It’s getting close to that time gang. Just miles away from 290,000 on the odometer, I’ve been giving some thought to what my next car will be. Of course it will be a MINI, but the real question is what MINI is it going to be?

An F56 perhaps? I really dig that car, even though I haven’t seen one in person. I think the F56 Cooper is going to be very interesting and can’t wait until I get to drive one. But, and this is a pretty big but, will I buy it?


Played the early adopter once before. It’s a game for the young and prosperous. I don’t have the time to potentially make frequent trips to the dealer for whatever the issue du jour is. Not saying it will happen, but MINIs first generation history isn’t the greatest. Can I get an amen? This is a car I would love to get as a late model 2015 or 2016, but 2014? No thank you.

Instead, I’m thinking R56. Used, of course, to save a few bucks. For reliability, and because I don’t like buying turbos, I’ll go ahead and stick with the Cooper. I’m hoping for a late model (2010 or newer) with under 70k miles. I would like to have HK, would like to not have a sunroof and color would be nice (no blacks or grays). And, I’m not going to be a snob if I find the right MINI and it has an automatic.

If I can talk a bit more trash about the R56, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in an R56 Cooper with an automatic. To be honest, it’s boring. It lacks power, it lacks acceleration, it lacks excitement. Everything that this car is about, quickly removed by one of the most expensive options on the sheet.

Here’s the thing. As bad as this transmission is, the photo above tells you my reasoning. That shows that so far, year to date, my average speed is less than 30 MPH. To give you an idea how that happens, my daily commute is 23 miles each way. In the morning, it takes me 45 minutes. In the afternoon, I’m lucky if I can make it in 45, usually it’s 60 – 75 minutes.

If I continue with this kind of driving with my manually equipped car, no doubt the clutch I just replaced will have to be replaced again sooner than I would like. And, if I’m honest, I’m tired of paying for clutches due to shitty traffic. The last one was because of Phoenix, the one before because of Temecula. The one before that because of normal wear and tear.

This isn’t something that I will be doing any time soon. I’m going to wait until I hit 300K in Roxy before I get serious.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m in the same situation.

    If I was going to buy new, it would be a Yaris Hybrid, because of all the town driving I do.

    If we were to get the F56 in MINI ONE variant, I’d look at that, but the Yaris comes as a full house, standard, and would still be cheaper and more economical.

    When the times comes, and I happen to come across a pre-owned JCW, specced correctly, at the right price, the heart might win over the head.

  2. I have a couple of questions for you db:

    • Are you going to keep Roxy even if you get a new car? If that’s a possibility I would keep her. There is just something perfect about the R50 that makes it a classic.

    • Did you have much trouble with Roxy as a “first-year”? I’ve been following for quite some time but not from the beginning so I don’t remember you having much “first-year” car troubles with it.

    • Even if the F56 could have been a real choice, would you have gotten it? It’s a turbo after all.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Alex! To answer your questions.

      1. My plan is to keep her and turn her into a race car. Whether or not I can actually make that happen still has yet to be seen, but that is “the plan”.

      2. Trouble isn’t the right word since I was never left stranded she never broke down. But, she did spend about 2 months at the dealer the first 12 month for seats, steering wheel, latches (boot and drivers door), multiple software upgrades and normal service. To close out my warranty, the transmission failed, so I got lucky there.

      3. The F56 will be in my driveway, even with a turbo. I’m going to let everyone else find out what is wrong with it first. But, a Cooper that, on paper, that is potentially faster than an R53 and gets double the MPG? Yea, I’m in.

      1. Oh ok, makes sense now. So if all goes as planned you will be driving a F56 Cooper at some point. But until then a R56 AT might end-up in your driveway. I’m actually on the same page as you. I’m really happy that I have two years left on my current lease. 24 months of F56s on the road should clear a decent number of early bugs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.