Section: Quality

Is MINI Preparing a New Campaign for the Infamous Chain Tensioner?

MotoringFile Sections: Quality, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), Recalls/Campaigns May 31st, 2013 63 Comments


The R56 has been been incredibly successful for MINI in terms of sales and growing the brand. But one issue has stuck around with the R56 since 2007. From 2007 to 2010 the chain tensor (a $15 part) has been failing and wreaking havoc for MINI owners. continued →

Opinion: Quality, Change and What Makes a MINI, a MINI

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MF Feature, Opinion, Quality Apr 29th, 2013 18 Comments


In Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, the narrator takes the reader on a journey that explores the nature of “Quality” as a thing we all instinctually understand, but none of us can adequately define. His conclusion [SPOILER ALERT] is that what we perceive (if only peripherally) as quality is itself the source of all existence, and that quality is achieved when a person takes care to do, or build, or fix something well. That’s a rather inadequate summary of a book full of interesting ideas, but that concept of quality, and especially its definition, has me thinking about the word and its relationship to the next generation MINI, the F56. In fact it has me thinking about what the real secret sauce is when it comes to making a MINI a MINI. Hint – it’s not a central speedometer.

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MINI Addresses Countryman Clutch Issue

MotoringFile Sections: Quality, R60 (Countryman), R61 (Paceman) Nov 7th, 2012 21 Comments

In 12 months time we had little complaints about our long-term Countryman. Save for the short range and rigid ride (thanks to the run flats), living with the R60 was painless. Except for one major design flaw of course; the clutch. In our experience, all the auxiliary components in the driveline combined with the standard MINI clutch, created a tangible lack of feel at the point of clutch engagement. In English; you would stall the thing early and often. It didn’t matter how experienced one was at rowing the gears, nothing would prepare you for how terribly the clutch engaged. And from 2012 November production onward, MINI has updated the clutch and the issue is no longer. But what about current owners with the issue? And is the Paceman affected? Read on.

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MINI’s Quality Problems Not an Issue?

MotoringFile Sections: Quality Jul 8th, 2009 42 Comments


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. continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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