Alternatives to Mini Cooper?
December 13, 2010 4:22 PM Subscribe
I really wanted a Mini Cooper, but the nearest sales and service location is too far from me. What should I get instead?
I think I will be looking for a new car in early 2011. I had my heart set on a Mini Cooper, but I don't like that the nearest dealer and (more importantly) service location is 40 miles away. I checked my nearby BMW dealership to see if they also did Mini warranty service, and they do not. Maybe I'll still consider it, but I'd like some other options.
I currently drive a 2003 Honda Civic, and my previous car was also a Civic. I still really like Civics, but I feel like something more... fun this time. I like sporty and small, but it doesn't have to be as small as a Mini or Civic. I mostly just drive locally, but every couple of months I do a 600-mile round-trip drive. I would love for the mileage to be the same or better as a Civic. And good handling in winter weather is a must, as I live in New England. I've thought about a Prius, but I've heard the winter handling is iffy. I guess I'm somewhere in a $20-25K price range (can be a bit flexible on this a bit depending on the car) and would like to buy new.
What would you recommend? (Alternatively, if you have a Mini and get it serviced rather far away from you, how much of a problem do you find this? Can you get oil changes closer or does everything have to be done at the dealer while under warranty?)