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R50/53 - R50/53 Saying goodbye to NAM and MINI

R50/R53 :: Hatch Talk (2002-2006) Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) hatchback discussion.

R50/53 - R50/53 Saying goodbye to NAM and MINI

  #1  
Old 12-29-2007, 06:48 PM
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Saying goodbye to NAM and MINI

Well, the time has just about come to say goodbye. When, or if, I ever get my 2003 MC back from the repair shop I'll be driving her right to my driveway (for stripping) and then to a predetermined dealer to which I will trade her in. The trans went out over 5 weeks ago, the extended warranty doesn't want to cover the repair sighting that they cannot find why it failed, it's going to be a fight. But, beyond that, just too many things wrong with this car.

She was a blast to drive and I will miss her but (for now) I'm done with anything MINI or BMW, the reliability just isn't there.

My plan to to stick to something Japanese. I want something refined and sleek. I really like the Eclipse Coupe V6. That's a top contender as is the RX-8 but reliability is questionable with the 8. Next week, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Honda. Looking for a sports type car, two doors that seats 4.

Once I get the goodies off my MINI you'll see me post a bit in the For Sale area.

As Tigger would say...TTFN!
 
  #2  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:11 PM
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Sorry to hear of your troubles. Best of luck with your next purchase, though there is no way it can be as fun as a Mini!
 
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:24 PM
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You're going to ditch a Mini for an ECLIPSE? I'm sorry, that's just plain foolhardy.

The RX-8, maybe. That's a nice car.
 
  #4  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:27 PM
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Was the extended warranty through BMW/Mini?

Good luck in your quest. Honda and Toyota are your best bets for brilliant engineering and excellent reliability. BMW not so much.
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:29 PM
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I can understand MINI "peculiarities" getting you down. I'm not sure how long my '03 will be hanging around either.
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:37 PM
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I don't recommend the Eclipse as a replacement if you're worried about reliability. They're sharp looking cars and I loved my 1G DSM, but Mitsubishi doesn't have the greatest track record for reliability and my MINI is way more reliable than the Mitsu I owned before it. For a stylish coupe look to the Honda Accord Coupe, Acura CL, or Hyundai Tiburon. The RX8 doesn't seem to have the reliability issues third generation RX7s had since without the complex turbo system, underhood temps are much more reasonable and there's an added margin of safety against detonation and engine damage.
Best of luck with whatever you choose to go with and sorry to see you leave the MINI community.
 
  #7  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:46 PM
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try the Honda Fit Sport 5MT. i think you'll like it.

super smooth gearbox, MUCH more utility, better sounding stereo,
comical good looks, well built, lots of hopups available. check it out.

and good luck.
 
  #8  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:57 PM
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The Nissan Altima coupe is really sharp. Take a look at it. I think you'll like it. Too bad things didn't work out with the Mini. I feel bad for whom ever will buy it.
 
  #9  
Old 12-29-2007, 07:58 PM
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Sorry you've not had a good experience. That's the way it goes I guess.

We went to the Auto Show today and did see a few nice new cars. I've never been a Volvo fan but their new one I believe will be a pretty good seller. It's the C30 - kinda funky looking at first - but something about it caught my eye. Check it out on-line.

Donna
 
  #10  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:01 PM
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Funny... I love my RX-8, but am thinking about trading it in for a Cooper S.

The RX-8 is sublimely balanced, mature, and the rotary sings a sweet tune as it reaches its 9K+ boiling point. I love its RWD feel, and the way you can subtly adjust its line through a sweeper with your right foot.

But the complete lack of low end grunt, and its habit of drinking more than Mel Gibson, Dean Martin, and Bluto Blutarsky combined have made me grown weary. I could maybe justify 15 MPG if the car blasted off from the line like a Corvette, but it doesn't. I could maybe be happy with its anemic launching if it got 30 MPG, but it doesn't.

I traded in my BMW ('02 E46 330i) in hope of getting a smaller, lighter car with the razor sharp handling, solid build quality, and the velvety smooth power delivery the BMW always provided. The RX-8 falls short, IMO, though it seemed to meet the requirements on paper.

Over 120K+ miles, I never had any major mechanical issues with my E46 -- just a water pump and thermostat replaced under warranty. And I loved that car. Really loved it. I connected with it in a way I cannot approach with the RX-8.

From what I read here, that connection is felt in abundance among MINI owners. I just need to take a few test drives to see if I can get over my anti-FWD bias. If the car feels like a small, light, tight, sharp-handling BMW, and the torque steer is not too obscene, I think I'll be sold.

If reliability concerns are more important to you than driving passion, then you're probably making the right decision... but just be aware what you may be giving up. Finding a car that you can bond with the way I was able to with my E46, and the way so many MINI owners do, is a rare gem of an ownership experience. I took it for granted to an extent, and now I'm trying to capture lightning in a bottle again... it's not easy.
 
