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MINI Cooper Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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Comments

  • mgast1mgast1 Posts: 2
    I've been driving my new 6-speed S coupe for 1 week and have about 800 miles on the car--of course its spectacular, fast, fun and draws lots of attention. It is sparkling silver w/black roof and red interior and I love the colors. Purchased from Princeton Mini in Princeton, NJ and it came in about 6 weeks from the date I ordered it. Gas milage with mostly highway driving is about 32 mpg but I'm still in the break-in period so I'm taking it easy. Highway speeds are averaging 70-80 with an occassional dance into the 90's. Given this gas milage so early I expect it to gradually move higher as the engine gets well broken in. I have no regrets and am having a ball.
  • m3lsm3ls Posts: 7
    I gonna order cooper S with Automatic soon. As I am not comfortable to use stick, I decide to go by auto. But according to some posts above, S must be with stick to enjoy its full performance and fun. If I decide automatic rather than stick, should I go with Cooper base not a cooper S?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,515
    The new automatic is really very good. I don't think you'll be disappointed in an S automatic. I've driven a 2007 and I was impressed.

    I drove a base automatic and for a base model I'm going to opt for a manual transmission if I buy a Mini. But a base MINI automatic is "adequate" certainly. Depends on what you expect from 118 HP.

    RE: Driving in NYC---well, when you're sitting in traffic in any car, your miles per gallon is.....zero....that'll kill your average.

    I'd really like an S but I find them too pricey for me by the time I put on some options. GEEZ, you can run up a big tab on that MINI options list...really scare yourself. :P

    Thanks everyone for answering my question!

    MrShiftright
    Visiting Host

    MODERATOR

  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    Mini's are a state away but, my wife likes them.I see mostly women driving them.So can I presume she can get a mini with a soft suspension?
    Also, she can't shift and won't learn ,so I told her to build a S model model with a CVT and check off the performance package.
    Did I steer her wrong? Does performance mean a stiffer ride?
    Many Thanks,
    Joe :)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    1. Thinking Minis somehow are feminine is as myopic as saying Miatas are chick cars.

    2. No CVT in the 07 Cooper S models. It's a real 6 speed automatic.

    3. Sport package - there isn't a performance package unless you call the JCW a perf pack - will make the suspension tighter and the ride much harder.

    Go test drive the cars...why would you buy without driving one first?
  • pharmd718pharmd718 Posts: 78
    Has anyone requested a 2ed key for the 2007 mini cooper? I was told that its very hard to get.
  • louinsdlouinsd Posts: 1
    Don't buy a mini if your only service is a state away. From personal experience their service is horrendous when it comes to anything other that scheduled oil changes. They have no qualms about keeping your car for as long as they feel.
  • kali4niakali4nia Posts: 4
    I just got my 07 Cooper S w/ automatic for a week now and I'm loving it. I've driven a stick 07 Cooper S before, but since I live in So. Cal it's a little bit hard. It's a pain in the *wink* if hit traffic. I think you should test drive the car and see it for yourself. The steptronic automatic does make a difference. :)
  • ucsb805ucsb805 Posts: 8
    mind if i asked what you paid for it and from what dealership? i'm wanting one in the next month or so and am hoping to get below msrp...but that doesn't seem to be the case in socal. i'm in santa barbara looking at all the dealerships from here to LA...thanks!
  • kali4niakali4nia Posts: 4
    I got my MINI at Long Beach MINI, off the 450 freeway, Signal Hill. I went to a lot of dealers and I think I like this one the best. I got MSRP plus free carpet :). Their service is great. Friendly people. Try it out and let's me know.

    P.S. I'm so in love w/ my MINI.!
  • gr8imagesgr8images Posts: 9
    2007 Cooper S
    Pepper White
    Leather Punch Carbon Black
    Cold Weather Pkg
    Premium Pkg
    Sports Pkg
    Comfort Access System
    Black Bonnet Stripes
    MSRP $26950 - Negotiated price = $26500

    24month Lease - 15K/yr - 0 down
    MF = .0030
    Acq fee=$625
    Doc fee=$225
    Sec dep=$500
    Total inital pmt = $1884.74

    $479.36 /month
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Some of your "discount" went into that $225 doc fee and acq fee, making the net discount not amount to much, but if you feel like the car is worth $479 a month for 24 months to you and you are 100% sure you will never go over the mileage, it is probably fine.
    $479 a month for a Mini with those options seems high to me even though it is only 24 months with no cap reduction, but we can't really tell since you did not list the residual, any disposition fee if you turn it in or the lease interest money factor.

    Are you trading in a car on top of that?
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    If you run this through a typical purchase calculator, you'll see that owning it is only a small amount more money per month.
    For instance, with $1500 down, I get aroudn $50 more a month to *OWN* it, which is a lot better.

    Consider that even a 4-5 year old base Mini sells for $12-13K these days and you see how since the depreciation is so low, you'll get a lot more back when you finally sell it.

