USA Today has an article about either increasing reliability for US automakers or decreasing reliability for Euro car companies – depending on how you look at it. What may make this interesting to MINI owners is the MINI is featured in the article. Here are some excerpts:

For the first time in 24 years of comparison, the average domestic car is more reliable than the average – and often more expensive – European car, according to the 2004 Consumer Reports auto issue, which hits newsstands Tuesday.

…The popular BMW Mini Cooper also had worse-than-average reliability, but Mini spokesman Andrew Cutler says that's because Mini owners are more passionate about their vehicles and, therefore, more likely to report problems.

“When someone is passionate about their car, they have a tendency to be very savvy, and they will be more in tune to what goes wrong with their car,” Cutler says.

Some good news for the Europeans: Their owners tend to like them. Europeans beat American brands in the number of models that owners said they would buy again. The Mini Cooper, Porsche Boxster, Volvo XC90, various versions of the BMW 3 Series and the BMW Z4 roadster were among the European models owners said they would buy again. Only three domestic models – Chevrolet Corvette and Tahoe and Hummer H2 – were picked by owners as possible repeat buys.

You can read the entire article here.

MotoringFile Analysis

As a MINI owner I can attest to the car not being perfect. But I can also attest to being overly critical of every little issue. Issues I know my non-enthusiast friend would never even know exist. I'm convinced that Andrew Cutler is absolutely correct and that this had to have had some impact on these results.

That being said I know there are areas that MINI can improve on in the design of the car. There are lingering issues we're all familiar with that, while not serious, are certainly annoying. Let's hope that the rumors of a new/improved windshield design and ever improving engine software are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to MINI dealing with these issues.