Mini, anyone have experience with one? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Jason Zolezzi
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Mini, anyone have experience with one?

My daughter is about to turn 16 so I am looking at good starter cars. She would love a D90 ST but she lives with her mom 160 miles away so I wouldn't be able to work on it for her when needed. Does anyone have input on these things, long term reliability or safety? I am doing some research but would like to hear from someone that has some first hand experience.

Thanks, Jason
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Neat car to drive. The base is not very fast (good thing). Between the mini and the golf/Jetta/sportwagen, I much prefer the vw as the mini is, well, mini, and I can't imagine it is very safe in a wreck.

I would look for an 06 jetta tdi.

What is the budget? Mini's seem to really hold their value (then again so do tdi VWs).
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  #3  
Old February 25th, 2012, 08:56 PM
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Dave Sherwood
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I had an 04 Cooper S and loved it... Really fast and zippy. the supercharger whine made me smile. The only negative experience I had was the headlight ballast was REALLY expensive...so skip the xenon unless under warranty
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  #4  
Old February 25th, 2012, 09:04 PM
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For crash ratings look at the US safercar.gov and the Euro Ncap test results.
You want her to get around- I'd almost prefer a VW Golf GTi over the Mini. Just more metal and better for college.
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #5  
Old February 25th, 2012, 09:47 PM
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Jason Zolezzi
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Actually the VW is another one I am considering. I am going to go out and drive them and try to get an Idea how they feel. I am looking at around 10 to 15 K. Also considering a 3 series BMW. I will check out the crash rating site. Thanks for the advice

J
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  #6  
Old February 25th, 2012, 10:11 PM
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For what it's worth, my wife had the mini clubman when we first met. I drove it once on the highway and vowed that when the lease was up I'd get her into something safe. Now it's an LR3. When I followed her in the 90 to return the Cooper, I realized her head was at the same height as my bumper. Peace of mind is priceless.
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  #7  
Old February 25th, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Nothing against Minis in general but no way I would ever put my 17 or 19 yr old in one. We are in a supersized world. Jetta/Golf TDi is a nice choice and has a larger profile. 2 dr. vehicles are great as your child will not become the chauffeur for all her friends.
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  #8  
Old February 25th, 2012, 10:50 PM
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I would not put my 17 years old self in a Mini Cooper....not due to the safety...but due to the fact that I would lose my license in a couple of days...
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Current Rovers:
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2006 LR3
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2013 RRS
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  #9  
Old February 25th, 2012, 11:20 PM
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Yeah, I hear that. My first car was a 240Z, I crashed it and bought another one. After that it has been one 4WD or another. Slower and safer. If I had my way I would put her in a Suburban but that is not exactly an economical college car. I am really partial to the BMW. I was in an accident in my girlfriends car when I was 17 and if I had been in a shitbox honda or something similar I would have been dead, crushed in a ball of sheet metal. Seeing how that thing took a side impact at 70 MPH made me a believer in German engineering. She wants a soft top Jeep but i don't see that as being a great kid car either
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  #10  
Old February 25th, 2012, 11:25 PM
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barry f
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The mini had amazing crash safety results actually.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #11  
Old February 26th, 2012, 12:15 AM
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For 15-17k buy her a new base Jetta with the 2.0 litre. No speeding possible and a decent sized car.
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  #12  
Old February 26th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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I love my Mini S (it has been great) but for my daughter's first car I bought her an old full size Ford Thunderbird so there was as much metal around her as I could get.
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  #13  
Old February 26th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Jetta's are great cars! Years ago I had a 1.8T, and wife and I still miss it.
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  #14  
Old February 26th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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I had a 01 Wolfsburg jetta and I loved a couple of things about it. It ha cloth heated seats which were awesome. It really moved well too. The big issue was the 1.8s were all recalled for coil issues or some crap. Vw didn't have enough parts in stock so they only did the recalls as people complained of issues with the car and the engine light being on. I think the car has four coils and you literally can get stuck bringing it back four times. I'm sure it has been resolved by now.
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Are there shocks that I can addjust up and down like my friends LX460? That would be very cool!
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  #15  
Old February 26th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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  #16  
Old February 26th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Would any of you really put a 16 year old kid in a Defender?
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  #17  
Old February 26th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomaD110 View Post
Would any of you really put a 16 year old kid in a Defender?
Really? Slow, safe and sticks out like a sore thumb... What else could you want?
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  #18  
Old February 26th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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I drove a turbo mini clubman a couple of years back, if it wasn't for the quirky dash I'd have one.. I owned 3 "real" minis over the years, 1 was a clubman.. I don't know who came up with the dash in the new ones but they missed by a mile IMO. Don't buy your kid the S, it's too fun..

I put my kid in a 2004 Toyota RAV 4, it's perfect.
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  #19  
Old February 26th, 2012, 04:22 PM
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I had a Clubman back in the 80's. Nothing like driving around with your ass inches from the ground. Parked easily but never really felt safe in the thing.
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  #20  
Old February 26th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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We bought an '03 new. And when someone that's owned a dozen + land rovers tells you that it was the most frustrating car he's ever owned, that should count for something. Terrible build quality, reprehensible service and non-existent after-sales support. When it wasn't in the shop it was fun to drive, but after 11k miles I traded it on an A3 and never looked back.
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