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MINI Cooper Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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  • Bear in mind that in the U.K., most people get between 4 to 6 weeks a year of vactaion time (plus the 9 public holidays). A lot of car plants will shut down for two weeks in the summer for general maintenance and cleaning.
  • i just went to east bay mini on wednesday august 2. i fell in love with a grey mini. but, i wasn't in love with paying msrp. the fact that they are not willing to come down on the price. or work any kind of deal. sort of turns me off.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Focus on the car you're getting for the money, not the discount. You can get a hell of a discount on a Chevy Cobalt or Dodge Stratus, but that doesn't make either a good value. The market is saying that the Mini is a good value at MSRP.

    - Mark
  • I think you and I were probably there at the same time. I was at the counter filling out forms while you were checking out the grey one with the sales woman.
  • patelkpatelk Posts: 4
    just bought a mini is southern california. Monrovia is selling at MSRP with free floor mats. that is the best deal that I could find in so cal. Hope this helps anyone who wants a mini.
  • martijnhmartijnh Posts: 24
    I just wanted to poll if anybody had recently put in an order for an 2006 MCS? With the 2007 around the corner, is anybody getting any deals?

    Also, what is the consensus on adding options such as the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) or LSD (Limited Slip Differential). Can one actually notice these things while driving?

    Thanks for your input.
  • I just ordered a '06 MCS from Moritz Mini in Texas. I'm supposed to take delivery of it in mid September. :shades:

    In the past, I've bought two 1st year production cars (VW Jetta & Honda Civic) and I'd never do it again... It seems that there are always bugs that need to be worked out. Since 2007 has a new motor and body style, I'd stay clear for at least 2 years if it was me. I've been considering buying another MCS in 2009 or late 2008.
  • cct1cct1 Posts: 221
    The LSD is more for performance, the DSC more for safety.

    If you like spirited driving, and are going to do anything on a track, the LSD is a must. It makes a huge difference taking a corner

    I have mixed feelings about the DSC. Once your at speed, it can help significantly with regard to slipping. However, it's awful for taking off in slick stuff--it'll almost bring you to a complete stop, which can be very dangerous; it's just too intrusive. Fortunately, you can turn it off. If I had it to do over again, I'd get the LSD only, and hold off on the DSC, but that's just me.
  • I'm in Southern CA, looking at different dealer's mark-ups on internet customized coopers. Torrance in South Bay has no mark-up on MSRP. What's the catch? How do they make their money? Has anyone used this dealer yet? Right now I'm going with Irvine who has a 500 mark-up. I'm a first time car buyer, and a bit clueless...
  • martijnhmartijnh Posts: 24
    Dealers pay the 'Invoice Price' to get the car from the manufacturer. The difference between the MSRP and the Invoice Price is profit for the dealer. Usually, the manufacturer will also provide kick-backs. This means that the dealer will get money for x number of car sold, a certain % of the cars sold, etc.

    Trust me that Mini dealers are making plenty of money. I have bought 2 Subarus and 1 Honda from dealer and paid very close to invoice every time. Those guys still made money too.

    Do you research on this site before you buy your first car. It will save you lots of $$$.
  • Hi y'all...I'm sorry if I'm posting in the wrong forum. I'm desperate for help, though, as I'm getting ready to buy a car and found this site last night (where I read as much as I could until 3:00 a.m. sigh). The only thing I'm certain of is that I've got to have a convertible. I've owned a Jeep Wrangler, but I need something reliable, mechanically sound, good for long distances and due to my location (can you tell I'm in the south?) which gets lots of snow, a vehicle that I can at least skid my way around in! I'm now in love with the Mini Cooper, but am thinking of an '06 instead of the '07, due to price. Am I being practical or do I just think that car is tooo cute? I also use my modes of transportation as a dog-mobile, so that's a factor. Please, anybody, help me make the right decision. Thank y'all so much! p.s. I've already requested dealer quotes and one of them called me about 30 min. ago, but it scared me to death, so I let voice mail handle it. Good grief, I need help. :cry: :D
    p.s. I know NOTHING about wheels, engines, etc. Does anyone recommend particular sites that will tell me all I need to know (lol)? I'll be paying cash, so would that make any difference in MSRP or final price? Thanks again.
  • I am not yet a full-fledged Mini owner, yet, because I have one on order. But, I am looking forward to it. Not sure you where you are in the south, but if you are near Memphis, you should check out Roadshow Mini. They are GREAT to deal with. I've put them through the ropes with all of my questions and test drives and they've never been anything but helpful. Also, their site is really helpful because they show "actual" pictures of the cars (instead of studio shots) and they have with good descriptions of what they have in the car (the Mini's are infinitely customizable, it seems). They seem to have a fair number of Convertibles on their lot, too. Most are automatic, I think. Don't know if that makes a difference to you or not.

