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

R50/53 - R50/53 Regretting my MINI purchase?

  #1  
Old 11-10-2008, 11:52 AM
lilcoopr
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Regretting my MINI purchase?

When I first saw the R56 spy pictures on MF, before the front was finished, I decided that I didn't like the new front end. I decided that I wanted the supercharger whine, and the body styling of the R53 MCS. I also decided that I didn't want the first model year of the R56, and couldn't wait for the 2008 R56 to see how it turned out. So I ran out and bought my 2006 R53 and have been 98% happy since. Having my MINI has been an amazing experience. I've met so many people because of it and have traveled around the world.

But, now, since I work at a MINI dealer in Canada, I've been surrounded by the R56 and R55 left-right-and center. I just went out with my coworker in a Hot Chocolate R55, ray cloth interior, beautiful inside and out. The biggest thing for me was the gear box!! So smooth!! And I've spent so much time thinking about how much I love the super charger whine, but in daily driving, it's low-end torque that you really need, and my R53 is so lacking in that dept.

My gear box has been giving me problems and when I drive other 2005/2006 Cooper S's, they don't feel much better than mine. So even if there is a minor problem with mine, it will never feel as smooth as I think it should.

I guess I'm just feeling a pinch of regret from buying my 2006 Cooper S and not waiting for the R56. If you look back on the forums, I probably posted saying that I hated the centre stack in the new gen, saying that I will (heart) my supercharger forever and ever, but the truth is the new car really grows on you... And I'm sick of hearing "OMG this is such an amazing car" about the R56, and hearing "meh" about my gen when compared to the new one - from customers and coworkers.

I guess I'm just asking for a fellow MINI community hug here. The payments on a R56 would be 30% less than mine, for a car that doesn't have a tranny problem (of some sort - she's going in for service soon and we'll be able to gauge how big of a problem I'm truly facing) and a car that people are "wowed" over. I mean, having pink on mine gets a ton of compliments but I guess I'm just trying to decide if I should ask my manager to strike a deal with me and a demo R56 (which I'd continue the pink with) or hang onto my Stella... Because these feelings come and go, right? Right??
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:26 PM
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I guess I'm just asking for a fellow MINI community hug here.

Here is a hug for you! Now thats done life is to short buy what you really want and if its 30% cheaper... Seems like a no brainer to me
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lilcoopr View Post
The payments on a R56 would be 30% less than mine, for a car that doesn't have a tranny problem (of some sort - she's going in for service soon and we'll be able to gauge how big of a problem I'm truly facing) and a car that people are "wowed" over.
Sorry to hear of your dilemma! Why would the payments be less on an R56?
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jimatvs View Post
Sorry to hear of your dilemma! Why would the payments be less on an R56?
Because of the residual on the newer model. As well, my interest rate is 8.9% for 5 years, giving me a payment of over $800 per month. The R56 has an interest rate of 6.9% which makes a huge difference. Those payments would be close to $700 but perhaps more in the $600-$650 range - for a lot more on that car vs. mine.

The R56 with JCW Tuning kit and Suspension kit also kicks my MINI's bottom in terms of gas mileage... That's the car I've been thinking of. My manger did it up as a demo... 2008 R56 MCS with JCW Aerokit, Suspension Kit, Tuning Kit, CF bits and bobbles, and brushed silver with black shiny interior 18" JCW Wheels (the model # escapes me at the moment). All this is less than the payments for mine!!

I am just worried that the R56 feels like butter when shifting now but is that just a temporary thing? After driving R56's all day, you get into the R53 and it feels like its way less powerful, and I guess that's the dilemma I face at the end of the day.

I have about 47,000kms on mine right now... once it gets past or even closer to 50,000, it becomes less appealing for them to sell as a pre-owned MINI here, making my chances less for a deal like this.

Argh!!!!! Does someone have a crystal ball? Can you tell me what the future holds??
 
  #5  
Old 11-10-2008, 12:46 PM
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I've had two R53s and now an R56. My wife has an R50. There will be things you miss about the R53 if you change to an R56. Having said that, though, I wouldn't go back for anything. I really like my R56.
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:48 PM
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keep your the grass is greener on the other side, till you get there you have a beautiful car
 
  #7  
Old 11-10-2008, 12:49 PM
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I think it goes without saying that the prevailing environment at a MINI dealership will push the all the advantages (and none of the negatives) of a new purchase. You've probably heard the party line over and over again, so many times that it is becoming virtual reality for you.

Keep in mind that the 2006 R53 in all probability reigns as the finest model year on record of the BMW MINI. Most of the bugs were worked out of the early model year builds, and it retains all of the well thought design attributes that weren't given enough due in the R56 (e.g., you mentioned the center stack, the body styling, etc.). I'll bet the folks in your shop don't spend too much time dwelling on the recognized shortcomings associated with the R56 (particularly build quality) in normal conversation, so it's easy to lose perspective. As Apples says, the grass always appears greener on the other side.

Granted, your frustration with the gearbox is justified but is it worth trading that away so that you can inherit the R56 cold start chatter issue instead (which MINI still hasn't really solved and might be eating engines from the inside out)? My guess is that after a year or two of R56 ownership you'd be pining for your '06.

If I were in the MINI market, I'd be shopping for a low mileage '06 R53 -- not an R56 -- just like yours. I think you're lucky to have what you have.

