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Old 07-13-2016, 11:57 AM
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So I'm researching a new car to be used for commuting. I drive 100 miles a day back and forth to work. Consequently I want good mileage.

One of the cars I'm looking at is the Mini Cooper. If you're not familiar with this car, it's tiny. It's so small that the fact there's a back seat is almost as funny as the back seat in a Porsche 911.

Part of the research includes reading some reviews of the car. I fully expect to find some complaints, but surprisingly there are few. However, I ran across one that absolutely had me on the floor:
Quote:
It is a very stylish car but not very functional. If someone is sitting in my front seat, I have nowhere to put my purse because the car is so small. I have to leave it in the back seat.
Oh the horror! She had to put her purse in the back seat (which is actually closer than the passenger seat). Don't most women do this anyway when they have a passenger? Besides, she bought a Mini. The car is tiny. Didn't she recognize that when she picked it up? I mean, who buys a tiny car and then complains it's not big enough?

I found many more reviews just like this. They complain there isn't enough room to store stuff in the car. Seriously? Didn't they notice that when the first saw one?
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:13 PM
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People like the idea of owning a small car. Until they own a small car..
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:19 PM
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As a Mini Cooper owner that is funny!
Mine is the CooperS. 6 speed, very fun car.

BUT, I also have a full size crewcab pickup when I need to haul
people or "stuff" But dang, there is plenty of room in the backseat
of the Mini for my purse.

As for the "trunk" don't even try to fit a suitcase in it. Pack the trunk
like it IS the suitcase. Can actually get a lot in there.

Last edited by pawngal; 07-13-2016 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:39 PM
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I worked insurance claims for 29 years. I saw a Mini Cooper that absolutely crushed the back of an American sedan, pushing the rear bumper at least all the to the back tires. The Cooper absorbed the impact well and the driver was not injured beyond strain/sprain. The Cooper did not appear to have been in such a massive collision. Usually the striking vehicle sustains the more obvious damage in a rearender from the under-ride. I was impressed.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:25 PM
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Isn't the Countryman a slightly larger version.? Heck it is BMW in Cooper clothing.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:26 PM
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Mine is the CooperS. 6 speed, very fun car.
What year? Turbo or Super charged?
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:33 PM
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What year? Turbo or Super charged?
2009, super charged. The John Cooper Works is the Turbo version.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:34 PM
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Isn't the Countryman a slightly larger version.? Heck it is BMW in Cooper clothing.
Correct. Mini is a British company now owned by BMW.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:35 PM
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Coopers have horrible reliability issues

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Old 07-13-2016, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
So I'm researching a new car to be used for commuting. I drive 100 miles a day back and forth to work. Consequently I want good mileage.

One of the cars I'm looking at is the Mini Cooper. If you're not familiar with this car, it's tiny. It's so small that the fact there's a back seat is almost as funny as the back seat in a Porsche 911.

Part of the research includes reading some reviews of the car. I fully expect to find some complaints, but surprisingly there are few. However, I ran across one that absolutely had me on the floor:Oh the horror! She had to put her purse in the back seat (which is actually closer than the passenger seat). Don't most women do this anyway when they have a passenger? Besides, she bought a Mini. The car is tiny. Didn't she recognize that when she picked it up? I mean, who buys a tiny car and then complains it's not big enough?

I found many more reviews just like this. They complain there isn't enough room to store stuff in the car. Seriously? Didn't they notice that when the first saw one?
I had a Geo Metro back about 12 years ago. Small car-8 gallon gas tank, I loved the dang thing. No trunk but back seat would fold down. Front surprisingly had a lot of room-and I weighed a wee bit more then. If I could find another of these, id buy it in a heart beat, if I had the money?
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:39 PM
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PS, I liked the fact that I could drive these on a sidewalk. And yes, I did that at least once--but in an abandoned area. I loved the fact that I could squeeze that car into a match box if I needed to?
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:42 PM
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Coopers have horrible reliability issues

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I wouldnt own one either. Those ugly cars remind me of a pill on wheels.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:49 PM
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I wouldnt own one either. Those ugly cars remind me of a pill on wheels.
You mean like a fish out of water?
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:04 PM
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Coopers have horrible reliability issues

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My understanding as well. I get both Car & Driver as well as Road & Track. Both have panned their mini long term cars.

You can go to either site and probably find the tests and long term posts.

