Dare We Say it – MINI Reliability Seems to be Improving

MINI reliability has been uneven over the years. The original R50 generation (2001 – 2007) had issues ranging from premature rust under the door sills to transmission failures. While MINI improved the car with the R56 (2007 – 2014) they didn’t eliminate the quality issues with oil starvation issues and general component failures being prevelent especially in the early years of production. These issues were not only difficult for owners but they were a black eye for the brand. More importantly reliability concerns have cost MINI enormous sums of money in warranty, recall costs and one would assume lost sales from previous owners.

MINI Reliability – The Plan

BMW knew something had to be done almost ten years ago. That began with the decision to build a single platform that could underpin both front wheel drive BMWs and future MINIs. The thought was that MINI could finally take advantage of BMW engineering, quality and buying power. In other words the engineering and components quality that would go into MINIs would be dramatically improved.

In late 2014 MINI introduced this entirely new platform of cars known as the F generation. Gone was some of the charm (and size) of the previous MINIs. In their place was a much more competent car that felt better built, engineered and sophisticated. Take away how the car felt on the road (we along with most reviewers found it to be an improvement in most ways), the F56 seemed to be much more BMW like in perceived quality.

JCW Clubman

Has it Worked?

Four years on it’s time to ask the question. Has BMW finally created a MINI is as reliable as it is fun to drive? Based on our conversations with owners, mechanics and a few folks in the automotive industry it would seem that the MINI has noticeably improved its quality. While there are issues and no car is ever perfect, the amount of warranty work and general faults on the F56 seems to be noticeably down at the MINI service centers we spoke with off the record.

It’s still early days for the F series cars but it would seem BMW’s strategy is paying off in at least warranty claims and overall quality.

How about you? Has your F Series MINI been reliable? How about your older MINIs? Let’s hear your experiences below.

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