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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - 1st post. I'm about to head over to the local mini dealership to try out the new MCS.

I've owned an Audi A4 (2005-2008), Infiniti G35 (2008-2011), and most recently a 2009 BMW 535i (2011-2014).

The last car has gotten me accustomed to frequent trips to the mechanic. It's had chronic engine problems.

So - I have a lot of questions. Any answers advice appreciated.

As an FYI, this car will be a primary commuter that I plan on having for 3-5 years. I put a lot of miles on every year (25k).

1) I keep a separate account that is funding with about $150/month for maintenance on my current car. I only started doing it because of the frequent issues. Will that be necessary with the Mini? Figure it can't hurt . . .

2) I'm reading about the issues some are experiencing with the shifter popping out of first. Is that a chronic issue, or more isolated? As the dealer been able to correct?

3) How's the new infotainment system in day-to-day operation? It's got a lot of bling, but is it actually useful, or a bit too much form over function?

4) Please let me know any must-have options I should get (in your opinion of course). I'm talking specifically about the sport suspension, active dampeners, etc. I'm not referring to Union Jack Mirrors ;-D

5) Is this a DIY-friendly car? I'm not averse to doing some things myself (oil, brakes).

6) I live in Arizona, where the temps reach 118 degrees in the summer. How's the a/c? The Audi's a/c was not quite up to the task but I can hang meat in the BMW.

7) Is this a UK/Europe-centric forum? Are the hardtops configured much differently for the US Market?

Thanks again - My dad had a 2005 MCS convertible that was a blast to drive. I always planned on getting one but I always made more practical decisions and opted for a genuine back seat. I'm at the point where I am looking at selling the children (they are noisy, aren't they?) and getting either a Mini, a gently used Z4, or a 370Z.

Matt
 

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Hi, and welcome!

Quick 2 cents on ur Qs:

1) Mini should come with 3-5 years manufacturer warranty, so I think u can use that $150 on something else, like options :)
2) The Auto box in these cars are very very good. Tick the JCW steering wheel for the paddles options ;)
3) Superb imo. With the connected options, bluetooth intergration is seamless, with spotify streaming and album art out of the box. HK speakers pack gives a good punch and the general iDrive is very inntuitive.
4) Sport seats (They're amazing), Adaptive dampers, sunroof, HK sound system, HUD and LED head lights, driver aids (Adaptive cruise control will payoff itself, since u commute a lot)
5) 3-5 years free servicing, and warranty
6) There's a max A/C feature that would freeze most things.
7) Whatever configurators that you'd use, get the dealer to re-confirm it 2-3 times just in case.

Extra note: Looking at your car history, the mini will no doubt come across as impractical and uncomfortable. So be prepare for these first impression. It'd be worth it ;)
Have fun!
 

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Are you looking to buy a 2014? or order a 2015? Just interested, because my dealer is doing everything in their power to talk me into getting a 2014 from inventory on hand (even though they don't have what I want). They have gone as far as lying to me and telling me the plant in UK was shut down during August, to pressure me into buying a 2014. I confirmed directly with UK, that they were not shut down in August, but will shut down end of September.

I'm in California. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses!

Minigirl - I haven't heard anything to suggest there are any big differences between 2014 and 2015 so I was indifferent about which to get. the 2015 is so close in time to the 2014 that I have doubts that there's going to be any v2.0 improvements. Maybe 2016?

The salesman was terrific btw, no pressure, patient - especially considering I had 2 tired kids with me. He didn't seem to care if I went used, got a new 2014 or 2015.

So -I got to drive a pair of mini's. First up was orange MCS with a manual tranny - enjoyed it a lot. Followed it up with an auto - had the JCW trim inside which was sharp. Liked it as well, but enjoyed running the car through the gears more with the manual.

I definitely preferred the connected/visual boost to the standard radio. Still not sure how I feel about the big glowing ring. . .

My next question is about tires - anyone get a chance to compare the 17" to 18" wheels and their impact on handling/comfort/etc?

When I tried 19" on my current car I was not impressed and ended up going back to the 18", despite the added grippiness and much cooler rims. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And I forgot to mention - Lonelycupid - I found this car to be much easier on uneven pavement than the 2005 we used to have. I did remember the gear spacing to be a bit tighter in the supercharged engine but that may just be my faulty memory.
 

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Hi There,

I have the MCS with variable damper control, HD, adaptive cruise control etc.

I love it.

Unfortunately, I also have the gearbox issue and they're going to be fitting a new gearbox into my car.

Must haves for me would be HUD, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Sat Nav etc.
 

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I have the MC with a manual transmission. You might be surprised at how capable it is, not to mention shockingly fuel-efficient.

The iDrive (infotainment) is brilliant, and you should go for it. Get the XL screen. HUD is much better than expected too. I don't even look at my actual speedometer. The LED HEADLAMPS ARE AMAZING -- get those! Comfort Access is a must. Back-up camera is a must. Sports seats are a must. HK stereo is a must. I am a big fan of the Auto-climate. It seems to be very effective as well as inconspicuous (in the background, and not noisy).

I regret no options I chose. I second the recommendation that you triple-check with your MA that you're getting the options you are expecting. The configurator is tricky!!

I don't have the Driving Assist Package. It wasn't available for U.S. 2014s. I mostly likely would have gotten it, though. It adds a lot of useful features.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Just a quick reply based on only a couple of weeks with the new F56s.

