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Is this a terrible idea?


Sugarlips

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Sugarlips

Mrs SL doesn’t really do buying ‘stuff’ (clearly she’s a keeper) however her first car was a knackered Mini and when we get our boots on the ground back home she has requested a big Mini (oxymoron I know). With 3 kids in tow the ordinary size one wouldn’t work.

So aside from knowing they were/are Cowley built and are BMW owned I’ve never owned one. They are quiet rare in Oz but plentiful at your end of the world.

Seems like a 10 year old Countryman start from about £5k - enough of an outlay to not want to end up with a lemon.

Thoughts?

 

Edited by Sugarlips
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I've never had one. People I know that have had them, like them a lot. I think they are pretty sound. One might be on my wish list, when the Lexus dies.

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I have a Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 (first gen R60), the 4 seat version for something a bit different, though they also do the more normal back seat bench version for 5 up.

Ticked a lot of boxes on my list when looking at more mundane stuff of a similar price, and the All4 AWD, which is BMWs version of the Audi Quattro system, is handy for a bit of light offroading (it doesn't have the ground clearance for anything proper offroad) or muddy grass car parks when out exploring for my main pursuit of trail running.

Like many cars of the last 10 years or so, they all seem to have potential issues whether mechanical electrical or both but that's the nature of the beast with these ever more complex cars.

Only real pain so far with mine is the standard oil dipstick is piss poor. Gets stuck in the kinked tube as it's just rigid metal and has an incomprehensible min-max section. Some have chosen to file it down to make it more obvious what the true oil level is but I found a cheap flexible style one on amazon that does the job a lot better.

 

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One percent
3 minutes ago, BoSon said:

I have a Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 (first gen R60), the 4 seat version for something a bit different, though they also do the more normal back seat bench version for 5 up.

Ticked a lot of boxes on my list when looking at more mundane stuff of a similar price, and the All4 AWD, which is BMWs version of the Audi Quattro system, is handy for a bit of light offroading (it doesn't have the ground clearance for anything proper offroad) or muddy grass car parks when out exploring for my main pursuit of trail running.

Like many cars of the last 10 years or so, they all seem to have potential issues whether mechanical electrical or both but that's the nature of the beast with these ever more complex cars.

Only real pain so far with mine is the standard oil dipstick is piss poor. Gets stuck in the kinked tube as it's just rigid metal and has an incomprehensible min-max section. Some have chosen to file it down to make it more obvious what the true oil level is but I found a cheap flexible style one on amazon that does the job a lot better.

 

You have a dipstick?  How quaint. o.O

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11 minutes ago, One percent said:

You have a dipstick?  How quaint. o.O

Aye, in this day and age the engine should be able to monitor the oil level without human intervention.

I also don't like how it's possible to over fill the oil causing as many serious issues as underfilling. Surely if they can put a man on the moon (or can they xD) they can make an engine idiot proof, so even the non idiots get an easier life. I don't claim to be an idiot or not an idiot only others can decide on that. xD

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One percent
1 minute ago, BoSon said:

Aye, in this day and age the engine should be able to monitor the oil level without human intervention.

I also don't like how it's possible to over fill the oil causing as many serious issues as underfilling. Surely if they can put a man on the moon (or can they xD) they can make an engine idiot proof, so even the non idiots get an easier life. I don't claim to be an idiot or not an idiot only others can decide on that. xD

Yep, my new model clubman doesn’t have a dipstick and monitors oil level. I can get it to check the level but it’s such a palaver. Have to take it on a long run and then sit with the engine running while it does it’s stuff. 

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Sugarlips
12 hours ago, BoSon said:

I have a Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 (first gen R60), the 4 seat version for something a bit different, though they also do the more normal back seat bench version for 5 up.

Ticked a lot of boxes on my list when looking at more mundane stuff of a similar price, and the All4 AWD, which is BMWs version of the Audi Quattro system, is handy for a bit of light offroading (it doesn't have the ground clearance for anything proper offroad) or muddy grass car parks when out exploring for my main pursuit of trail running.

Like many cars of the last 10 years or so, they all seem to have potential issues whether mechanical electrical or both but that's the nature of the beast with these ever more complex cars.