    Say you pay $30K including finance charges on a Mini - and sell it for $18K. The lease payments for 24 months are equal to roughly $12000 and with the downpayment, it's closer to $13,000. In effect, the lease costs you the same out of your pocket in two years as buying it over six years.

    So the smart money in this case is on buying it and for the same money in the end, having it for 4 more years to drive around.

    P.S. If you do sell it early, the load will be right-side-up within the first six months anyways, so you can unload the car anytime you want and have a few thousand in your pocket. With a lease, you can't do this(The Mini is one of only 2-3 cars that you can do this with because of the virtually nonexistant depreciation)
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    When I bought my MINI I put just a little bit more down, I think it was around 2,500 down, and my OTD price was around 25,000 USD.

    I was paying 464 a month but I sold the MINI two years and 30,000 miles later for around 20,000 USD.
  • gr8imagesgr8images Posts: 9
    Thanks for the replies!

    Sorry my residual for the 24 months is 72% it's thru bmw financial so I think they do charge some kind of disposition fee no?

    Yes I am going to trade in my 2004 I35 43K Miles. Should I trade in or Sell it myself?

    Can I try to get the doc fee waived? Also I have excellent credit, maybe I can get the security deposit waived? Is it possible to get the acquisition fee waived/reduced? I was a previous BMW fs customer about 3 yrs ago.
  • gr8imagesgr8images Posts: 9
    The dealers must hate this board because we are saving each other so much money. BMW FS has a MSD (Multiple Security Deposit) program that reduces the money factor by .0007 for each security deposit you put down for up to 7 security deposits. Does anyone know if BMW FS will allow this for the mini?

    This is a GREAT board !
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    You should always sell a car privately. It's not hard with a less than 5 year old car and you'll net at least $2K more than the dealer. That is, unless your time is so valuable that you can't be bothered to spend a few hours and sell the car for a bit over low bluebook and would rather give the money to the dealership. (I guess it can happen - I certainly won't give close to a month's salary after taxes to a dealer for handling 30 minutes of paperwork)

    As for the lease, buy it. Go through a credit union. They will ALWAYS beat a dealership if you have excellent credit. And they won't play a single game with you, either. If the payment is $337.22 a month, for instance, that's what it is - and paying it off quicker lowers tha emount or term - most banks give you the choice, unlike a dealership)

    Take the check into the dealer for MSRP and buy the car. When it comes time to sell it, the amount you'll have spent is going to get at least half of it returned to you.

    For instance - check this out:
    http://www.carsdirect.com/used_cars/vehicle_detail.spring?listingId=80369289
    That's as low as I could find that wasn't a total beater or had a questionable history.

    These cars depreciate literally $1000 or so a year. So at least 2/3 of the money you put into it you'll be getting back if you buy it. You pay, say, 450 a month - the real cost to own it is closer to $150 a month because of this.

    Your exact case:

    Lease: $13,389.38 in payments for two years, including all the startup fees. Total cost per year: $6694.69 Roughly $12K owed as a residual. IF you have the $12K to put down, you can turn around and get back most of your money(resell the car for about $20K)

    Buy: ~13K in payments for two years.(48 month term). When you sell it, you get 11K of that 14K *back* in your pocket. Total cost per year: $1500.

    Why is it less to buy than to lease? Because with excellent credit, the credit union will have no problem with a 0 down loan! You just pay the monthly payments which are 40-50 higher per month.(that $1800 or so in fees to start the lease add $75 a month to the real cost of the lease - which is more than the difference to buy it.

    Net effect: same payments. You own it as opposed to leasing it, so mileage, wear and tear, and so on all aren't a factor - and you don't need $12K in cash to recouperate your investment at the end of the lease.

    Of course, you *do* buy a S and you get as few options on it as possible to keep the cost down. That way you can resell it for 75-80% of what you paid for it 3-5 years later.
  • gr8imagesgr8images Posts: 9
    Yeah I'm going to try to sell my Infiniti myself on craigslist and see what happens. I just had it completely serviced (spent $1800!) replacing belts, all fluids, joints lubricated, brakes and pads replaced, all for tires mounted and balanced, alignment. The car drives as good or better than new!

    Thanks for the comments on buying vs. leasing, though I must lease it for tax reasons (I'm using this car for business).

    I'm going to try to get my dealer to go $750 under msrp, .0028 money factor for a custom order car... wish me luck
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Actually a "less than 5 year old car" may be harder to sell privately since you may still have a loan that needs to be paid off, complicating the sale. On top of that, finding qualified buyers that can get their own financing is more difficult than finding a private party that can pay cash for a 10 year old, cheap car. You may get people looking at your car that can't get the needed financing, wasting your time.
    Many times people looking for newer cars will be more likely to buy them off the used car lot of a new car dealer.

    There are some car dealers that will do the sale paperwork for your private party sale for you for a fee.
  • course411course411 Posts: 4
    I have a deposit down on a 2003 Mini Cooper with just over 60k miles on it. It has manual transmission with premium pkg, 16" wheels, front fog lamps, & heated leather seats.