    As for the Mini, because I haven't owned one yet, I can't make much comment on reliability yet, but I've been reading a lot about them, asking friends, doing research. It seems the first 2 years (2002-2003) had problems, but that after 2004 they got better. I'm buying a 2006 for two reasons:
    1) I want the warranty so if there are any problems, it will be covered. The Mini is, afterall, a BMW, so they have to be a bit more tempramental then say a Toyota and they are a bit more expensive to repair. Brakes all around, for instance, I've been quoted, cost about $700. Oil changes are expensive, but they don't have to be done as often. Recommended every 10,000 miles because they use synthetic oil. The Cooper S requires premium gas; it's recommended for the Cooper, too, I think.

    2) The 2007 Mini will be a new production year... it will be much the same as the 2006, but the production line is being retooled for some of the changes. If you read through this forum and talk to others, you'll see that first year production of a car is usually not a good time to buy. So, I decided to buy a 2006. If I like the Mini Cooper I ordered, I figured I can always keep it for a while or trade up to a better one in 2008, when they should have any kinks worked out.

    I can't say how the car will function in snow, but I beleive the Mini is front-wheel drive, and they usually do better in snow.

    They are small, so dogs... i don't know.

    Above all, if you like the Mini, go for it, because my experience just test driving them has been great. They are fun to drive, cool, different, and easy to park! Why not have a car you like? And the gas mileage isn't bad (although I could be better!) I thought about the convertible, but beyond not being able to afford one right now, I sat in one and it seemed like the driver's seat did not go as far back as in the regular Cooper and S. Maybe I'm crazy, but I assume this is because they need some space in the back for the top to fold down. This is an issue for me because I'm 6'2" and need the legroom. In fact, besides loving the Mini, this is one of the reasons I'm buying one... because the driver seat goes all the way back. (No leg room behind it, but oh well). None of the other cars I've driven have had that legroom, except maybe the Rabbit.

    One more thing... even though the Mini is dwarfed by "those SUVs", it does have a fairly good crash test rating (God forbid) and lots of airbags. So they are supposedly pretty safe.

    Oh, and I have a friend that drove his across country and loved it! I'm planning a few road trips already if the car would just get delivered!!!

    As for wheels... the run-flats sound like a good deal, but remember, they are more expensive to replace. The Cooper S obviously has more power than the Cooper, but the gas mileage isn't quite as good.

