I have had Bentley manuals for VW's for years. All manufacturers have "special tools" for doing many jobs. In the older Bentleys, they consistently tell you which tools you don't need, and how to make the ones that are helpful. This manual give no such hints. Maybe it is particularly true of the MINI, but several pieces, like A-pillar trim, we are told to destroy to remove, while I have heard of many people successfully removing them undamaged. Then it tells you to take the car to the dealer for several things. If this keeps up, the next car I buy will have a manual full of pictures and descriptions of the car, one paragraph on changing the oil, then tell you to take the car to the dealer for anything else.
Seriously, there is a lot of valuable info here, including many details about how the car is built. It also tells you how to do many, many things for your car. I just feel they didn't go to the trouble they used to in telling us how to do the trickier stuff. Honestly, I could do without the 50-100 page list of fault codes if they would just post that info on their website. The wiring diagrams seemed less intuitive than before, but not bad.
I'd like to see the real factory manuals for this car, or at least price them. I have those for my Passat and they are not written on such a simple level, but are more comprehensive than Bentley is or should be. Still, you will save way more than the price of this book if you have the information in it, so buy it.
Also, I know this manual clearly states it covers to 2006, but info on changes after 2004 seems tacked on and glazed over. My 2008 Convertible is even more different, but this is still the closest manual as yet. Be prepared to see lots of pre-2004 coupe coverage and only a few comments about how the convertible or later cars differ. Common option details, like, what the heck is a JCW airbox and how does it connect up, aren't addressed. For another example, I'd like a rundown on the various tire pressure monitors, sensors, their compatibility, etc. This manual mentions very little on that. Systems like the HK stereo are not really covered well, if at all. Including, for example, the fact that all of the speakers are 2ohm and can not be replaced with aftermarket stuff without screwing up the whole sound system would be important for many do-it-yourselfers.
You will need lots of info from the great forums for the MINI, but you will need this manual, too, unless you get the heavy duty factory service manuals instead.