1. Shouldn't be necessary
2. I have a manual and this has never occurred
3. I have the base infotainment system, it works well, sounds almost as good as the HK. Have a look at the upscale system, try it in daylight and with sunglasses on. I frankly found it a bit distracting, but that's just me. IMHO, the upscale is quite overpriced, as a lot of bling can be, but it does provide many features. My iPhone connected to the car does everything I need. This is a very personal decision.
4. As long as you have the roads (and the passion) for it, the sport suspension. I think the adaptive is very good too (it's what I have). Xenon headlights are a must. Comfort access is very handy. I'm not terribly impressed by a back up camera in a car this small.
5. No info here, intend to take it to the dealer for everything.
6. Live in Canada, had a few hot days and it was fine. Get a white roof if you're in AZ
7. There are Canucks and Yankees here too. If you can, see more than one dealer. Really pour over the spec sheets and the options, it can be confusing.

Buy the MINI and tell everyone there is no room in the back, now you have a two seater and no noisy kids to cart around - works for me. (Selling them isn't legal or from what I hear, especially profitable)

Adrian
 

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As for tires ... I stuck with the 17". Like you I have had experience with larger and I didn't care too much for the feel. Sure they look good, but the smaller rim and more rubber handles the road and the bumps much better.

On driving feel ... I came to this from a 2010 R55s and yes this car is much better at tracking on uneven pavement and handles crappy Toronto roads infinitely better.

Adrian
 

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Are you looking to buy a 2014? or order a 2015? Just interested, because my dealer is doing everything in their power to talk me into getting a 2014 from inventory on hand (even though they don't have what I want). They have gone as far as lying to me and telling me the plant in UK was shut down during August, to pressure me into buying a 2014. I confirmed directly with UK, that they were not shut down in August, but will shut down end of September.

I'm in California. Good luck.
MINIgirl - what dealer were you dealing with? I placed an order with the SF Mini back in July for a '15 MCS and didnt have an issue.
 

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18in with run flat does make it considerably harsh and noisy
17in would be a lil better but still no normal tyre option.
16 with normal tyre is best... but looks kinda small...

Imo, if u can get the dealer u give u 17in and swap out these horrid rubber for normal tyres, that would be the best. I really like the tentancle design
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all for the responses. I'm kinda looking to get one that's in stock in the area - by area I mean between here and Los Angeles :-D. While I would like to do a build-to-order, seems they are trying to get rid of the '14 models before the '15's come in over the next couple months. May be able to save a bit there.

Additionally, my current car has 118k miles and needs about 1k in work. Car payment is due as well. I rather plunk that money into the new car if possible. We will see if they dealership will take it off my hands at a reasonable trade in.

Next questions - between the Visual Boost 6" screen and the XL 8" screen, are their any differences other than size? I don't care how big it is, and don't need navigation as I always revert to my iPhone anyway for ease of entry.

Anyone actually do a real sit-down and compare the stock audio with the HK? Sometimes the upgrades are overblown, sometimes not. My car has horrible audio, no matter which package you got :-D. I'm a bit of an audiophile, which means in car terms I want it to sound good, but know it will never sound as good as the setup at home.

Everyone likes the HUD? Never crossed my mind to have one. I kinda miss the speedo in the center. Had a lot of character, even if it was a bit largish and misplaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not a fan of run-flats either, but don't see a place for a spare on this car. Feel a bit stuck unless I lash a tire to the roof.
 

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Sales girl told me (and confirmed by sales manager) that the only way to get a real spare tire was to keep the 15" wheels. Bye bye Sport Package.
 

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Sales girl told me (and confirmed by sales manager) that the only way to get a real spare tire was to keep the 15" wheels. Bye bye Sport Package.
A full size spare is not possible so it has to be a space saver, so I don't think it matters what wheels you specify for the car if you want a spare it has to be a space saver which is fine by me. I have the 16in alloys with the space saver.

The space saver is not possible with the Cooper S, apparently, because of the centre exhaust layout.
 

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In response to: Anyone actually do a real sit-down and compare the stock audio with the HK? Sometimes the upgrades are overblown, sometimes not. My car has horrible audio, no matter which package you got :-D. I'm a bit of an audiophile, which means in car terms I want it to sound good, but know it will never sound as good as the setup at home.

I did that!!

Actually, I'd already ordered my car with H/K, (my previous MINI had the upgraded audio system they offered before getting into bed with H/K) and, like you, I want the best sound quality I can get.

You MUST get a car with H/K or you'll regret it on every drive & every day!! It's that much of an improvement...
 

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Next questions - between the Visual Boost 6" screen and the XL 8" screen, are their any differences other than size? I don't care how big it is, and don't need navigation as I always revert to my iPhone anyway for ease of entry.

...

Everyone likes the HUD? Never crossed my mind to have one. I kinda miss the speedo in the center. Had a lot of character, even if it was a bit largish and misplaced.
The 8" screen has a split screen feature where you can display two functions at once. The left side takes 2/3rds of the area and the right takes the other 1/3rd. You get to select what is displayed on each side.
You also get a more sophisticated idrive controller with a touch pad on the top that can recognise handwritten characters. They bundle a lot with the larger screen and then charge a high price for it... so you have to want all the stuff (I did).

The HUD gets better as you add other options... I like it with the satnav because it will display your next turn instructions as you approach a junction. It shows menu entries as you make selections on the steering wheel controls (to change radio station for example) and it shows the current speed too. If you have adaptive cruise control then that displays things in the HUD, as do the collision avoidance systems that come with the driving assistant.
 
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