I'd be thinking HONDA.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:40 PM
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We had a 2007 Mini turbo that ran exceedingly swiftly--never had the first problem with it in six years. My beloved spouse for 49 years decided she'd look good in a low mileage, 2013 Smart car (two seats, 90 MPH, made by Renault in France with a three cylinder premium gas Mitsubishi engine, owned and marketed by Mercedes-Benz, 33 MPG city, 42 MPG highway, 1,925 pounds, automatic transmission, zero problems, cold air conditioner, very high federal crashworthiness rating, and much easier to get into and out of than our Cadillac). By the way, she does indeed look beautiful in the Smart.

Last edited by Zebadiah; 07-13-2016 at 02:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:10 PM
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My understanding as well. I get both Car & Driver as well as Road & Track. Both have panned their mini long term cars.

You can go to either site and probably find the tests and long term posts.

I'd be thinking HONDA.
Minis are a lot of fun to drive, but for long-term reliability and resale value, you can't beat a Honda...
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:14 PM
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[QUOTE=Rastoff; She had to put her purse in the back seat [/QUOTE]

Wifey has a lexus SC430 That is the little sporty car with a hard retractable top. I anyone has legs, even a child that would hang over the edge of the back seat they would never be able to get in our out of the car. In fact getting into the front would be a job for tall/big people. Wife and I are both short so no problem. Wife puts her purse on the floor in front on the passenger side. I don't carry a purse so we have no issues.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:47 PM
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I had a Geo Metro back about 12 years ago. Small car-8 gallon gas tank, I loved the dang thing. No trunk but back seat would fold down. Front surprisingly had a lot of room-and I weighed a wee bit more then. If I could find another of these, id buy it in a heart beat, if I had the money?
Those things have an amazing amount of space for such small cars. My friend's dad had one and he transported a cement mixer and cement bags in it. Not to mention stone and brick for yard work

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Old 07-13-2016, 05:53 PM
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It's always somewhat frightening to me when I'm driving my MGB and see one of the new Mini Coopers in the rear view. From my perspective in that car, the driver looks like they are sitting in an SUV!

At least externally, the new ones are huge compared to the original Austin Mini.

BTW, I don't really travel in the MG, but I've learned how to be "creative" in the use of space. The body was stamped to easily be assembled as left or right hand drive, and the side not used has a nice shelf. I took an idea that I saw as a show and converted that into a convenient area for storing spare fluids. The car was designed for a pair of 6 volt batteries, and virtually all of them have been switched over to a single 12V battery-someone makes a plastic liner for the second now unused battery box that turns it into a nice storage area. Mine has a small tool kit(some combination wrenches, a socket set, pliers, a points file, a couple of screwdrivers, and a test light) along with spare parts(points and condenser, a "ready to go" distributor cap and wires, distributor rotor, a fuel pump, some assorted spare hoses, and a fan belt). As much as I hate the stuff, I will carry a can of fix-a-flat on occasion in place of the spare. When I do have the spare in, it gets turned upside down and the center makes a convenient storage area. Otherwise, you learn to make efficient use of all the space. I have to decide before hand if I want the top up or down for a trip-if I plan on it remaining either up or down entirely, I can use the "shelf" behind the seats for storage(the top frame has to be removed completely if I want that space with the top down).
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawngal View Post
Correct. Mini is a British company now owned by BMW.
Ah, but you have to have owned one of the British Mini-Coopers, not the Germanified ones. If you took the decals off, the only way you could tell the difference was that the Cooper had a 2" diameter exhaust whereas the Mini had a 1.25" exhaust. The local cops in Sussex used to take the logos off, put a good-looking policewoman in it and then let the "local yobbos" try to race her. Nothing destroys the ambiance more than having a Mini come past you after you had overtaken it at speed, and have the rear number plate now read "Police: Pull Over".

The stretch of road outside of the University of Sussex was one of the Sussex Constabulary's hunting grounds when I was a Grad Student there in the middle 1960s. Needless to say, the Grad Students knew the trick and did not race good looking young women in Minis (cars that is!).

