* Prices may differ from that shown
I wanted a mini for years and in 2006 finally went into a dealers and bought a new one and I still have it. I opted for a mini one 1.6 with pepper pack. I love it. I now want a countryman as need more space but will find it hard to part with 'Margot' as she is affectionately called. Fuel economy is good, surprising for a 1.6 and I can't give you the figures but I don't find it fuel hungry. Servicing can be expensive so I would advise buying a prepaid service package if you buy from new, called TLC. Labour is also expensive in BMW garages but it depends whether you lease or buy outright as to where you can go for Servicing etc. The dealerships I have been to have been great, so attentive and helpful. I got fresh muffins and hot chocolate on one, so I do rate the after sales service highly. I realise this is down to individual dealerships in part, but I have been treated well in all. I had sport seats and these are great, they have lumbar support. My husband finds the car uncomfortable to drive for this reason, I think this is something to do with male and female biology. In the 7 years I have had her, we have not really had any major problems. I have pro lady spent £1000 on repairs in the last 3 years but prior to that, no issues. The boot is as you would expect, tiny but I can get a weeks shopping in, a pushchair on the other hand is more problematic, but I think people are aware of this when they buy the car so you can't really fault a car on that basis! The extras are expensive when you purchase, but then it is cheaper to spec out at the start rather than to retro fit. Prepare to have to add everything on the standard model and price though, even air con and CD player, which I would have expected to be as standard. Good performance at higher speeds on motorway and equally on rougher terrain or high gradients. I do seem to wear through front tyres frequently, but my husband says that's the way I drive as opposed to the car. I go fast round bends and brake late apparently. But factor in some annual tyre replacements if you do 15k a year and drive like me! All the car interior and out feels solid and well built. I love all the switches and dials. They all feel high quality. I would always buy a mini through choice and will now get a countryman!
I have been fortunate to own a Mini One Diesel 2003 for almost 10 years. I would like to think that I have in that time experienced all that this car has to offer, the multiple upsides and the (limited) downsides. At present my Mini has 170,000. Therefore one can speak of its relability from a fairly experienced viewpoint. The relability in general is top class. Never did I feel trepidation as i put the key in the ignition and wonder was today the day I would have to take the bus or get a lift to work at the last minute. Of course as with any car of a certain age/mileage certain problems do begin to appear. The car does seem to be particularly 'heavy' on any braking components be that pads, calipers etc. This would seem to be a common occurence with all Mini cars from any discussion I had with other users. I was initially fearful I was perhaps sore on brakes through my own driving! Also the fuel injectors do seem to get, if not blocked, partially blocked after 100k+ miles every 25k miles. However this should not detract from the myriad of positives that I have found with the car. Efficiency: Excellent. Easy on fuel consumption, whether in town or country. Interior: All materials are durable and easy to keep clean. Nothing from my interior has had to be replaced. Value: Insurance is cheap. Tax is cheap. Perhaps most importantly the car holds its value, especially from 10 years+ relative to earlier more marked decreases. I have rarely saw a mini in trade magazines sell for less than £2k. Comfort: Driver and passanger comfort is rarely surpassed for a car in this price bracket. However 4 adults will be a squeeze! Miscellaneous: Parts have become much cheaper especially in the second hand market with the increase in the number of Minis on the road. Despite the increase driving a Mini still sets you apart from the crowd. The car handles extremely well and is excellent in snow/frost. In general I would certainly recommend this car as a reliable, modern, efficient car with the caveat that it really is a car for 2 adults to travel in style and comfort in.
