View Full Version : Consumer Reports vs MINI

03-15-2004, 01:07 AM
I was thumbing through the CR car ratings and the listing for the new MINI suprised me. The reliability was the worst possible rating. Are you new MINI drivers having trouble? I haven't heard much whining about it. On the flip side, owner satisfaction was the highest possible rating. Evindently, CR thinks people like cars that sit in the shop.


tony adams
03-15-2004, 05:52 AM
have a GOOD ONE
TONY A graemlins/driving.gif graemlins/savewave.gif

03-15-2004, 11:46 AM
Reliability? In a British car?

Nobody expects reliability in a British car. We're satisfied if it starts more often than not.

We're satisfied if it (mostly) gets you there. Getting back is a whole 'nother story.

We're accustomed to the term "Quality Control" being an oxymoron.

We're used to the antics of Lucas electrics, SU fuel pumps, and Smith's instruments.

Why should the new MINI be any different than the old one?

Reliability ain't all it's cracked up to be! images/icons/grin.gif

tony barnhill
03-15-2004, 12:12 PM
The new Mini is not a British car - its German!

&, I expect my MG's to be reliable - heck, I'm taking one with me as my only vehicle on a 6-month, 15,000 tour of the US, Canada, & Alaska - it better be reliable!

03-15-2004, 12:20 PM
In order to know whether the ratings have any validity, you have to know exactly how they are compiled. I am not familiar with the CR system.

However, I have seen ratings that compare "problems per 100", that is, the number of reported problems in a given amount of time for 100 cars. What is the problem with this? It doesn't account for the type of problem.

For instance, say you have a make of car that has 15 reported problems per 100, but they are all things such as a "check engine" light which is cleared easily, squeaky brakes, or loose trim. You have another car tha has 5 problems per 100, but all of them are connecting rod through the block.

Obviously, the second car is 3 times more reliable than the first, right? However, which would you rather own?

Statistics.....without knowing the exact basis, they mean little to nothing.


03-15-2004, 12:24 PM
I'd trust CR about as far as I could throw them

03-16-2004, 02:18 AM
My parents have had a new mini for almost a year now. 14k on the clock, and no problems.
CR blows.

03-16-2004, 08:16 AM
The MINI problems are mostly trim-bits, loose cupholders and stuff like that (and only on the earlier cars). I know three owners of new MINIS (and one of them has a Mini too). None have had any really problems...even the automatic one I've been in seems to work well.
The CR rating gives pretty high "weight" to minor problems.
I might use CR if I needed advise on buying a vacuum cleaner or a toaster...not cars, though.
I actually think that they do an honest job...it's just that their criterion is so much different than mine.
I remember when they rated the Porsche 911T as having "unacceptable" handling. The same year, they rated a wallowing Ford sedan as "good".

03-16-2004, 01:27 PM
Here is the real deal. The 2002 cars had some issues like coolant header tank leaks, some cracked windshields, and rattles. Noone that I know on the big MINI boards have had significant issues. The coolant tanks on most have been replaced with a new design, windshields remain a concern and the rattles on the newer models are quite a bit less.

The engines are strong, the electronics work, handling is great and fit-n-finish is good.

CR, as usual, is about minivans than sportscars.


Mark Beiser
03-17-2004, 07:22 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tony barnhill:
I expect my MG's to be reliable - heck, I'm taking one with me as my only vehicle on a 6-month, 15,000 tour of the US, Canada, & Alaska - it better be reliable!<hr></blockquote>

Is the land yacht pulling the trailer the MGB is on not a "vehicle"? images/icons/tongue.gif

03-17-2004, 07:43 PM
Consumer Reports... graemlins/iagree.gif

I find it (and similar publications) funny to read. I think they are written assuming two things... 1) Everyone is buying a vehicle to transport four or more people 2) Japanese cars rule! Everything else is crap.

I find it funny reading a comment about buying a Mazda Miata, and it lists as a drawback... get this! "lack of luggage space" graemlins/crazyeyes.gif Hmmm... let me see here, when I'm even considering the purchase of a Miata the last thing I'm thinking about is luggage space!

As for American cars... I'm not saying there have been some duds, because there have been many, but they rarely have a kind word of any sort to say about American cars at all, they can't be that bad can they...

03-17-2004, 09:04 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by tony barnhill:
The new Mini is not a British car - its German!

...well, it is built in England though...in the same place once occupied by Pressed Steel images/icons/smile.gif

03-17-2004, 09:13 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sherlock:
Consumer Reports... graemlins/iagree.gif

I find it (and similar publications) funny to read. I think they are written assuming two things... <hr></blockquote>

Years ago I worked for a nationwide camera retailer when I was in college. At the time I was more or less the walking encyclopedia of camera that you are of cars images/icons/smile.gif

... anyway, I was amazed that people would literally bring CR in with them and would look only at CR's top-rated cameras. Sometimes their picks were pretty good, other times - well - other times they'd recommend the worst junk in the store.

Unfortunately some of my customers wouldn't even hear about looking at another camera. CR was their bible and that's the way it was. I genuinely felt bad selling some of CR's recommended products because I knew...knew those customers would either come back with the camera broken because it was poorly made or the picture quality would be bad. More times than not I was right. I've taken CR's reports with a grain of salt ever since. Theirs is just another opinion - based on what I've no idea, but an opinion just the same.

03-17-2004, 09:15 PM
I remember when CR reviewed the C5 Corvette they based their whole review off a 5 year old test of a C4 Corvette graemlins/crazyeyes.gif

Bruce Bowker
03-18-2004, 09:49 PM
CR once did a report on camping tents and rated a particular one higher than another. Unfortunately they did not realize the tents were identical but sold under different names. Interesting!

03-27-2004, 11:35 PM
I own a 2002 Mini. Itís had its share of problems. The shift linkage broke, the car interior flooded in the rain twice due to a bad A-post seal, and a few rattles. The real problem has been the local service department; every problem took multiple attempts to correct.

The car is currently in the body shop; my daughter all but totaled the car. When and if she is allowed to drive it again and takes it off to college Iíll buy another Mini. How ever next time it will be a classic.