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Rivals? These are not the crz rivals. This guys are completily wrong, the crz rivals are gasoline powered cars like the scirocco 122hp and the mini cooper.
I agree 100%. Having owned a MINI Cooper S the fun factor, thrills, uniqueness is off the charts but reliability is in the basement. I need a fuel efficient, reliable, reasonable priced, sporty, "fun", car for my 80 mile commute. Next year there is whole mess of "Micro"/ fuel efficient cars coming out in 2011. So far the top 2 contenders is the CR-Z and the FIAT Abarth topping out the others.
 

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Mini isnt reliable? i know nothing about it so i am just curious what type of problems you had/have with it.
MINI's are a funny thing, they are either really good or really bad- mostly bad. Consumer Reports has rated the '02- '06 Coopers on the "don't buy" list. The Coopers S has more problems than the standard Cooper. In the 42,000 miles I owned it I went through 4 clutches and flywheels for the "wookie clutch". I Had to have the front and rear suspension rebuilt, replace coolant bottle, fuel pump, power steering cooling fan, valve cover gasket, power steering hoses, 3 motor mounts, mushroomed strut towers, A/C control panel, both power window motors, boot latch, automatic climate control sensor came loose, power steering reservoir, O2 sensor, numerous rattles, Main cooling fan, Stereo system issues and this all goes with the piss poor service from BMW.

The The '07's are supposed to be much better from my fellow Mini? MINI club mates but every once and awhile a lemon does crop up.
 
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