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R56 Moving from a 1st gen to a 2nd gen MINI

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R56 Moving from a 1st gen to a 2nd gen MINI

Old 03-13-2010, 07:21 AM
shutterspeed1000 is offline
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Moving from a 1st gen to a 2nd gen MINI

I was wondering how many people moved from a 1st gen to a 2nd gen Mini. I currently have a 2005 R50 with 83,000 miles that has had a lot of small issues and now one major one I do not wish to fix.

For people that moved to a new 2nd gen Mini have they been more reliable? I am thinking of moving to a MCS also but am mainly concerned about the car holding up better.
Old 03-13-2010, 08:29 AM
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I had an '03 MCS that I bought new and traded it w/50K miles on a '10 MCS that I ordered with the options I wanted. I can't speak to reliability as I've only got 1,200 miles on the new one. My observations so far are that the '10 is significantly quicker than the '03, and it also gets significantly better gas mileage.

At this point, I'm happy with the new car but think MINI went overboard with the electronic gadgets and the way they operate. (You durn near need a Master's Degree to figure out the way the wipers operate!)
Old 03-13-2010, 09:44 AM
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I also just recently went from an '04 MCS to '10 MCS. I agree with you 100% on the difference between the two. BTW I just don't have the patient to read those manuals, my modus operandi is learning by trial and error or ask fellow miniacs at our local club. Hopefully I don't screw things up too bad.
Old 03-13-2010, 10:07 AM
Doug W
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I went from an '04 MCS to a new '09 JCW almost a year ago.
I bought the '04 used and put 15K miles on it without an issue.

At the moment, I have 18K miles on the JCW, and the only two issues are the (common) melting hood scoop and the (fairly common) goofy driver's window.
I'll have my first service call in a couple of weeks, and I'll see how the dealer takes care of those two problems for me.
Old 03-14-2010, 11:13 PM
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Cooper S Clubbie

I had an 02 Cooper (70k miles) and traded in for a new 09 Clubman last fall... 1st Gen to 2nd Gen is quite the jump. The combination of Justa to S and 1st to 2nd, it's like whole new car. Pun intended.

2nd gen seem much cleaner/tighter on fit and finish. I can't wait for this upcoming summer to test out the auto-air. That was the worst part of my 2002. Horrible cooling in 95+ degreee weather, you could hear my fan from one block away!!
Old 03-15-2010, 05:24 AM
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I had an 02-S bought new off the lot which I passed to my son when I bought an 07-S. The 02 was around the house for a couple of additional years until just over 90,000 miles and the 07 has a wee bit over 20,000 so I guess I'm experienced on both fronts. The two cars had nearly identical option lists, auto A/C, sunroof, leather. The 02 was on 17's and later had standard tires in place of r/f's while the 7 is on 16's and still shod with r/f's. Neither has/d any significant mods.

First of all the ride of the 7 is soft soft soft as compared to the 02, even with the r/f's still on it. At times the 7 reminds me of my 75 Cutlass it is so soft. Recognize that the 02-s was a harder ride than every later year GEN1 however as the suspension began to be changed almost immediately after introduction. The 02 was simply a tighter machine. At one time I lived on the edge of farm country in VA and could spend the afternoon driving some pretty nice twisties. I could cover the same roads in the 02 ... then the Miata ... then the 79 to get some real side by side comparisons of the experience.

The 02 did have more rattles but I eventually found all of those and a wee bit of velcro or felt in the right places cured them all to my satifaction.

The 07 has more room in it - a wee bit more. The GEN1 seemed more mod'able; altho I did not mod my car I installed mods for several others and still do....there just isn't the same level of toys for the GEN2 in my opinion and there also seems to be less interest.

GEN2 is an electronic nightmare IMO ... I haven't had problems but suppose I wanted/needed to change the head unit...forgetaboutit. I do read the book and still got lost trying just to reset the clock yesterday and also get cornfused about recirc and auto recirc .... huh???

I did have the fan relay problem twice on the 02 (one war' and one not), and the steering col' replaced (warranty) and a window motor (not warranty) and the a/c compressor died at the end. Not horrible but far more problems then I had in a Miata that was in the garage for 120,000 miles.

The GEN2 has only seen the dealer for covered oil changes and I changed brake pads out myself for lower dust. Other than that 'nuthin' .... knock on wood.

As MINI moves farther and farther from driver's cars to family cars which is my interpretation of the current direction I'm very tempted to return to Miata which is what I was driving when I bought in 02. I had a 95 Miata which was the first pass down to the son and there's no doubt that was a fun driver's car. I went with an 02 MINI to get that experience while at the time the Miata was loosing me; size growth..more bling. Today's Miata's seem to be a bit more back to 'zoomo-zoom' while the MINI is drifting away....my opinion.

Of course I put a 79 Mini in the garage to get the experience too, so my aging bones just may appreciate the 75 Cutlass rebirth for a daily driver for too.....when I want to rattle my fillings I drive the 79

no complaint - just comparison comments.
Old 03-15-2010, 07:25 AM
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I made the switch last week, for the same reason as you - one major mechanical issue that I wasn't really interested in trying to track down and repair. Have about 700 miles on the 2nd Gen and my sentiments pretty much echo Capt BJ above.

The interior has a more refined feel to it. It's quieter than that of my 06 R50 and the ride is also smoother. The gas mileage is also a major improvement - I was averaging about 30 in my R50 and now I get about 43. There have been days when I feel like I need to be some sort of rocket scientist to work the stereo or OBC.

I can't speak to any reliability issues at 700 miles.

There seem to be fewer things to "do" to the R56. I've done quite a bit of digging around, and 3 years into the R50/53 there were FAR more mod options available than there are now for the R56.
Old 03-15-2010, 03:25 PM
Dr. Pepper
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I owned a 06 MCC and now have a 08MCS. The 08 seems more solid and has better build quality. Of course the performance is superior. I feel the suspension is still pretty stiff- certainly nothing like a 1970s land yacht as mentioned above. You can order the sport suspension if you want even more stiffness. My car has 36000 miles on it and it has been absoloutely trouble free. Get the new one. Don't think twice, it's alright.
Old 03-15-2010, 03:27 PM
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good reminder

MPG on the 7 does beat the 2, hands down .. wellll a couple of mpg anyway

and for that matter the low end torque of the turbo vs the super is WAY better. I tried to keep the 02 over 2500 rpm all the time else there was NO thottle response (mpg was better btw). And when the dealer tossed me the keys for a test drive in both a "justa" and an S the one thing he said was "slip the clutch to get off the line" ..... those that didn't understand what that meant were feeling a sluggish car. No such problems on the GEN2 IME ... it will pull fine from about 1900 RPM

a super has a wonderful whine . . . can't say I've heard anything similar in the turbo . . . but it will still take off nicely

very short ans to OP's question from which we waivered

have they been more reliable? I am thinking of moving to a MCS also but am mainly concerned about the car holding up better.

I have had a first year of GEN1 and GEN2

and for ME the GEN2 HAS been more "reliable" based on the number of dealer visits while the maintenance agreement was in effect.

Last edited by Capt_bj; 03-15-2010 at 03:34 PM.
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