I bought my wife a second hand Mini One Convertible with JCW body kit. It looks the business. All in black with a nice beefy body kit. Having had it now for 10 months, I can safely say that its been the worse car that I have ever owned. Don't get me wrong, when things are working fine, its a great, fun little car to drive. But its just cost me endless amounts of money. Mini are part of BMW but you would not think it. I have a BMW and know that they are pretty bullet proof, but somehow they have left Mini to do what they want and its not worked. So what has gone wrong? The roof leaks and allows water in on the drivers side The alarm goes off at random times during the night Rear boot sensor says the boot is not locked, but it has Numberplate lights did not work and found out to be a wiring fault Brake lights come on when the car is sat up doing nothing Rattle coming from the dashboard Front left side wheel hub bearings went after 60k Tax for the year on a 1.6 Mini One now stands at £220 for the year! I can get a Audi TT for the same cost. A work colleague has had problems with his mini cooper aswell, and when you search the net for solutions to some of these problems, you see that the mini seems to have big problems. Based on that, I will not be purchasing another one and will be selling it soon for something more reliable. As I say though, its a great car for city driving. Nippy and fun to drive.
The car I was replacing was a Toyota IQ which I liked because of its fuel economy, build quality and the fact that it was small and compact. I then looked around and wanted something which was a little bit bigger but was still as fuel efficient and built to last. I then found the Mini One D and was hooked straight away. Remember, this review is only for the One D as certain features are only found on the diesel that are not on the petrol. At first glance you can tell that the Mini is very well made. Everything looks and feels well built. Compared to some cars it is just on a different level. Fuel Economy I looked at this car primarily because of the fuel consumption. The stated combined fuel consumption is 74.3mpg although this will obviously differ with different driving styles and conditions. The Mini One D has added stop start which cuts the engine when you come to a stop, sounds scary but it saves lots of fuel in traffic jams. There is also a light which tells you which gear to drive in to achieve the best fuel consumption, it really does come in handy and saves fuel which would just have been wasted. Safety The main thing that I looked for was the NCAP rating. This car is a 5 star NCAP which is the highest rating that a car can be given. I could go in to the other safety features like the 6 airbags but really, 5 stars, what more could you want. Interior Inside of the Mini you can tell that they have spent time making it look as good as it can be. Unless you go for an upgrade you get the 2 spoke leather steering wheel. The steering wheel feels very sturdy and built to last. The dashboard looks amazing and the best part is the second speedo which is placed in the middle of the dashboard which makes the dash look very retro. All of the dials and buttons in the car feel and look very well made. There are reviews out there which say the dash looks cluttered but I have to disagree and say that, compared to other cars, Mini have spent time making everything look good and feel very hight quality. Depending which opions you go for you can have an option called an interior lights pack. This makes driving at night much mroe fun. Inside of the car you have little LED lights which can be changed to any colour you wish. They light up different parts of the cars interior and looks very cool. Little things but things that cant be found in other cars. Conclusion There are so many other things which I could go into like the different options and combinations to choose from but obviously to find this out you could just go to the Mini website. The main thing which I am trying to say is that, from a buyers point of view, this car fits everything I was looking for and more. High quality, good fuel economy and safe. I have now had the car for just under a year and this car does not disappoint. A car that I will never part with.
I own the Mini Cooper 1.6 2007. How it looks outside There is no doubt that the Mini is a gorgeous looking car. Smart, great curves and we have the blue with white roof, wing mirrors and stripes, which really makes it look sporty Inside Inside as you would expect from a BMW brand, high quality, especially as we have the chrome colour interior which makes it look more expensive. All buttons and switches feel solid. There is also quite a fun option of being able to change the colour of the lighting inside the car, to make them yellow, red, orange, blue pink or purple, which is a nice touch! We have a multifunctional steering wheel which means that you can control cruise control, radio, cd and Bluetooth. There are plenty of airbags, and isofix fittings in the back seat for a baby seat, which is a nice extra. The boot, in all honesty is small, don't expect to fit more than your weekly shop (and some of that might need to be in the back seat). Unfortunately this isn't practical as the sole car for a family! How it drives Very nippy, with light steering and great brakes with ABS. Very easy to manoeuvre round the city, also fun for country roads. Ok for motorway driving, the best thing we have is the optional cruise control which makes things much easier. It seems fairly economical on petrol.