    Hope this helps!
  • Mini....I cannot believe you took so much time to reply and give me SO much invaluable information. I can't thank you enough, but be assured, you're more appreciated than you could know. The info. you provided is what I was needing. One thing you said really stood out to me, and that was buying a Mini strictly because I like it! I've been driving "Ole Ugly" for years and am at the point where I literally hate getting into it and having to go anywhere.
    I live outside of Asheville, NC, so I could certainly check out Memphis...do I actually need to go there? I.e., can I negotiate and do all that kind of thing over the phone, then go for pick-up? I'm sure that's a stupid question. The reason I HAVE to have a convertible is because of the Jeep I had. I loved the open-air feeling. I missed that about premium gas, but I can't afford the S, so "recommended" doesn't mean I HAVE to use premium, does it? Aside from that, I've only owned one Datsun, Toyota and 2 Subaru's, so I tend to stay away from American cars.
    Congratulations on yours! How exciting! It seems that I've read quite a bit about people having to wait (?). I really hope you get yours soon. The salesman who called awhile ago (I finally played his message) was calling from Greenville, SC, the nearest dealer; he said he had received my internet request and wants me to call him to discuss everything, so I don't know if that means they've got them on the lot or not. Maybe one of your road trips should be here, so you can do the salesman thing. Lol. May I ask if your color choice causes a longer wait than usual? I'm loving the green and the silver...phew, they are so cool looking.
    Lastly, Mini....how do I get over feeling sorry for the salesman, whose standard of living I feel I'm affecting if I don't pay more so he gets more commission? Is there not a way to bypass salesmen and just deal with a dealership? I.e., if I know what I want ('06 convertible, premium pkg., XXX color), do I STILL have to go through that process with salespeople?
    Thanks again for your help; I feel so much better about this vehicle, esp. since you did your homework and decided to buy one yourself. You've done a good deed today, believe me. Much appreciation!
  • No problem... glad to help and inspire. I've gotten some good advice and help here, so I'm trying to give back. I'm obviously a bit of a miniac even without having one yet. Once I have mine, I'll be able to provide more concrete info. and experience. But I know I'm going to love it as most people here seem to. Having a car you actuallly like to drive makes a big difference, I think.

    If you're in North Carolina, you should check the dealers nearby. There's one in Winston-Salem, NC, that has a good website... like the Memphis dealer, it has "real" pictures and info. It's www.flowmini.com. In terms of seeing how their prices are, find a car on there you like, then go to www.miniusa.com and build the same car and see how the prices align. Then you can see if they are raising the price at all. It might be hard to determine exactly because many dealers install little extras like floor mats, chrome tail pipe covers, aux. input jacks for MP3 players, etc.

    You could definitely deal with the dealer here in Memphis and then pick it up, but i would suggest seeing the Mini in person and driving one if you haven't. There are so many custom options on the Minis that each one is different, so you need to make sure you know what you like -- i.e., what color dash you want, whether you want sport seats or regular seats, all the color combinations that are available. (FYI, I think the sport seats are a great improvement over the standard seats. And I think the mult-function steering wheel is great.)

    The only two colors that are "free" are chilli red and pepper white. All of the other colors are $450. When you order, you can select whatever color combination you want; this doesn't add any time to the order. The biggest time issue is shipping the cars from England and then to the dealer, but I think they dock in South Carolina, so it should be quick to you. The avg. wait is 6-8 weeks after an order is placed. The other reason to order is you can customize the car exactly to your liking.

    If you buy from the lot, most dealers order a mix of colors. I ordered the pure silver with black roof, but there are so many great color combinations that I'm still unsure if I made the right choice! I feel that I would get tired of the red quickly. The green is nice, too, esp. with a white roof. I usually don't like white, but Mini's Pepper White with a black roof is pretty cool. I think having a contrast roof is key, but there is an all Space Blue Metallic S on the Memphis lot that is pretty sweet. However, mine's already in the works and I'm sure I'll like it once it is here. The pure silver definitely doesn't show dirt as much. And I can always change to another color in the future!

    Don't worry about the salesmen!! They are making money. These guys will not sell a car without making some money. Check what this poster wrote:

    martijnh, "MINI Cooper: Prices Paid & Buying Experience" #459, 22 Aug 2006 12:38 pm

    As far as I know you have to go through a salesperson. That's their job and they are getting paid something. In fact, they probably have a quota they are trying to make so they want customers. Just find one you like. Although I've only dealt with the dealer in Memphis, I think, generally, the Mini "culture" tries to promote a fun, friendly experience, not like "typical" car salesman, although based on posts from West Coasters, that may not be true there. The only thing Mini dealers won't do, is barter on the MSRP like other car dealers. They can sell their cars for MSRP and do.

    As for the premium gas thing... I know the S requires it, but I'm unsure about the Cooper. I've heard all different theories. Some say you can swap between regular and premium, others say only premium. I'm going to see if I can find more about that and also ask the dealer and get their input.