  #11  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:05 PM
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it's a mazda, get rid of it now.
 
  #12  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:20 PM
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aren't Mazda's made by ford?
 
  #13  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:39 PM
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The current Eclipse is a mediocre sports car wanna be. It rides on the same exact platform as the Galant sedan. Mitsubishi is neither famous for its reliability, service or resale value. The only Mitsu worth anything is the EVO. The rest is junk...

Toyota? Don't look for sporty or personality in their showrooms. Plain vanilla cars that are the equivalent of automotive sleeping pills. Their long overrated reliability status has suffered greatly in the past couple of years. In fact Consumer Reports does not recommend 1st year Toyota products anymore. Toyota is also no longer interested in catering to the enthusiast customer... MR2, Celica, Supra all gone from US shores. And please don't tell me that a Yaris S or Corolla S or Matrix S are sports cars, because they aren't. They are just econoboxes with mediocre handling made for daily commuting and nothing more.

If you are looking for something mildly sporty in the Toyota idiom. look into Scion. I don't care for their cars, but you should find them more to your liking.

The Honda Fit is a good car but is ugly, looks flimsy and a cheapo feeling permeteates the whole car (Plus it is a slow car). You should be able to get one for under $15K but I can't get over the shrunken Suzuki Aerio/Mouse face looks. I much rather spring a few thousand more and get the Civic which is 100 times a much better car than the Fit, looks better, has better performance/driving dynamics and has a resale value comparable to MINI.

Good luck Ron. Sorry that you got a bad apple. However, having a bad MINI does not mean that all of them are junk. It seems to me that your after market warranty was a total ripoff and you got taken with this latest repair. I still stand by my belief that MINIs are very solid very good quality automobiles. However, your experience may vary.

Good luck.
 

Last edited by ClubmanS; 12-29-2007 at 08:46 PM.
  #14  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Plaz View Post
Funny... I love my RX-8, but am thinking about trading it in for a Cooper S.

The RX-8 is sublimely balanced, mature, and the rotary sings a sweet tune as it reaches its 9K+ boiling point. I love its RWD feel, and the way you can subtly adjust its line through a sweeper with your right foot.

But the complete lack of low end grunt, and its habit of drinking more than Mel Gibson, Dean Martin, and Bluto Blutarsky combined have made me grown weary. I could maybe justify 15 MPG if the car blasted off from the line like a Corvette, but it doesn't. I could maybe be happy with its anemic launching if it got 30 MPG, but it doesn't.

I traded in my BMW ('02 E46 330i) in hope of getting a smaller, lighter car with the razor sharp handling, solid build quality, and the velvety smooth power delivery the BMW always provided. The RX-8 falls short, IMO, though it seemed to meet the requirements on paper.

Over 120K+ miles, I never had any major mechanical issues with my E46 -- just a water pump and thermostat replaced under warranty. And I loved that car. Really loved it. I connected with it in a way I cannot approach with the RX-8.

From what I read here, that connection is felt in abundance among MINI owners. I just need to take a few test drives to see if I can get over my anti-FWD bias. If the car feels like a small, light, tight, sharp-handling BMW, and the torque steer is not too obscene, I think I'll be sold.

If reliability concerns are more important to you than driving passion, then you're probably making the right decision... but just be aware what you may be giving up. Finding a car that you can bond with the way I was able to with my E46, and the way so many MINI owners do, is a rare gem of an ownership experience. I took it for granted to an extent, and now I'm trying to capture lightning in a bottle again... it's not easy.
Great post The RX-8 is a fantastic car on paper but in the real world is just can't deliver. I still think the last great Mazda RX sports coupe was the RX-7 from the late 1990's.
 
  #15  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by elprofe View Post
aren't Mazda's made by ford?
Ford owns Mazda and has had a very close relationship with the Japanese automaker since the 1960's. In fact, all Mazdas made in the last 30-40 years have Ford engineering/parts in them.
 
  #16  
Old 12-29-2007, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Donna/Mike View Post
Sorry you've not had a good experience. That's the way it goes I guess.

We went to the Auto Show today and did see a few nice new cars. I've never been a Volvo fan but their new one I believe will be a pretty good seller. It's the C30 - kinda funky looking at first - but something about it caught my eye. Check it out on-line.

Donna

I saw the C30 this past November at the local autoshow and was underwhelmed. The rear glass hatch is really cool but the car is nothing more than a Volvo S40 sedan but in a hatchback body. There lies the problem with the C30. It is saddled with a so-so chassis. Volvo believed that making a hatchback out of the S40 sedan they would create a MINI competitor. But they didn't. The car is an absolute BORE to drive. And for what I have read, the C30 is a very slow seller... I wonder why

Nice interior but rear passenger room is not that much bigger than a standard MINI. Consider that the C30 is a bigger car than the R56.