Having owned a Cooper D Hatchback I can safely say that I was hooked from there on in a fantastic car which was great in performance and fuel economy mostly averaging 55mpg on my commute which was mainly country driving through the gears. Best of all was the dealership experience which was second to none although I have heard this from most of the network they personalised the car for me to the colour, interior trim choice, sound system to bodystyling and better still the car is built in Oxford so from point of order to driving away I had a little over 5 weeks to wait. the TLC package is a must which at the time cost £150.00 for 5yrs / 50,000 mile servicing which meant it kept full dealer history and having recently parted with the car due to practical reasons I got a more than generous value for it in PX keeping roughly 65% of its value after 4 and half years and 48,000 miles of motoring!!
I have a 53 plate red mini cooper with a white roof and white stripe. I absolutely love it.......but it costs me a fortune to run. The insurance is high, it drinks petrol like it's going out of fashion, and repairs are dreaded! I am on egg shells whenever it goes in for an MOT or service as im worried what else they will find wrong. The tyres are run flats and are £120 each. However it does give me peace of mind when driving on the motorway daily, that unless it blows up i won't have to stop to change a tyre! The boot is ridiculously small, but as there is only me in the car the majority of the time, i have just about managed. Any trips to ikea, or other shopping sprees are a definate no go though! I even struggle to get a weekend case in the boot, and now tend to just throw anything thats medium sized straight onto the back seat, bypassing the boot. I love my little mini but i now really need to be sensible and part ex it for something a little bit bigger and more economical to run. I will hate to see it go though, and one day in the future may become a mini owner for the second time........
I think its safe to say that nothing comes close to owning a Mini, whether its an original 60's Leyland or the brand new BMW version both, although strikingly different from each other, are totally unique in a market that is forever striving to reinvent itself and produce cars of 'stand out' appeal. Not many manufacturers have pulled it off and produced cars that have genuine cult attraction that stand the test of time. Consider then how difficult it is to reinvent an already established nations favourite and improve it in such a way that it lends itself to the original yet attracts a whole new customer market. BMW have more than pulled it off with their version. I'm sure it's not just personal bias that draws my eye to a Mini on any given forecourt or car park. It goes way beyond that. For me it encapsulates the very essence of British culture, the cheekyness of it's looks gives you the impression that it wants to engage you in its humour, drawing you in like a puppy stamping its paws begging you to throw it its ball. That vibe increases when you open the door and slide into the bucket seat, the low driving position coupled with the friendly hug of the seats makes you feel instantly at one with it. The chunky steering wheel is an indication of the quality of the build, it just feels solid. The big clocks and dials along with the ample leg room in the cock pit gives you the impression of being in a much larger car and the leg room in the back is more than enough for a long journey. From the moment you turn the key and activate the lights on the dashboard, you can almost feel the exhaust pipe waggle with excitement. it's as if it can't wait to be driven, any mist on the windscreen on those cold winter mornings is gone in seconds with a blast of the fans and as you pull away and turn the wheel the power assisted steering gives out a little squeal of joy before the power of the engine over shouts it and you're on your way with a smile on your face. The gear stick again just feels solid, chunky and robust as you flick through the gears. You really begin to apreciate the smoothness of the drive and the noise of the engine is better than anything you'll ever find on the radio. Should you prefer to listen to the radio however, the system in some models doesn't include a CD player but with the use of the tape deck and a cassette adaptor ( an expense of under a fiver) you can connect your iPod/MP3 player and enjoy digital quality music at the same time as charging your device in the cigarette lighter port. Personally I never get tired of hearing the engine growl like a stubborn puppy refusing to let go of its toy as it sets off at the lights with added gusto, I just can't help myself to be honest! Fuel consumption can be as little or as much as you like, it is tempting to put your foot down on any given opportunity, especially as your flying round a roundabout, hugging the kurb with unshakable defience but for a sporty car like the Cooper the MPG is very good value averaging around 37. The leg room in the back had to come at the expense of the boot space though and unfortuately if you are thinking of shopping for furniture at Ikea with the 2.4 kids, don't expect to be bringing much back. Anything bigger than bags of food from the super market or clothes from a bit of retail thearopy and the back seeats will need to be called into action. A simple solution to that problem is buy on line! If you are driving a Mini for the first time on a test drive keep your eyes pealed and be open to the many waves you'll recieve from fellow Mini drivers welcoming you to the club. Take note, thats pure joy and happiness in those waves and they can't all be faking it! Even when you pull up after your first drive, your face aching from the constant smile you've had since setting off, having taken the key out of the ignition you are greeted with an almost guilt enducing groan from the engine akin to the deep sigh a puppy makes when you leave it in its basket and head off to bed. Then as you pull back the handle the glass in the doors drops 10 mm to allow for the opening of the door, just one little reminder that your Mini is still alive!
