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I know this post is old....

I can speak to the reliability of Mini coopers as my wife and I have owner Minis since 2002.

Our Minis have always been reliable as far as starting and going. We have never had to have our cars towed for any reason. But they have always had some little thing that needed attention when ever we would bring them into the dealer for regular service. Usually little stuff and it was always covered under warranty. But when I would look at how much the dealer was billing Mini for the repairs, it was always a crazy high amount.

As a result we have not felt comfortable owning our Minis after the warranty had expired. This is probably a key reason why we are buying the CRZ. My experience over many years of Honda ownership has been that the cars rarely, if ever, have anything go wrong no matter how small. So I think reliability is a big feature of any Honda compared to a Mini. I am expecting the CRZ to be as reliable as my Honda fit and so far with almost 2 years of ownership my fit has had perfect reliability.
I know this thread is old, but I had to add that this experience was VERY similar to mine. Really. When reading the above it was odd how much it seemed like something I had written. My MINI always got me where I needed to go too. But ALWAYS something was off. There was a long period with off-and-on issues when the steering wheel would not unlock upon start up. I would sometimes have to restart many times (once 7 times) in order for it to unlock. The dealer could not replicate so it took forever for them to act on it. But in 3.5 years owning a 2007 Cooper: the weather stripping came off the hatch window, dealer installed tint peeled very soon, sunroof stopped opening and was replaced--and still would not work right after that (very common problem with this car), the run-flat tires were always 'flat', solenoid went bad at 37k miles, catalytic converter was recalled, and several times the computer software needed upgrades for sputtering engine problems and check engine lights that came on. Oh, and the shifter knob broke off too.

Wasn't all bad: It felt like a tank while handling like a go-cart (in the good way). But the harsh ride got a little old.

I had a 2002 Civic Si and it never had a problem in nearly 5 years of owning it. So the CR-Z had my name all over it when it went on sale. It is really the only fuel-efficient and reliable car that is also fun to drive (sold in the USA). I know that many would say the VW Golf TDI is too. But from my research it doesn't sound much better in the reliability department than the MINI.
 

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I ill remember this the next time I pull up next to either a Renault’s Mégane Coupé or a BMW 118d Coupé at a stop light in America. Oh wait......
 
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