Only real pain so far with mine is the standard oil dipstick is piss poor. Gets stuck in the kinked tube as it's just rigid metal and has an incomprehensible min-max section. Some have chosen to file it down to make it more obvious what the true oil level is but I found a cheap flexible style one on amazon that does the job a lot better.

 

Interesting thanks, we would need the 5 seater. I’m warned that the ride is harsh esp in the rear and to get one on steel rims avoiding the low profiles and run flats, is this your experience also?

Have you done a lot of miles? Are servicing costs okay? I’m thinking a petrol one as whilst we would likely drive it to Portugal annually it would otherwise only do local trips

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11 hours ago, Sugarlips said:

Interesting thanks, we would need the 5 seater. I’m warned that the ride is harsh esp in the rear and to get one on steel rims avoiding the low profiles and run flats, is this your experience also?

Have you done a lot of miles? Are servicing costs okay? I’m thinking a petrol one as whilst we would likely drive it to Portugal annually it would otherwise only do local trips

Mine doesn't have run flats so the ride doesn't seem any worse than any car with 18 inch wheels. If I was bothered by it I'd look for 17s so can use higher profile tyres. Don't see the point of runflats when severe punctures are rare, usually slow ones so can deal with at the end of the journey or get a mobile tyre fitter out to sort, or normal breakdown cover if it is that bad.

The main downside with the 4 seat (if one was not bothered about it not having 5) is the gap between the rear seats makes it easy to see what's in the boot. The cover supposedly can be pulled down instead of across, I think, but I've removed it so easier to lower the seats when I need to, as the rear windows came blacked out and I never leave anything valuable in the boot. There's also a false floor where something like a laptop would fit, as no spare tyre or puncture gunk so usable space for storage.

Servicing seems normal. I took it to a mini specialist the first time just to see what they were like as they're local but never used them before as this is the first mini in the family, but they took the piss saying it needed new brake calipers discs and pads when all it went in for was a brake fluid change, despite it passing the MOT with no adviseries only weeks earlier so knew it was bollocks. The dickheads didn't check the MOT history before coming the jackanory so looked proper sick when I started down that WTF road. Gotcha. xD

Took it to the garage up the road I usually use and they confirmed the calipers were corroded but the pads and discs were fine. Decided to leave the brake fluid change for now as the brakes work fine so will wait until notice some difference on the pedal, I never hammer them so brakes usually last as long as I own the vehicles (2-3 years on average) so not going to worry about it.

I went for petrol as I hate diesel, just getting it on the hands at the filling station, never get that with petrol as it evaporates, so the turbo on the Cooper S fitted the bill (thankfully on this generation of mini they've ditched the supercharger of the first gen BMW mini Cooper S that was known to be unreliable), a nice bit of poke but equally able to amble about using the turbo torque without needing to thrash it.

I think with minis you either like the quirky styling or no real difference to all the other cars of a similar size as the mechanical bits are used across so many models these days and they tend to all be of similar build quality now mostly built by robots.

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I test drove a Mini electric recently. Great little car but I was put off by the salesman who kept referring to "Mini people" or "not Mini people" when speaking about other customers... does seem to be quite a lot of advertising and suchlike which puts me off. 

 

They share a lot of parts with BMW,  internally they're like a 1 series. 

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Seen  lot at the auctions, tempted myself, as I  like the styling, but plastic engine components can be troublesome and very picky on oil changes means many were there and didn't sell quickly for engine related problems, a sod to work on apparently so if you don't pick well (no oil leaks and impeccable oil change history) could be quite expensive trouble. Sticking with the rock solid Yeti for the timebeing, in reality really need something bigger, but the step up in size costs money and reliability no matter which alternative I look at.

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I've got an F56 3 cylinder......I should never have bought it, that's what happens when you get 'lost in life' and you have more money than sense....it's a 'spare car' lol

+ points:

engine is quite cool actually, plenty of low down poke but she started 'holding her revs' when the gears were disengeged

handles well cos it has IRS

- points:

no space in it

'view from the cockpit' is a bit weird cos of the letterbox windscreen

it's not geared for DIY really, BM want you to take it to the garage for everything ie I fukked the front brakes with some exuberant driving, you need to replace the wiring sensor as well to reset the brake indicator

battery is now fukked through lack of use, it's bloody enormous and again needs a computer attached to reset a battery ffs, was a right faff to remove too

it's a womans or a youngsters car really, bit like an Audi TT :P

I wouldn't have one again, totally style over substance.....I'd get something french and lightweight or if you want something more up to date and German maybe a 128Ti :)

And I defo wouldn't have one of the bigger ones, I drove something years ago and that was bloody boring, how much do the fukkers weigh? answer, far too much.....

