Buying a Mini

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by SField, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I like the mini or GTI (2- door). If I was buying a car now I'd test drive both.
     
  2. the_drizzle

    the_drizzle Senior member

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    So are you speaking specifically about the automatic transmission in Minis or in general?
     
  3. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Specifically the automatic transmission in Minis. Overall, Minis are known for mediocre reliability, but their auto transmissions are downright bad. They do drive nice for whatever that's worth.
     
  4. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I thought they were supposed to be pretty reliable.

    I wanted one because they're supposed to be quite safe and they look cool. I care about design and is there anything else in that price range with any sort of real design point of view?
     
  5. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    "Mediocre" is probably too harsh. Its reliability is between average and slightly above average. It's just that if you get an automatic, you're getting one with an expensive, essential subsystem that's known to be substantially less reliable than the rest of the car. I wouldn't worry too much about a manual. I don't know anything about their safety ratings.
     
  6. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I'd say in general automatic transmissions tend to be expensive propositions if you are holding on to the car for a while.

    As for design POV, make sure you actually sit in one and drive for a while. The Mini's OK, but many other companies seem to have gotten the memo that people care about design, and are putting out byzantine, affected, overdesigned cars that look cool (and scream, "A designer designed me!!1!"), but don't work too well from an ergonomic POV. I recently rented a Fiat 500, and that car is a design mess from a usability POV. For my money, the best cars from a usability POV are BMWs and Audis. M-B and Porsche aren't too bad either. Earlier Hondas and Mazdas are pretty good, too.

    --Andre
     
  7. SField

    SField Senior member

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    You're talking about completely different price brackets. I can get those cars but presently I'm floating 3 residences and I just cannot pay for a BMW or Porche fully in cash, hence why I'm interested in a mini.
     
  8. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Those brands were given only as examples of good design. Good design isn't the sole province of expensive cars. It just so happens that's mostly where you can find it these days. I'm sure there are cars in the Mini's price range that are well-designed.

    A friend's mid 90s Accord is really very well-designed as were the other Hondas from that generation.

    --Andre
     
  9. Trompe le Monde

    Trompe le Monde Senior member

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    have you driven one?

    im not a fan of it, at all. the clutch pedal travel is far too short, the shift throws too stiff, the seats are unsupportive, and the interior is not pleasing to the eyes.

    i think the miata and s2000 are a better drive, and the gti if you want a larger, more refined car and more seating.
     
  10. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Don't recommend a Miata or S2000 to a guy who doesn't really drive - snap oversteer would literally kill the man.

    Along the same lines, but a little different - rather than a Mini for $15-20K'ish, I'd rather have a used Boxster S, from like, 2003. Heterosexuality factor is kinda up in the air for both the Mini and Boxster, but I'd rather see a Porsche in my driveway than a Mini. The Mini admittedly has a lot more utility than a Boxster, but the Porsche is fun to drive, won't really throw you off the road like an S2000 does when you lift, mild enough that you have to really try to get into trouble with it, and probably about on par for reliability.
     
  11. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    The Miata is pretty tame, but S2000 does have some oversteery characteristics. I'd get a Honda Fit in this price range.

    --Andre
     
  12. SField

    SField Senior member

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    The fit is fucking ugly.

    Now I'm starting to be all superficial and thinking of financing which a lot of people do... but I just have this compulsion of not wanting to be in any kind of debt unless it's building equity.

    Is a Golf a good car? I grew up kind of spoiled so I don't exactly have experience with this end of the market. But the fact of minis having horrible auto transmission, and me not knowing how to drive manual, is a bit worrying.
     
  13. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    My wife wanted a Mini until she sat inside. Interior looks pretty cheap.

    I like the Golf. Seems well designed and put together. The GTI is a hoot to drive. Gotta love the plaid seats.

    The new VW Beetle is a nice looking car. :hide:
     
  14. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    I think the Mini interior is kinda cool actually. I mean you gotta remember, it started at like $16K out the door in the US when it first came out. You aren't exactly getting the Phantom here. You can load cars out the yin yang with options, but the interior parts usually reflect most of the base model, no matter the optioned price.

    I think the Golf is a nice car. Interior would be nice.

    I would finance a car if I could (I wouldn't though, i hate paperwork and bills) to stretch for another $15K if you could do it. You can get tons of awesome cars for $30K. Some with nice design, some with less than nice design but good performance or reliability- at that price, oft times, you must choose which you like more.
    For example, if you could buy a $30K car, a CPO Audi A5 would be a good car. Nice design, not the most torturous car to drive (though I think BMWs are infinitely more fun to drive than Audis at those price levels, I'm never buying an Audi again)

    For me, I don't really need a car to rely on for daily transport because I plan to live in the city for the rest of my life, but I do want to buy a used 911 when I get settled in in Tokyo. EIther a used 993 Twin Turbo or a newer base Carrera. I am of the opinion that a car is no longer worth me owning unless it's like, a car I will happily remember owning forever even if I don't keep it, a classic that goes down in the ages. And since it's kind of expensive to drive, I figure it better be something more fun and fulfilling to drive than a BMW or a Japanese compact car, even if it's just to the supermarket and back.
     
  15. jakejake

    jakejake Senior member

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    I'd love to get myself a 993 someday. I like that design the best.
     

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