    So, go to the Winston-Salem or Charlotte dealer and drive one or two or three. Check out all the different options they have. I'm an automatic guy, but actually ordered a 5-speed because they are fun to drive. And most of all, don't feel pressured to buy one on the spot. Mini's are lesss of a commodity than other cars. They are specialty cars and the dealers know this. If you don't find the Mini you want on the lot, ask them what is "incoming" and see if it fits with what you want. Dealers can lookup what cars they have on order, and also what cars are already being shipped and are unspoken for -- this is a piece of info. I learned form the Memphis dealer - some cars are shipped but not allocated to a particular dealer until they hit U.S. shores, so dealers can put a request in for these cars. I test drove about 3 or 4 at the Memphis dealer. They were patient and then helped me place my order for the one I wanted.

    Good luck!
  • bobo_cbobo_c Posts: 1
    Hi-
    I'm new to the board so please forgive me if this question's been answered in one form or another.

    I just moved to Dallas, and am looking at Moritz Mini and BMW of Dallas.

    The particular model I'm looking at (Moritz) is a new silver Cooper S Convertible that's been on the lot since March (it's nearly September). Is this a red flag? If the color was undesirable, this would be understandable, but that's
    not the case. It has black leatherette seats, steering wheel controls, and the Cold Weather Package. Does the long time it's been sitting on the lot give me any leverage in terms of negotiating?

    Secondly, more of a general car industry question, as I'm going to buy now, but... is there a point when dealers will do ANYTHING to unload '06 models, or do they have some alternate methods of taking care of old excess inventory that don't involve selling in a panic?

    Thanks for all your help...

    BoBo_C
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    It may be that a relatively lightly-loaded convertible (e.g., no leather) isn't a very popular car as most drop-top buyers are looking for more bling. Or perhaps the dealer is leaving it on the lot as a semi-demo model - they may be selling it as new, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has a few hundred miles on it. There is no hard rule on how many miles a car can have and still be sold as "new".

    Yes, you can use the time it has sat or the demo miles on the car as negotiating tools. How much discount can you expect? Hard to say. Assuming the car has less than 50 miles or so and assuming it is the car you want, I'd start with maybe $2K off and see what they say. My guess is that they'll come off a grand at most.

    Dealers will discount models that are not moving, but you're not going to get them to take $5K off or anything. They know what the car is worth and they understand that eventually a butt walks through the door for every seat. They're in the business and aren't going to be panic-selling anything at a fire-sale price. They'll probably negotiate, but have reasonable expectations. It all depends on the local supply/demand situation and it varies from month-to-month and even day-to-day.

    - Mark
  • I've just been notified that my Mini Cooper S is making it's way across the Ocean. I'm s-o-o-o-o excited! :blush:

    I'm still debating whether to add the bike rack that fits on the rear of the Mini. Does anyone have this accessory on their Mini? How about installing one with the Rear Park Distance Control? I was told by my dealer that the "alarm" would only sound if I had bikes on the rack. Another dealer told me the opposite (that it would sound all the time whether there were bikes on the rack or not). Does anyone have any experience with this that wants to give me their take on it?

    Thanks in advance...
  • One of my local dealers has one Mini Cooper S GP Edition available for $7,500 over the MSRP of $31,150 They are going to put another one on the floor for $10,000 over MSRP. The cars are supposed to arrive in late October.

    Since only 2000 Mini Cooper S GP Editions are being produced worldwide, with 415 coming to the US, what do you think this car will be worth short term and long term?

    Thanks,

    Lee
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Hard to say. But I don't see these ever being worth the money to justify these markups. In fact, I wonder if, once the hoopla dies down, that they'll be able to sustain anything over MSRP. It's a cool Mini, but I don't see very many people paying $40K for a FWD souped-up econobox. There are just too many wonderful cars available for this kind of silly money. We're talking BMW 335i money here. I think this dealer is fishing for a sucker.

    And you've got the new turbo cars coming - it's quite possible that within a year or two, Mini will produce a variant of the new model for $26K which blows the doors off this model for $14K less. This just feels like a last-gasp attempt to inject some new life in the old model.

    - Mark
  • Hi,

    I'm interested in custom odering a 2006 Mini Cooper S and wanted to know how the experience has been. Is there anything that can be done with pricing? I'm in the Tri-State area.

    Thanks for the help!

    Jaydeep
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