If Ron is looking for a perfect car that never breaks.... He'll never find it. All cars have positives and negatives and all have issues, some more than others.
 
  #17  
Old 12-29-2007, 09:56 PM
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You're going to ditch a Mini for an ECLIPSE? I'm sorry, that's just plain foolhardy.
Because?

I can understand MINI "peculiarities" getting you down.
Peculiarities? Hardly. Having had my MINI in the shop 7 times, not counting this last go around with the tranny over an 18 month period is far beyond perculiarities.

Mitsubishi doesn't have the greatest track record for reliability
Their past is not so great but the last 4 years or so they've come quite far. I've read several good reports on their reliability and CS gives them a half red dot (an above average score) for reliability. Car and Drivers 40,000 mile road test was also fairly postitive. I also have other thread on other forums with quite a few happy Mits owners.

If reliability concerns are more important to you than driving passion, then you're probably making the right decision... but just be aware what you may be giving up. Finding a car that you can bond with the way I was able to with my E46, and the way so many MINI owners do, is a rare gem of an ownership experience.
Oh, I think you can find driving passion and reliabiltiy both in one car. Don't think that MINI is the only car out their that one can bond with creating a driving passion. If you love what you drive, that's the key, no matter what car it is.

If Ron is looking for a perfect car that never breaks.... He'll never find it.
I realize that, but I can find one that will spend less time in the shop, a lot less...hopefully.



Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I have a lot of shopping and test driving still to do. No matter what new car I buy, it will not drive like the MINI. But, I'm not really looking for that either. Some day I would love to own an original Mini as a fun car, that is a goal anyway.
 
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:17 PM
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Even though it's a 5-door hatchback, the Mazdaspped 3 looks like a great choice.
 
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Old 12-29-2007, 11:20 PM
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Best of luck in whatever you choose. Sorry your MINI experience was not a good one.
 
  #20  
Old 12-30-2007, 05:17 AM
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I know people around here don't think much of Consumer Reports, but the 10/07 issue (p. 51) put Mitsu Eclipse at the BOTTOM of the heap in its category. MCS was 4th, behind Mazdaspeed 3, VW GTI, and Honda Civic Si.
 
  #21  
Old 12-30-2007, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RonP View Post
Because?
Because it's heavy, unreliable, slow and an eyesore.
 
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:24 AM
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Glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks so!
RX-8 is a great car, but not much for the torque you are used to.
WRX would be a tempting one, I know I've considered it.
Audi A4 is OK (I own one), but doesn't inspire emotions.
BMW 3-series are beautiful, through they have also lost a little emotion (i.e. why I bought the MCS)
Civic... well it's not quite as white bread as a Toyota... but it's getting close!

Originally Posted by DrWhoMini View Post
Because it's heavy, unreliable, slow and an eyesore.
 
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by RonP View Post
Well, the time has just about come to say goodbye. When, or if, I ever get my 2003 MC back from the repair shop I'll be driving her right to my driveway (for stripping) and then to a predetermined dealer to which I will trade her in. The trans went out over 5 weeks ago, the extended warranty doesn't want to cover the repair sighting that they cannot find why it failed, it's going to be a fight. But, beyond that, just too many things wrong with this car.

She was a blast to drive and I will miss her but (for now) I'm done with anything MINI or BMW, the reliability just isn't there.

My plan to to stick to something Japanese. I want something refined and sleek. I really like the Eclipse Coupe V6. That's a top contender as is the RX-8 but reliability is questionable with the 8. Next week, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan and Honda. Looking for a sports type car, two doors that seats 4.

Once I get the goodies off my MINI you'll see me post a bit in the For Sale area.

As Tigger would say...TTFN!
Go for the Subaru WRX STI! AWD, great stock HP with plenty of potential for speed mods, and great handling. I'd be getting one if it weren't for the fact that the MINI gets about 2x the gas mileage and I prefer the looks of the MINI. Can't wait for the AWD MINI!!
 
  #24  
Old 12-30-2007, 07:32 AM
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CIVIC SI!!

 
  #25  
Old 12-30-2007, 07:58 AM
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Since you purchased your MINI from CarMax, the maintenance history is questionable on your '03. I've worked on many MINIs that weren't owned by enthusiasts and saw all sorts of items that should have been replaced but weren't--like cracked upper strut mounts, rattling boot latches, foam upper cowl grills, etc... CarMax offered me $6,000 below Kelly Blue Book for my 2003 Cooper and their inspection certainly wasn't thorough.

It's too bad you had so many issues, but I sold my '03 with 60,000+ miles and I didn't have any of those issues--well except for a blown tranny at 43,000 miles which was replaced under warranty--but that and my clutch was replaced by South Bay MINI in 3 days. My MINI had been very reliable and the point is that not ALL MINIs are poorly made. =)

Richard
 

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