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ultraclyde Reader
1/5/11 3:55 p.m.

Ian F is correct about windnoise with the sunroof open but ours doesn't rattle when closed. As far as interior rattles, it's a LOT tighter than my Mustang. If I drove the car every day I would have tinted the sunroof by now as there is only a net screen to offer shade, no solid shade available.

I also agree it seems like the mileage should be better. We get about 31 on the highway and 27 or so in town. When you get over about 3k rpm the mileage drops off QUICK. If you log the mileage during an autocross it gets worse mileage than my Mustang does in the same situation!

Hey Ian F - I may PM you when the time comes to do the clutch in ours. I could use a few first hand pointers. No one I've talked to on the forums is brave enough to DIY a clutch.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
1/5/11 6:59 p.m.

There are some good threads on NAM and you should be able to find some info on Motoring Alliance as well. There are also a couple of guys on a Texas area website who have offered some great support. There has been some annoying politics on NAM in the last few years, so you may have to search around a bit for good info now. NAM is still the easiest place to start. I used Bentley and a how-to from a guy who made a page on his website. I'll see if I can find it. As well as some other tips. It's also been a couple of years.

As far as rattles... well, the '03 has more rattles at 90K than my 263K '95 Dodge 4x4 pick-up that was cobbled together by a bunch of western Pennsyltuckians... and a LOT less than my '03 VW w/ 236K.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/5/11 9:25 p.m.

My '03 MCS has had the full Dinan catalog on it since ~30k miles. That is basically a 15% pulley, cat back, intake/airbox, hood scoop mod, FPR and ROM tune, supposedly 205hp. It now has 98k. It has been through two drivers window regulators, a PS pump, clutch, strut tops, and the u-joint behind the steering wheel. Oh, and a windshield....and a Xenon headlamp, which is one unit and about $1g, but I got a replacement with bulbs and washer for $125 shipped from NAM. Oil pan is weeping a little, but no drips.

Even with the mods, I still get 27~31mpg no matter how I drive it.

Interior still looks new, and is rattle-free. The sunroof is a greenhouse, even with a coating of white perforated vinyl. The AC is marginal on the hottest days here in the South, but the windows aren't tinted.

There are reinforcements for the strut tower. Ireland engineering makes a strut top that increases camber. There is also a plate that bolts on top of the strut tower, which makes it solid.

These aren't Hondas, but I've never driven a better FWD car.

SVreX SuperDork
1/6/11 3:39 a.m.
Ian F wrote: If you really want a open air car, look for a convertible. It does give up some stiffness and weight to the hardtop but it's still a surprisingly stiff car. The one downside is a somewhat enclosed feeling with the top up and piss-poor rear visability.

I have no interest in a 'vert. I am looking a ta MINI because I need a quiet interior, and I don't want to give up the storage capacity.

The sunroof is just a concession to my wife's desire to go topless. Wait a minute...that didn't come out right!

This is the panoramic sunroof, right? Is there another?

Would a wind deflector help?

Ian F
Ian F Dork
1/6/11 8:18 a.m.

The panoramic sunroof is the only one available. Most people love the sunroof and I tend to be in the minority when it comes to opinions about it. On the plus side, sun-roof cars are more common. I've known a couple of people with aftermarket add-on deflectors. They say it helps some. As far as those with non-rattling sunroofs... well... I've been told that before... and it's never been proven to be reality when I actually ride in the car... so I'm afraid I tend to be pessimistic about that.

The R56 sunroof is arguably a better design since you can open the rear glass section to relieve interior air pressure, which is where much of the noise comes from.

The '03 MCS has the aforementioned Ireland fixed camber plates as well as Craven top plates. We bought this set-up before Craven started offering the underside plates. The added camber is nice - basically matches the rear and we've experience no uneven tire wear.

I'm somewhat of an oddity when it comes to MINI's. I know them pretty well and I doubt there are many non-pro's out there who have torn them apart and put them back together again a much as I have but don't actually drive one all the time. I love the club aspect of them. In many ways, I love ther 'idea' of driving a MINI moreso than I do actually driving them. My VW MkIV is a much better daily driver and has been considerably more reliable and less problematic. When I have to drive one of the MINI's for a length of time, I'm always happy when I finally get back into the VW.

InigoMontoya Reader
1/6/11 9:45 a.m.

We have an 07 Cooper S at home that we purchased used with about 75k on the clock. We have had to do some repairs, mostly dealing with issues on the head and the fuel pump. Other than that it has been a fine ride. Really fun, and amazingly the thing gets 35mpg driving, combo of city and highway. Crazy considering that my 09 Fit only gets 38 on basically the same route.

We deliberately went 07 and up for issues stemming from the first generations that I was reading about. Even with the money that we have put into the car we are completely happy with the car.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
1/6/11 10:37 a.m.

Yes, it is not uncommon to hear of R56 models exceeding the EPA mpg ratings, whereas the R50/53 models are lucky to meet them.

evildky Dork
1/6/11 4:29 p.m.

there is a reason the cooper made the consumer reports least dependable car (yet oddley has the highest resell value?)

I suspect it's much cheaper to own a mini for it's first 5 years while it's still under warranty than the next 5 when it's miled up and no longer warranted, do the match I think you'll be

a friend of mine found the same thing out with a used 5 series BMW

1/6/11 8:31 p.m.

The second day I had my 03 MCS the motor blew. The exhaust manifold broke in half after that. Had the replace the leaking thermostat. I may have forgot something too. But man do I love my MINI!

Jeff Dork
1/6/11 11:00 p.m.

I've had my 02 MCS for about 3 weeks now. I fear the repair bills too, hope that it won't be to bad, and grin like hell whenever I drive it. It's by far the most fun car I have ever owned.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/7/11 8:13 p.m.
BradX wrote: The second day I had my 03 MCS the motor blew. The exhaust manifold broke in half after that. Had the replace the leaking thermostat. I may have forgot something too. But man do I love my MINI!

New or used?

BradX New Reader
1/8/11 12:35 a.m.

Used with 67k miles. The motor was a 6k job but I only had to pay 700. The motor only had 16k miles so it worked out pretty good.

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