
I've been in a Swift and if it was big enough for me, then it's big enough unless of course you're Peter Jones or Richard Osman, in which case what is the weather like up there?
Or go for a classic. Even if you're that odd person who doesn't appreciate the Minor's many virtues there are a good few seventies or eighties cars that are every bit as simple to live with, reliable in regular use and not stupidly expensive to buy..

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John, Operating knackered old sheds as daily transport since 1981. :|

Kaktus
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: BMW MINI

#9 Post by Kaktus » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:34 pm

JPB wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:18 am
Kaktus wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:18 am
Thanks Rich and Luxo, much appreciated!

Sounds a bit like I might need to reconsider our second car option, must find a way to break it to my better half.... ;)
The Suzuki Swift is 5th Gear's favourite car in that shape & size and beats the MINI hands down in every single way, VBH and Tiff both said as much during their road test and owners seem satisfied on the whole.
I've been in a Swift and if it was big enough for me, then it's big enough unless of course you're Peter Jones or Richard Osman, in which case what is the weather like up there?
Or go for a classic. Even if you're that odd person who doesn't appreciate the Minor's many virtues there are a good few seventies or eighties cars that are every bit as simple to live with, reliable in regular use and not stupidly expensive to buy..

Image
Thanks John! Some good ideas with the Swift there for sure, and as it's mainly going to be used for school runs (we've got just one 7-year-old girl so no need for an MPV!!) and nipping around town with it would definitely do the trick as well. The only problem though living in Ireland is that Japanese cars are very hard to get on classic insurance unless they're 30 years old, hence the '02 or '03 Mini being considered, a lot to do with the looks of course, but also cheap to insure due to its age. We already have a 2016 Citroen Cactus for my wife's commute and I have a dormant Triumph Stag in a friend's garage that I hope to restore one day when money and time allows... Oh, and my '96 EP-82 Starlet is SORN'd since needing too much welding to pass its test, so therefore now looking for something else to use.

Ideally I'd like another classic of course, but the budget won't stretch to much beyond 1500 euros so that limits the selection a good bit, especially as it needs to be reasonably reliable. I was thinking about a 15-year-old Corsa or Polo as it just needs to be a cheap runabout, but a Mini does at least on paper look like a more interesting alternative... With the rather idiotic insurance policies here in Ireland I'm afraid Japanese or other Asian makes are out the window, so need to look at various European cars instead. Did you know that many insurance companies here in Ireland don't insure cars over 10 years old, but ironically they're happy to give cheap classic car insurance for 15-year-old European cars..... :roll:

So, in other words, what would you guys recommend in my situation?

Cheers,
Joakim

GHT
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:09 pm

Re: BMW MINI

#10 Post by GHT » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:39 pm

rich. wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:57 pm
my brother had the clubman thing, expensive pile of poo..paint falling off, 70s bl style then he had a breakdown mechanic look at it again, repaired the problem & when he finished he asked have you changed the clutch yet?? a few days later that went..
good luck ;)
Rich's comment about the clutch makes me wonder if the engine is the "K" series aberration. The design had strengthening rods going right through the head, the block and into the caps. Made clutch replacement a nightmare, and extremely costly too. Ask any owner of that other BMW model, the MG F. owners of which, found themselves up to £750 out of pocket after a clutch replacement.
Personally I find the thought of sticking pins in my eyeballs more appealing.

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