My MINI OBSESSION
A Personal Site by Richard Lin aka OctaneGuy | Friday, June 23, 2006
My MINI
YOU NEED HELP? JOIN THE FUN!

What happens after your order a MINI?

QUICK TIP:
Want to Contact MINIUSA
1-866-ASK-MINI

I placed my order with Roadshow MINI in Memphis, TN with a $500 deposit on June 24, 2003. Prior to that I was on a waiting list at Long Beach MINI for about 3 months, and had another 3 to 4 months before getting the chance to place my order.

I checked around the local dealers including Assael in Monrovia, and Alexander MINI in downtown. They almost got my order until they told me I had to pay a $1,500 Premium, even though the salesperson told me that because I was ordering a "deluxe" MINI he could "almost" get the Premium waived. I didn't think $1,500 was good enough.

Tracking Information from MINIUSA and Freight Websites.

  1. SCHEDULED FOR PRODUCTION BEGAN 7/4 (BOOKED)
  2. CHECKED TODAY 7/9 STILL SAME STATUS CODE #150
  3. FINISHED PRODUCTION ON 7/14
  4. RELEASED TO DISTRIBUTION ON 7/18
  5. OWNERS LOUNGE STILL SAYS SCHEDULED FOR PRODUCTION
  6. STILL WAITING FOR A TRAIN TO GET TO THE DOCKS ON 7/22
  7. ASKMINI THINKS IT MIGHT GET ON BY TOMORROW
  8. READY TO SCAN AT TERMINAL ON 7/23
  9. RECEIVED AT TERMINAL ON 7/24
  10. LOADED ON VESSEL ON 08/04/2003 10:30
  11. TOKYO HIGHWAY SAILED 8/4/2003
  12. DOCKING & DISCHARGED AT CHARLESTON, SC ON 8/15/2003
  13. ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE AT DEALER 8/22/2003
  14. 8/20/2003 OL UPDATED TO SAY MY CAR WAS AT THE DISTRIBUTION CENTER, SINCE IT GOT OFF THE BOAT IT SAID EN ROUTE


  15. Looking for an aftermarket CD Changer?

ALPINE CD CHANGER CHA-S634: Plays MP3's and CD-R's and can be found on eBay for around $225.
CD MAGAZINE: ALPINE KAE-116C: Extra Cartridges can be bought from Crutchfield.
Don't forget you also need a Blitzsafe Adaptor ($75-$100)

Favorite MINI Hangout Forums
http://www.MINI2.com/Forum
(I like how it emails me when a reply is posted to a topic I replied too)
http://www.MINICOOPERONLINE.com
(I don't like how it emails with a notice about every single new message, but Great How To's!)

SOME Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I buy a MC or MCS? Is it worth it to upgrade?
The MC and MCS are really two different cars. While the MCS offers a super charged engine with about
50 more HP, and some cosmetic differences, most notably the hood scoop, and rear twin tail pipes, it's really a matter of preference.
The MC costs about $3,000 less, and accelerates about 1 sec slower to 60mph over an MCS, and reaches a top speed of 125mph instead of 135.
On the road, the difference also isn't significant. Most drivers agree that both cars are equally as fast, but that the MC requires more shifting
to keep up with an MCS. Both cars shine on twisty roads, and both cars need to be wound up to get decent acceleration.
Many people including myself just like the cleaner looks of the MC without the hood scoop. I drove both cars, and found little difference, atleast
in normal day to day driving. Then again, I wasn't redlining them during the test drive.

Should I get an automatic? What about an automatic MCS?
The "automatic" referred to as CVT is available only on the MC, not the MCS. The CVT works in such a way to provide unlimited gearing possibilities
promising efficient automatic shifting. The MCS has only a 6 speed manual transmission available.
Depending on who you ask, the opinions vary. Many people love the CVT, and many people hate it. One friend of mine hated his CVT so much,
he sold his MC 9 months later and got an MCS. The trouble is that since the powerband of the MINI is between 4000-6000 RPM, the CVT needs time
to rev the engine before moving. This "slushiness" means a delay when you step on the gas. In my opinion, what makes the MINI fun is the ability
for hard acceleration, and that requires fast shifting at 5,000 RPM's or higher. By the time you hit 3rd gear, you'll be at 70+ MPH, and the rush is
very exciting!

Do I really have to wait 4 to 12 months to buy a MINI Cooper?
Of course not. It's possible to be really lucky and walk into a dealer and buy it the same day without waiting.
It really depends on you. I ordered mine because I wanted specific features that are not normally found on the
dealer show room floor, such as the Navigation system. Many dealers have quite a few MINI's in stock to choose from.

Why is MINI all in caps? Why not mini?
MINIUSA has specified that when talking about the new MINI Cooper, you spell it all in CAPS. If you spell it as Mini,
then you are referring to the original Classic Austin Mini.

Can I buy a MINI in Los Angeles at MSRP? Will they deal with me?
There is currently only 1 dealer in Los Angeles selling at MSRP and that is Long Beach (Signal Hill) MINI.
Nick Alexander on Alameda, near Downtown charges between $1,500- $3,000 over sticker
Other MINI dealers tack on between $2,000- $6,000 over sticker. Some try to make the "pill" easier to swallow
by requiring you to buy additional options. So you are forced to buy $2,000 worth of accessories. However,
as I discovered, these are not $2,000 of any options--they are pre selected. These might include LoJack,
an alarm system, CD Changer, or rugs. To me, it's a big rip off. Don't expect any deals or special prices.
Dealers have the advantage here. They have no problem selling MINI's, so don't expect to pay anything but MSRP.

So how can LB MINI sell at MSRP?
They have a waiting list. A very long list. Each dealer is allocated a certain number of MINI's every month. When I called
back in June 03 to place my order, I was told I'd have a 4 month wait before it could be processed, which would take another 2-3 months!
If you've got the time, buy it from LB. Or if you would rather be driving, go out of state like I did.

What's involved with buying out of state? Do I avoid Sales Tax? What about servicing?
Extended answer coming shortly....The brief answer is that you lose nothing by buying out of state. You still pay CA sales tax when you register at the DMV, and
servicing and warranty can be handled by your local dealer.

Personalized license plate? How much and how?
The CA DMV has a website for registering and purchasing online. It's simple and just $25/year extra. Go HERE!

First timer driving Stick?
Download a PDF Version HERE

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