A fair amount has already been posted on this topic, but not much recently, so as a Mini Cooper toad advocate, I thought I'd reboot the conversation.
We have toad a 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S (4 door) 6 spd manual for several thousand miles with our Discovery 36t DP, "Maxine". We pull the Mini 4-down using a Blue OX Aventa system coupled with a Brake Buddy classic.
1. No steering wheel lock--late model manual shift Minis are meant to be toads. This was a happy accident, mind you; we owned the Mini before we purchased the Discovery. But no steering lock is such a convenience, I don't think I'd push a motorhome with anything that didn't have that feature.
2. We do not use the Mini lighting system (or any power). Instead we have LED brake/tail and running lights mounted to a luggage rack on the Mini's roof. I also added an LED brake/tail light bar that mounts magnetically to the rear hatch.
3. Mini 12V dash plug does not have the amperage to run the Brake Buddy. Instead, I use a portable 12V power system that will provide reliable juice for a long day of braking.
4. We can unpack, connect/disconnect and stow all the Blue Ox towing gear in less than 5 minutes, including lights, etc.. What I really like is that once it's disconnected, the Mini doesn't have a big bracket grafted to it's front end. Everything is hidden behind the lower front grill. I do have to use a 6" drop hitch to keep the Aventa towing arms level. Based upon what I've seen in my travels, I think level towing arms is a safety rule often overlooked by MH owners.
5. Our Mini weighs 3200 lbs, which is fairly light. Even still, I wouldn't think about towing it without supplemental braking. The Brake Buddy really helps with the stopping distance, especially if it's a panic stop. I'm sure other supplemental braking brands would do just as well. Besides, supplemental braking is the law most places, and I wouldn't want to jeopardize any insurance claim, should I ever be unfortunate enough to have an accident.
6. I have had warranty work done on my Mini at the dealership where we purchased it, and no one has ever mentioned the modifications made for towing. I suppose if the warranty work was due to my installation of the towing hardware, then we'd have to have a conversation about coverage qualification, but several visits later and not a peep from the service department.
7. The Mini odometer does not register any miles towed.
8. We are averaging 10 mpg with the toad (5.9 Cummins ISB).
That's our experience: Mini Cooper toad = no complaints.
Please share yours.
p.s. Our Discovery is dubbed "Maxine" because she's a Maxi towing a Mini.