One also has to remember that the original Minis were only 10 feet 6 inches long, so your girlfriend did not take a handbag (US version "purse") but only a true "purse". Ah, those were the days!! Dave_n
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:54 PM
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I always wanted a sports car but I always talked myself out of it and bought a motorcycle instead. That happened 3 times.
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:04 PM
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Back in the day-----(around 1980-82) i decided i needed a
small car for the better mileage since i had a 60 mile round trip
to work and back. I bought a tan Pinto 4 cylinder. Uggghhhh.
That darn thing couldn't pass one of these kids on mopeds you
see riding everywhere now. And it was a 5 speed to boot.
I think i drove it for a year and traded it off.
Then the reports come out about the gas tank explosions when
involved in a rear impact accident.
Never a small car again for me !!!

Chuck
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:20 PM
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To the wee small cars are death traps if you wreck......I want lots of steel around when on the road(1/2 ton pkp truck)........But to each his own.....
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:43 PM
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To the wee small cars are death traps if you wreck......I want lots of steel around when on the road(1/2 ton pkp truck)........But to each his own.....
Modern engineering goes to great lengths to maintain passenger cabin integrity and minimize deceleration forces during a crash.

Granted a modern large car gives you more area for crumple zones and thus more engineering. Even so, modern compacts can do some pretty amazing things. The engine in the new Mini, for example, is designed to break away and go under the car. It absorbs a lot of energy in doing this, and prevents the engine from coming through the firewall(or should we say bulkhead for a pseudo-British car?).

One of the big issues with older cars was that they were not designed for passenger compartment integrity, so even in a minor event you could end up with broken bones and the like. You also had hard stuff all around to bang your head on. There's a video out there on the internet of the IIHS doing a 35mph front offset crash test between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu-the Bel Air doesn't fair so well.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:20 AM
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A good friend was crossing the street when he was hit by one of those small cars.

He had to go the the hospital to have it extracted!
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:44 AM
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Not to completely change the subject, but if you want to read some funny reviews, go to Amazon and read the reviews of the Haribo diet Gummi Bears.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:12 AM
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Was looking into Mini Cooper for my granddaughter a couple years back. Seems like maintenance was costly. I think oil changes, etc. were high as hard to do and recommended to be done by dealer (don't quote me on this), and fact there was no room for a spare tire, car had run flat tires on it and was expensive to replace tires.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:21 AM
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Read reviews for mechanical reliability and maintenance issues, other than that buy what you want.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:31 PM
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You mean like a fish out of water?
That too. And yep-that thar thing DOES look like a fish outta water.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:33 PM
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Those things have an amazing amount of space for such small cars. My friend's dad had one and he transported a cement mixer and cement bags in it. Not to mention stone and brick for yard work

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One of the times I was moving to another locale, I used it to move everything I had except for my King-sized bed. It worked out very well.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by chud333 View Post
Back in the day-----(around 1980-82) i decided i needed a
small car for the better mileage since i had a 60 mile round trip
to work and back. I bought a tan Pinto 4 cylinder. Uggghhhh.
That darn thing couldn't pass one of these kids on mopeds you
see riding everywhere now. And it was a 5 speed to boot.
I think i drove it for a year and traded it off.
Then the reports come out about the gas tank explosions when
involved in a rear impact accident.
Never a small car again for me !!!

Chuck
Pintos are good. I forgot about them and had one many many moons ago.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:40 PM
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In fact getting into the front would be a job for tall/big people. Wife and I are both short so no problem. Wife puts her purse on the floor in front on the passenger side. I don't carry a purse so we have no issues.
I'm on the tall side(a hair over 6'2") and not exactly of small stature either.

Folks see me getting out of the MG and wonder how on earth I'm able to drive it. I have to admit that with the top up I have to do some delicate maneuvering for my head to clear it and also have to lean over to see stoplights if I'm first in line. With the top down, I just look over the top of the windscreen

The car has phenomenal amounts of leg room, though. Once in, your legs are effectively stretched out straight in front of you. I have to pull the seat about an inch and a half forward of its rear stop to be able to comfortably press the clutch to the floor. The car actually has more leg room than my Lincoln.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:32 PM
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To the wee small cars are death traps if you wreck......I want lots of steel around when on the road(1/2 ton pkp truck)........But to each his own.....
You can cruise down the road in a Hummer and then choke to death on a piece of food. I don't spend much time worrying about travel in a small car. Although, those Smart Cars, you know, the one that looks like it was made by Fisher-Price, they do not look safe!