    The price is very competitive, and during the test drive everything looked and sounded good - no rattling or funny noises, clutch seemed fine. Original owner traded it in for a new MINI. Carfax report comes back clean, though shows nothing after a 22,507 mile servicing in which electrical and suspension systems were serviced. (I plan to ask the dealer tomorrow for any/all service records they have.)

    Consumer Reports rates the 2003 Mini as poor for transmission, electrical, body hardware, and power equipment. That, combined with the general problems of early models, makes me wonder if this is a wise purchase.

    Me: a city girl who wants a cute, small, fun car to drive around town (not for work commute) and on the occasional road trip to the mountains 2 hours away. I will not be putting lots of miles on the car, maybe 5k/yr, so the high miles don't really bother me.

    But should I worry, given the generally bad track record of the early MINIs?

    I'd like to think that if this particular car had a lot of problems, the owner wouldn't have kept it for 4 yrs. And/or, my impression is that the glitches on the early models tended to manifest pretty early in the car's lives... settling down later??

    Recommendations, please?! I need to purchase or let the car go in the next 24-48 hours.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Problems were probably fixed over the 4 years, but the previous owner could have also been stuck in a 4 year lease or even a 3 year lease that started very late.
  • course411course411 Posts: 4
    Good point, though the original title had a loan/lien on it... doesn't that suggest ownership? How are titles handled when it's a lease? (Doesn't the title remain with the dealership?)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Most likely the car is fine and whatever early problems it had were already fixed under warranty.
    Only way to be sure is to take it to an independent mechanic and body shop and have it checked out.
    The only way to do that without being stuck with the car would be to either have them let you do it before purchase or after purchase if they give you a money back guarantee for a few days and a couple hundred miles or so.
    Many dealers will also give you at least a full 7 to 30 day warranty on everything even if it is out of factory warranty so you can find out if it has "pre-existing" problems and have them take care of them.
  • trancqtrancq Posts: 3
    I'm about to place an order for a MC S 2007 with $25,250 MSRP. I received a couple of price quotes from dealers_all of which offer MSRP and complimentary floor mats and license plate frame. With tax,title, and fee_ OTD price would be $27508.

    Is this price quote about right for a MC S 2007? You guys know where I can get a better deal in SoCal?
    Thanks
  • ucsb805ucsb805 Posts: 8
    I'm also aggressively shopping around in SoCal and can't seem to find any dealership willing to go below MSRP. If you're willing to wait a month or so, there might be more wiggle room. With your OTD price, it's about 8.2% in TTL, which seems reasonable, but is probably the only place you'll be able to haggle at all.

    What dealership are you ordering with? How has it been, and what's the ETA of a car special ordered? I'm probably drivin to Bob Smith, Universal City, & Long Beach next Thursday to make my purchase or place an order...Thanks!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    In March I paid MSRP for an 07 Cooper S. Nobody would deal. That said, MSRP sales seem to indicate resale is outstanding and odds are good I will only have this great little car until 09.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Thanks for the comments on buying vs. leasing, though I must lease it for tax reasons (I'm using this car for business).
    ***

    IIRC, it doesn't matter whether you lease or buy the car if it's a business expense. Both ways can get a percentage written off - and in the case of a purchased mini, even the basic deduction alone more than covers the depreciation.

    In effect, you pay nothing to own a mini. And at the end, 4 years later, you sell it and actually make a profit.

    Talk to your accountant/tax preparer about it - the numbers on a Mini as a business expense are really upside-down in your favor.
  • trancqtrancq Posts: 3
    I'm ordering mine through Irvine Mini. Longbeach Mini gave me the same price quote and seemed very helpful.
  • pjo1966pjo1966 Posts: 120
    I would save the trip to Universal City. All of their Minis are marked up above MSRP.
  • course411course411 Posts: 4
    So now I'm unsure just how good a deal I have on my hands. I posted the other day about a 2003 5-speed I'm looking at - 60k miles and priced at $12,900. Good set of options, and dealer will throw in iPod adapter and rubber mats.

    I initially wanted to jump on this b/c Kelley Blue Book prices it at (retail suggested value) $17,600 and Edmunds says $15,000 for dealer retail. If the dealer is to be believed, they just cut the price $2000 because it had been on the lot for 30 days and they want to move it. It is also priced well below other 2003s I have seen on Craigslist.

    But I just came across two listings for two 2004 Minis 100 miles away from me, both priced at $13,900: one is automatic transmission/21k miles, the other a 5-spd/28k miles, both have similar options as the one I am considering. At this late hour I couldn’t reach anyone to get more details, but it seems strange to me that cars with 30-40k fewer miles only cost $1000 more. What’s going on?

    Is mine as good a deal as it seems? I’m having a mechanic check the car out tomorrow morning, and then am prepared to fork over a cashier’s check. But, should I shop around more and/or try to bargain this one down a bit?
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