*gives a hug*
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:20 PM
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being an owner of a 2004 MCS and a 2005 MC and now a 2007 MCS (R56) i would say go for it 100%. my 2007 (first year model by the way) has been great and i don't miss one thing about the R53 EXCEPT the supercharger whine. but you know what i did to fix that......i installed a cold air intake and you should heard how AWESOME the turbo blow off sound is!!!

wow man... $800 car payment is a lot!! i thought my $465 over 5 years was high.
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 02:39 PM
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I always laugh when people say the R53 doesn't have low end torque. I came from a Honda.
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 06:03 PM
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I won't even sit in a new Cooper for this very reason... I don't even want to know what it feels like.

Originally Posted by lilcoopr View Post
...Because these feelings come and go, right? Right??
My .02... Ordinarily, I'd say yes; you'd get over wanting the newer model. As long as you're confronted with them everyday however, I don't honestly think you'll ever stop wanting one! If the newer car is not only going to be 30% cheaper for you, but a significantly improved motoring experience for you as well, I say go for it.
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:38 PM
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Whatever makes you happy.

Why ask other's opinions?--you must drive the car and only you will smile and frown about it as you lay dreaming at night.

I have owned over 30 cars and it took 2/3 of them to make me realize that I am the one who should be happy--not anyone who second guesses me or has different opinion.

Go for it. (happiness that is)
 
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:44 PM
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All I know is I LOVE my car. I guess thats all that matters

Cognitive dissonance is not fun indeed.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:22 AM
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i had a 06 MCS, and now its gone, i miss that car so much. I have driven in several R56, and they have some pluses and minuses, but over all i would rather have a 05-06 even an R50. BTW im looking for a 05-06 R53 or R50, i got a step down of a 04 Jetta when i had to get rid of my 06 R53, and i have been regretting it ever since.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by lilcoopr View Post
The R56 with JCW Tuning kit and Suspension kit also kicks my MINI's bottom in terms of gas mileage... That's the car I've been thinking of. My manger did it up as a demo... 2008 R56 MCS with JCW Aerokit, Suspension Kit, Tuning Kit, CF bits and bobbles, and brushed silver with black shiny interior 18" JCW Wheels (the model # escapes me at the moment). All this is less than the payments for mine!!
That is quite a package. I'd grab it and not look back.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
That is quite a package. I'd grab it and not look back.
Yeah, do it! You know you want it.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by //MZero View Post
I always laugh when people say the R53 doesn't have low end torque. I came from a Honda.
I'll 2nd that. Considering how tiny the engine really is, I feel that it has quite impressive low-end. I mean, my 2.5L 944 can barely move itself until almost 4k rpm, and forget trying to zip past traffic in 5th gear!

But really, I'd hang on to what you've got... I always figure they're both great cars, and they will both have their own shortcomings as well. So as tempting as a brand new R56 JCW might seem (for me anyway), my lovely little R53 has plenty of life left to give. Think of it this way: In a few years you'll still be able to get a new (or very low mile) R56, but finding a similar R53 will be tough. I say enjoy the R53 while it's freash, and switch over later. That's my plan!
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:01 PM
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Here's a hug!!!! Don't worry or second guess yourself, you have a beautiful MINI so just enjoy it!!
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:05 PM
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If moving to an R56 presents such financial benefits...sure, do it!!! Both cars have benefits one can key into so, in the end, both are really great!!
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 01:15 PM
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I drove a 2007 R56 and yes, it does have a little more power in the seat of the pants, but I couldn't get over the feeling that it felt more like too many other cars and not the mini I am used to (05 R53), but I was not able to figure out why. You will do what you think is best but I wouldn't trade mine for one just for more power. They are both great cars and to each his own.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:06 PM
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Do what you want. hands down.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:08 PM
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$700-800 for a MINI??????????????

you can drive a used 911 for that money... or a new 3 series...

I would never pay that much for a MINI...ever...
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:11 PM
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spyderman, that's Canadian $$. Diff than US.

lilcoop, I've driven a few R56s, both Coops and Ss, mostly when my car was in for service. In each and every case, I couldn't wait to get my car back. But that's just me. You need to do what makes you happy.
 
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by flav View Post
wow man... $800 car payment is a lot!! i thought my $465 over 5 years was high.
The OP most likely failed to convert to U.S., forgetting this Site mostly has U. S. members.

IMHO it's still high, but $800 CAD works out to US $663.86

I always assumed that people paid about $600 max for a MINI. So $663 seems way too high for a mid-priced car.

I'd be curious what people pay per month. I thought average would be about $400 monthly for a MINI.
 

Last edited by MichaelSF; 11-11-2008 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by spyderman33 View Post

you can drive a used 911 for that money...

Don't forget the $1000+ per week it will take to fix it every time it breaks. And it will break every week...

But really, that seems steep... Not sure how Canadian converts, but the financial calculator on MINI USA gave me something in the 400's x 4 years for a $38,000 JCW with 5k down plus 5k trade-in. I suppose if you bought a totally loaded JCW with nothing down and no trade in maybe...
 
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by erickvonzipper View Post
spyderman, that's Canadian $$. Diff than US.

lilcoop, I've driven a few R56s, both Coops and Ss, mostly when my car was in for service. In each and every case, I couldn't wait to get my car back. But that's just me. You need to do what makes you happy.
Stilll US$660 on $800 CAD... Too much for a MINI...
 

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