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Discussion Starter #1
As a current Mini Cooper owner, I am really looking forward the 2006 Solstice as much as any other member. I was debating ordering a 115 hp 2005 Mini convertible for 22K, but think I will wait for the 2006 170 hp 20K Pontiac convertible. What really attracted me where the following:
-price
-the awesome Ecotec engine
-rear wheel drive
-styling
-unique space frame
-non BMW/Mini service and parts prices



 

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Besides paying less for parts and service, it's a lot easier to find them. Down here in Houston, there's only one Mini dealer, although I've been told any BMW dealer will service them. Spent two days of my honeymoon in a tent next to a gas station in Cherokee, Oklahoma waiting on Mistletoe Express to deliver a field diode to fix the alternator on "one of them imports"!
 

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Welcome to the forum! I think the Solstice will make a fine choice over the Mini ragtop. The mini is a nice little vehicle. Fairly fun to drive. The convertible has an intriguing feature too. You can chose to only roll back the top from over the front seats, more like a sunroof, and leave the top up in back. However, the low power engine on the base Mini has to make for one lethargic convertible. Even if it handles well, there comes a point when a car just doesn’t have enough get up and go. As was pointed out, the lack of dealers, and the greater scarcity of part drives up frustrations and repair costs. Finally, I think (and I am biased) that the Solstice just flat out looks better. The Mini is neat in a retro car reborn sort of way with its cute round eyeball headlights. But also like the rest of the retro vehicles, I think its attraction will fade quickly. As they begin to populate the roads, they will no longer be unique, and once the newness and uniqueness wears off, its just another new car that looks like an old car.

Definitely get the Solstice! You won’t be able to wipe the grin off your face!
 

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i am a big fan of the mini. if the solstice was not on the horizon, i would probably be buying a mini-S type. i test drove it and it is an absolute hoot to drive. i wouldn't try to talk someone out of a mini-S-it's a real driver's car, but personally, i'm buying a solstice.
 

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I'm a Mini fan, but have to say I was a little dissapointed with the new one. I used to drive an original Mini Cooper, and that thing is like a go-cart on the street. Just a real kick to drive. I felt the new one is so much bigger and refined that it felt too much like a Honda Civic. It's not bad at all, I just missed that go-cart feel. I also didn't drive the S type, and in the base model I found the motor to have no bottom end torque at all. You have to adjust your driving style, because if you don't wind it up, there's not much there. Once it's wound up, it goes ok though.

When I went to the dealer I thought I might really want one, but after driving it my desire evaporated. It's a little like the new Bug, they refined it so much that the original charm is gone. It's still a nice commuter car, and I still think it's a great choice, but it doesn't generate the gut response I get from the Solstice. I don't care for the convertable top either, I like it when the top is down, not to have any sort of roll bar or cross bar in the way, just total top down. So in my goofy opinion, your doing the right thing to wait for the Solstice. Besides, after the Solstice is out, the Mini will still be there if you are dissapointed in it. :cheers
 

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What I like about the engine bay is that everything looks very accessible. This should keep maintenance costs down. Engine access is one factor that prevented the Boxster from being on my list of prospective roadsters. That and the value for the dollar.
 

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the original mini had quite a reputation for being a fun little car.. and the new mini is really a different car altogether. i didn't drive the 'standard' mini- nor have i driven the original mini cooper, so my test drive of the mini-S is has no basis of comparison, other than my personal cars... a 1998 ford f-150 STX and a 2000 bmw 323i w/sport package.
that being said, i would use 'go-kart' as my impression of the new mini. wheels pushed out to the corners, quick steering ratio, pretty flat cornring and enough power to exit curves with some speed.
is it competition for a solstice? not even close. being more or less at the same price point is about the only thing they have in common- which only makes it more obvious what a fabulous value the solstice represents. a built from the ground up roadster chassis, a geogeous body, a well engineered motor and suspension at the solstice price point is simply unbelievable. the only downside i see is i'll have to kick my dog out of the passenger seat to go out with my wife....and no jokes about throwing out the wife, please.
 

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I too started this adventure out with the Mini. Last year when I decided I wanted a fun little 2nd car the Mini fit the bill. The price of the Copper-S was getting into mid-20s which made me stop and think. After doing some soul searching I realized that a roadster was what I really wanted but didn't want to pay 40k for a 2nd car.

When I stumbled on the Solstice last Feb it was exactly what I was looking for...low price, built from ground up on new platform and excellent styling.
 

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tcl said:
What I like about the engine bay is that everything looks very accessible. This should keep maintenance costs down. Engine access is one factor that prevented the Boxster from being on my list of prospective roadsters. That and the value for the dollar.
looking at those pictures again, i realize now that if it has the S/C version, with the same configuration as my ion red line, it IS going to be hell getting at the oil filter as it's on the block, just UNDER the S/C. it's hard enough on my ion, much less that it will be in the back next to the firewall in the configuration in the pictures. hopefully they do something about that if it's the same S/C version.
 
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