Edited by nirvana
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Sugarlips
6 hours ago, nirvana said:

I've got an F56 3 cylinder......I should never have bought it, that's what happens when you get 'lost in life' and you have more money than sense....it's a 'spare car' lol

+ points:

engine is quite cool actually, plenty of low down poke but she started 'holding her revs' when the gears were disengeged

handles well cos it has IRS

- points:

no space in it

'view from the cockpit' is a bit weird cos of the letterbox windscreen

it's not geared for DIY really, BM want you to take it to the garage for everything ie I fukked the front brakes with some exuberant driving, you need to replace the wiring sensor as well to reset the brake indicator

battery is now fukked through lack of use, it's bloody enormous and again needs a computer attached to reset a battery ffs, was a right faff to remove too

it's a womans or a youngsters car really, bit like an Audi TT :P

I wouldn't have one again, totally style over substance.....I'd get something french and lightweight or if you want something more up to date and German maybe a 128Ti :)

And I defo wouldn't have one of the bigger ones, I drove something years ago and that was bloody boring, how much do the fukkers weigh? answer, far too much.....

Helpful 👍

boring goes with the territory of having 3 kids in tow so the big one it is. On the plus side I’m told it’s £30 road tax.

Personally I’d be looking for an E61 touring for similar money but I get the impression it’s not my call in this instance and that’s ok, occasionally.

I’ve seen a couple of ‘All4’ versions with the double sunroof just about in budget which would be a novelty, well til the first hailstorm anyway.

Noted about the main dealers and plastic everything 

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3 hours ago, Sugarlips said:

Helpful 👍

boring goes with the territory of having 3 kids in tow so the big one it is. On the plus side I’m told it’s £30 road tax.

Personally I’d be looking for an E61 touring for similar money but I get the impression it’s not my call in this instance and that’s ok, occasionally.

I’ve seen a couple of ‘All4’ versions with the double sunroof just about in budget which would be a novelty, well til the first hailstorm anyway.

Noted about the main dealers and plastic everything 

Never saw any with the sunroof for my budget when I was looking around. I'd be checking there are no common issues with leaks. Been so long since I had a car with a sunroof, and we rarely get enough decent weather for one in the UK I don't have it as a necessity where as aircon is, but they do brighten up the cabin if not a fan of dark hovels. I went for one with cream leather which does a similar thing.

A BMW touring was on my shortlist of contenders, but the E61, I just can't see past those dame edna front lights. xD

I had the newer F11 on my list but only really available in diesel and the 'must have' 3 litre ones were all silly high mileage for my budget, where even they would start to have issues with all the complexities that come with modern diesel engines. I may have one next, should be a lot more within budget by then, as they're pretty much the perfect all rounder (3 litre diesel variant that won the 330d the EVO Car of the Year back in the day, with the 8 speed auto box) if one can live with the size.

 

 

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Carl Fimble
On 15/02/2022 at 06:18, onlyme said:

Seen  lot at the auctions, tempted myself, as I  like the styling, but plastic engine components can be troublesome and very picky on oil changes means many were there and didn't sell quickly for engine related problems, a sod to work on apparently so if you don't pick well (no oil leaks and impeccable oil change history) could be quite expensive trouble. Sticking with the rock solid Yeti for the timebeing, in reality really need something bigger, but the step up in size costs money and reliability no matter which alternative I look at.

Berlingo/Partner with an extra set of wheels with winter tyres on them- sorted! 

Just make sure the (fucking) cambelt has been changed...

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Carl Fimble
On 15/02/2022 at 13:36, Sugarlips said:

Helpful 👍

boring goes with the territory of having 3 kids in tow so the big one it is. On the plus side I’m told it’s £30 road tax.