I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla, 5 speed, and it gets 38 miles to the gallon. Not the "coolest" car I've had, but when I fill it with gas, I usually can't remember exactly when I filled it last.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
It's always somewhat frightening to me when I'm driving my MGB and see one of the new Mini Coopers in the rear view. From my perspective in that car, the driver looks like they are sitting in an SUV!

At least externally, the new ones are huge compared to the original Austin Mini. .
I know what you mean! When my Mini is parked outside next to my crewcab Tundra the Mini looks tiny. Inside the garage next to my MG Midget it look huge! Some of the new Minis could be considered SUVs. all-wheel drive is available.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:02 PM
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It's all OK as long as there is a well lighted mirror on the drivers side for app lim make up while driving!
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:06 PM
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Way back when in a Car and Driver review of a 2+2 configuration sports car(brand escapes me) "The back seats are only suitable for occupation by a golf bag, suitcase or relative you never want to speak to you again." and a line something like "Egress from the cramped rear cabin requires the dexterity of a double jointed circus performer."
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:36 PM
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I had a Honda Fit S (TM) and liked it up to the point of impact with a Chrysler and 2 1/2 month in the hospital and I am still recovering full use of my legs. Now I'm driving a Subaru Outback, 4 MPG less, almost twice the price, but I feel safer.
Geoff
Who has become a tiny bit more paranoid, perhaps.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:27 PM
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Ah, but you have to have owned one of the British Mini-Coopers, not the Germanified ones. If you took the decals off, the only way you could tell the difference was that the Cooper had a 2" diameter exhaust whereas the Mini had a 1.25" exhaust. The local cops in Sussex used to take the logos off, put a good-looking policewoman in it and then let the "local yobbos" try to race her. Nothing destroys the ambiance more than having a Mini come past you after you had overtaken it at speed, and have the rear number plate now read "Police: Pull Over".

The stretch of road outside of the University of Sussex was one of the Sussex Constabulary's hunting grounds when I was a Grad Student there in the middle 1960s. Needless to say, the Grad Students knew the trick and did not race good looking young women in Minis (cars that is!).

One also has to remember that the original Minis were only 10 feet 6 inches long, so your girlfriend did not take a handbag (US version "purse") but only a true "purse". Ah, those were the days!! Dave_n
A friend has had a 1958 for years with a British flag painted on top. He loves the thing and it's easy to work on. We found out that by tugging on the fender you can 'walk' it into the next parking space. If there's a problem with the new ones is that they are much more refined (complex). They were the original gas saver because after the war petrol was scarce for many years during Britain's 'recovery'. Great car, just small. If you need that......great. I'd rather have a Mini than a 'Smart Car'.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:32 PM
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I worked insurance claims for 29 years. I saw a Mini Cooper that absolutely crushed the back of an American sedan, pushing the rear bumper at least all the to the back tires. The Cooper absorbed the impact well and the driver was not injured beyond strain/sprain. The Cooper did not appear to have been in such a massive collision. Usually the striking vehicle sustains the more obvious damage in a rearender from the under-ride. I was impressed.
American cars are designed to crunch like an accordion to absorb impact. The Mini's driver was lucky he hit something like that instead of something more substantial - like the rear hitch on my 1 ton dually.
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Old 07-14-2016, 05:37 PM
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but when I fill it with gas, I usually can't remember exactly when I filled it last.
When you get to be my age, that's a natural occurrence no matter what you drive.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:42 PM
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The vehicle I drive has a wheelbase 5" shorter than a Mini Cooper.. from the driver's seat, I can reach and touch the tail gate.. Oh. and the name is even shorter!

"Jeep"
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:06 PM
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We have the dinky little Toyota Yaris. Get's great mileage. Up to 42mpg on a road trip.
Kinda cramped and uncomfortable on longer road trips.
The truck's for gettin' down out of the mountains when it snows and driving up into the mountains when it's nice.
It also makes a great road trip vehicle.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:21 PM
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A friend has had a 1958 for years with a British flag painted on top. He loves the thing and it's easy to work on. We found out that by tugging on the fender you can 'walk' it into the next parking space. If there's a problem with the new ones is that they are much more refined (complex). They were the original gas saver because after the war petrol was scarce for many years during Britain's 'recovery'. Great car, just small. If you need that......great. I'd rather have a Mini than a 'Smart Car'.
The engine is a BMC "A" series engine-the same as used on the MG Midget-and effectively just a smaller version of the "B" engine used in the MGA, MGB, and a lot of other BMC/British Leyland products we've never heard of over here.

