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General BMW Model Discussion
All non E46 BMW model questions in here. Look below for E36, E90 and F30 specific forum. For additional model specific forums check out bimmerfest.com!

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:34 AM   #1
Formerly Snox400
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 505
My Ride: 1999 323i
Advice Needed! - Purchasing a MINI COOPER

Members familiar with the Mini offering, please chime in, thanks!

I'm looking to purchase a used Mini Cooper for the following purposes and with the following objectives:
-Daily driver
-Find most reliable year for standard Mini (no S-version or JCW)
-No performance upgrades will be done
-Prefer manual transmission
-$10,000 budget

I've searched around on the forums and have only come up with this:

I've searched for Mini forums and found a great site, with the following specific article:

I'm still wondering about the following, please consider:

1) Can someone give me rundown on the generations and designations of the modern mini? (ie R53) Or direct me to a good location?

2) What year(s) tended to be some of the better-built cars. My initial searching has revealed to avoid the early 01-03 models, correct? I cannot stress enough that I'm looking for a known trouble-free year.

3) Maintenance will be performed by a shop, not DIY. What are thoughts on going the dealer route, as in a CPO car, versus purchasing independently with or without a remaining factory warranty.

4) Need to locate quality listings. I know Ebay can be great as well as I disaster (heck, I recently had a great first buying experience purchasing a 4.8is). A dealer is an option, albeit more expensive one. Forums might have some quality cars, though are there any deals to be had? What else am I overlooking?

5) How do these cars wear, mileage-wise? Personally, I would be comfortable purchasing an E46 with 60,000 miles as an arbitrary number, but not much more. Can I use the same logic on the Mini brand?

That should keep me busy for now, an comments/insight would be much appreciated! Thank you
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