As I’ve been shopping around for a stick-shift hatchback, I’ve noticed several late-build R50 Mini Coopers and a couple early-build R56 Mini Coopers that are both in good condition and within my budget. They’re a little smaller and perhaps less economical than what I was looking for but the style, form factor, and reportedly fun personality have turned my head.
What worries me at this point is that they’re old German cars built in the UK. I know we have a few long-term Mini owners around here, so what do you think? Is an R50 or R56 Mini a good daily option for someone who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty maintaining a decade-old BMW? Or are these cars maintenance nightmares that will leave me wishing I bought a Hyundai?