They're a pretty much bullet-proof engine. It's an 8 valve pushrod engine that doesn't have a lot to go wrong. They can really sing when everything is right, but I've known my B engine to run well enough to at least move the car down the road even with valve clearances way off, the timing off, and even the carburetors in bad shape.

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Old 07-14-2016, 08:22 PM
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When you get to be my age, that's a natural occurrence no matter what you drive.
That's funny, because lately, I wasn't sure if it was the mileage or just me!
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:12 PM
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I had a Geo Metro back about 12 years ago. Small car-8 gallon gas tank, I loved the dang thing. No trunk but back seat would fold down. Front surprisingly had a lot of room-and I weighed a wee bit more then. If I could find another of these, id buy it in a heart beat, if I had the money?
I had one of these in the Suzuki version... Swift. Great car awesome gas mileage.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:40 PM
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I always wanted a sports car but I always talked myself out of it and bought a motorcycle instead. That happened 3 times.
Interesting thought. I'm actually selling my bike and going to a car. Physical limitations just don't let me ride the bike like I used to. Thus, I want something sporty.

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Read reviews for mechanical reliability and maintenance issues, other than that buy what you want.
I know three guys who've owned them. One has just over 180K on his and he just replaced the head gasket. No significant issues prior. Another sold his when it started developing a transmission issue at 160K. Another put about 75K on his and sold it. He had no issues.

No, they aren't the best for reliability, but not the worst either.

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The vehicle I drive has a wheelbase 5" shorter than a Mini Cooper.. from the driver's seat, I can reach and touch the tail gate.. Oh. and the name is even shorter!

"Jeep"
Yeah, the Jeep cult. I have a Jeep Wrangler. Smaller than a Mini and half the gas mileage. At best we get 16MPG. And you want to talk about reliability...sheesh, I could buy another Jeep with what I've had to put into the one we have.

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I had one of these in the Suzuki version... Swift. Great car awesome gas mileage.
They're all Suzukis. The Geo was just a Suzuki with GM tags on it. Sure, they were good for what they were. So is the Yaris, Civic and a host of other small cars. You guys can have those. I want something with a little more pep.

Will I buy a Mini? Maybe. Only time will tell. It is definitely on the list though.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:32 PM
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I haven't had my Mini long enough to comment on the reliability issues.
I just flat love the way it drives and handles. Even in a strong wind it hugs the road. Last month I ran a timed Autocross with it, not the greatest ET but was my first try and I didn't embarrass myself. Miatas ran the best times.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:21 AM
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"Yeah, the Jeep cult. I have a Jeep Wrangler. Smaller than a Mini and half the gas mileage. At best we get 16MPG. And you want to talk about reliability...sheesh, I could buy another Jeep with what I've had to put into the one we have."

I bought my 2006 Rubicon new... other than general maintenance.. had to replace one oxygen sensor.

I didn't buy it for the gas mileage.. and you won't see a Mini where I go!
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:31 PM
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I didn't buy it for the gas mileage.. and you won't see a Mini where I go!
Of course not. Like I said, I have a Jeep, two in fact; Wrangler and Cherokee. Nothing wrong with them and they are a lot of fun off road.

I just find it funny that in a thread that started with a comment about getting good mileage, you'd find it necessary to bring up the Jeep. If you love it, great.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:47 PM
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I know what you mean! When my Mini is parked outside next to my crewcab Tundra the Mini looks tiny. Inside the garage next to my MG Midget it look huge! Some of the new Minis could be considered SUVs. all-wheel drive is available.
Well I picked up a 2013 MX-5 earlier this year with all of 840 miles on it (genuine mileage), with 6 speed and A/C. Yes, you are laying flat but it reminds me of my long-ago youth, 1947 MG TC, which down-hill with a following gale would touch 70 but had wire-operated brakes!! Then I moved to a Spitfire Mk 3 when I came to the US in 1968 and that was fun, though it did not like PA humidity (electrics by "Lucas, the Prince of Darkness!"). Later on, one of the last Fiat 124 Spyders. Definitely a fun car, but like Jaguars, it needed its own attached mechanic (FIAT = Fix it again (An)tonio!). The Miata is definitely fun, particularly when people realize that I am well over 70! Dave_n
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