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Old 03-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
Arragonis
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The issue with the early MINI was the gearbox - the "Midland" one (aka R65 - from Rover where the MINI was designed before BMW took it away). If you have one of those then it will wear out and you will have to replace it. The later ones have a Getrag unit which is better, and there is a conversion kit from early to late but I would just avoid the early ones if possible.

Apart from that it should be OK apart from service items such as suspension (e.g. struts) and brakes. No rust issues yet reported here (UK) and we use salt on our roads in winter. I know a few people with 100-150K miles on their Coopers (Getrag) with no issues but that is high for the UK.

The Cooper is OK-ish for a European 1.6 hatchback but is nothing special in terms of MPG or power really. The early S with a supercharger is fast (ish) but it has a supercharger which means its not efficient. The MK2 has a Turbo which is better. The boot (trunk) is small as are the rear seats for kids - which is all they are any good for really.

It is much more fun to drive than the equivalent Honda or Toyota though - it makes fewer compromises for space so you sit lower and scoot round corners faster.
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