It’s something we’ve been wondering for years. Is MINI immune to quality control issues? I’d say yes and no. The recent quality issues I speak of are the much publicized results of the recent JD Power survey where MINI came in last (with authority I might add). I think there are two reasons that these results don’t impact MINI as much as other cars. As mentioned in a recent New York Times piece, much of the complaints new owners have revolve around the complex (and at first maddening) interface controls of the climate, sound and car control systems. We can just imagine the confusion most consumers have getting into a new MINI for the first time coming from such appliance like cars as a Camry or Civic. While the interface may not be ideal (we’d call it less than ideal) it is something that people get use to. So a fault, yes. A quality control issue? Not in our book. This is the first problem with the survey and a larger problem with how JD Power conducts the tests themselves.
Secondly the survey takes into account all issues even including things like brake dust and rear window dirt. All areas that are not faults with the car but are normal issues related to performance or the general shape of the MINI.
It all adds up to a car with character that owners are not only willing to live with but to love and recommend to their friends (something MINI has always scored well in). While there are issues with MINI’s build quality at times, we feel it’s generally less than what the JC Power results would indicate.