Personally I’d be looking for an E61 touring for similar money but I get the impression it’s not my call in this instance and that’s ok, occasionally.

I’ve seen a couple of ‘All4’ versions with the double sunroof just about in budget which would be a novelty, well til the first hailstorm anyway.

Noted about the main dealers and plastic everything 

See my post to OnlyMe above, you know it makes sense. Sliding doors are great with kids, it's a car that'll do everything you need. 

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ashestoashes

not sure if it's been discussed, can't seem to search, but what are people's thoughts on the MG SUVs ?

Would be looking at 1.5 petrol @ £16k new vs 2016/17 Honda civic 1.8 @ £14k

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Carl Fimble
53 minutes ago, ashestoashes said:

not sure if it's been discussed, can't seem to search, but what are people's thoughts on the MG SUVs ?

Would be looking at 1.5 petrol @ £16k new vs 2016/17 Honda civic 1.8 @ £14k

I looked at the electric estate MG, cheap, decent range, fast charging and a long warranty. I'd guess the petrol ones have similarly long warranties, and that's a good price Vs a five year old Honda. They do an electric soft roader SUV thing too. The leather is faux leather which put me off, If be going for cloth seats if it had a bigger boot and I wasn't poor. 

I think @Chewing Grass had considered one of the electric estates too, he will know more than me about MGs these days. 

Edited by Carl Fimble
Adding the chewy bit
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Chewing Grass
Just now, Carl Fimble said:

I looked at the electric estate MG, cheap, decent range, fast charging and a long warranty. I'd guess the petrol ones have similarly long warranties, and that's a good price Vs a five year old Honda. They do an electric soft roader SUV thing too. The leather is faux leather which put me off, If be going for cloth seats if it had a bigger boot and I wasn't poor. 

Get the MG5 Estate, for the same money its miles better than the ZSEV.

My son has one and its stunning.

Mrs Chewy has a ZS Petrol, coming up for its first MOT but she has fucked the CAT in by constantly doing 1 mile journeys round to her demented mother 6 times a day. This is called severe duty. CAT as its part of the exhaust only has 2 year warranty.

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Chewing Grass
53 minutes ago, ashestoashes said:

not sure if it's been discussed, can't seem to search, but what are people's thoughts on the MG SUVs ?

Would be looking at 1.5 petrol @ £16k new vs 2016/17 Honda civic 1.8 @ £14k

Mrs Chewy has had one for 2.5 years, one of the first and hasn't broken it.

This is a major achievement as she destroys cars, clutch, suspension, tyres, brakes and now catalysts.

I will say that the door handles feel like year 2000 Peugeot ones, but there is now't wrong with that.

If you get the Exclusive it is miles better finished off inside than any equivalent European product.

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Carl Fimble
2 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Get the MG5 Estate, for the same money its miles better than the ZSEV.

My son has one and its stunning.

Mrs Chewy has a ZS Petrol, coming up for its first MOT but she has fucked the CAT in by constantly doing 1 mile journeys round to her demented mother 6 times a day. This is called severe duty. CAT as its part of the exhaust only has 2 year warranty.

I can't due to poverty, and it's boot, while a decent size, just isn't big enough for my needs. It did look a good deal with long 0% finance and warranty. 

Ha! 1 mile journeys is about as bad as it gets for a car. 

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Carl Fimble
5 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Get the MG5 Estate, for the same money its miles better than the ZSEV.

My son has one and its stunning.

Mrs Chewy has a ZS Petrol, coming up for its first MOT but she has fucked the CAT in by constantly doing 1 mile journeys round to her demented mother 6 times a day. This is called severe duty. CAT as its part of the exhaust only has 2 year warranty.

I can't due to poverty, and it's boot, while a decent size, just isn't big enough for my needs. It did 

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Chewing Grass
5 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

I can't due to poverty, and it's boot, while a decent size, just isn't big enough for my needs. It did 

Good point, you need Van derived Car.

Incidentally, my lad got a four year lease (to eliminate the battery issue) for £800 down and £250 per month.

Insanely cheap as I can't see a £32K car being worth £20K in 4 years time unless the finance outfit is gambling on inflation.

Edited by Chewing Grass
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