My boyfriend bought me a Mini for my 21st birthday a couple of months ago. My parents had bought me both bmw's and mercedes before but I wanted to put the fun back into driving aswell as still driving in style. The car itself is funky, modern and classy. I think i would consider it a ladies car, particularly for the younger client but this should not put you off even if 'mature' as will definitely make you feel younger! Mine is black and in the convertible style and, in the rarest opportunity that we have had sun and i have had the roof down, i have had some fantastic looks and compliments! Its drive is smooth and the gear change sporty and sexy. With a 63mpg it is an effecient sexy! I fill mine up monthly at £50 and tend to get around 700 miles from that. TLC package well worth it. 4 years of servicing, oil changes, screenwash, warranty, checks, help, breakdown etc all included. free hoovering and wash service on dropping it off and the reputation safe as part of bmw. Negatives - quite a low driving car and so some others headlights shine right at eye level, no spare tyre, just a puncture kit which is pretty usless as mine are run flat tyres so punctures cannot be repaired anyway!
~My Story~ Ever since the new model of the Minis have been available on the market, I have always dreamed of having one. Luckily, in March this year I was lucky enough to have got one. I am 20 years old, and have been driving nearly 3 years. My first car was a Citroen Saxo, and my second was a new shape Renault Clio. I saw a Mini One D (2005 plate) for sale in a local garage for a brilliant price of £5995 and instantly knew it was the car for me. I traded my Clio in for £3500 and had the remaining money on finance. From new, the Mini One/Cooper varies in price from £11,100 to £24,490. ~Economic?~ The Mini I own does 63mpg which is really economic in the current petrol/diesel climate, due to it being a Diesel. I travel long distances every week during University term time, so this is a big advantage for me. The year tax on the Mini is also only a small price of £60, so this also means the car runs very cheaply. ~The Drive~ Everything from the outside to the inside interior is attractive about this little car. It's a stunning car and looks good when on the road. It also drives beautifully and is fun to drive. The handling of the car is superb as it corners well and grips the road round tight bends and roundabouts due to it's stiff suspension. ~The Interior~ Inside the car there is a lot of plastic around the dashboard which could make the car look cheap, but I believe that knowing the car has been built fantastically and the badge being Mini (BMW) this doesn't even come into mind when being inside the car. The visibility of outside when driving the Mini is large, and this means that reversing etc is safe and easy. The best part of the inside interior of the car has to be the round centrally mounted speedometer - This is shown in the middle of the dashboard above the radio etc. The boot space in the Mini is very very small, and could fit one suitcase in and nothing else. This can be a disadvantage for some people (such as large families), but because I am currently a student I do not need large boot space. I am usually the only person in the car, so any extra room I need, I also use the back seats for storage space. ~Comfortability~ The comfort-ability of the Mini for driver and passengers is firm and supportive with head-rests doing their full job of protecting the neck. Headroom inside the car is amazing...with so much room above my head I don't feel so crammed into a small space. The only small problem is that leg room in the back of the car is limited and tight. ~Safety~ The Mini has 4 airbags, anti-lock braking and brake force distribution. I have to say with my Mini the brakes are fantastic and react so quickly. When driving in the wet weather conditions, the Mini also reacts well to any skidding on the road surface. ~Should you buy a Mini?~ I would recommend a Mini to anyone who doesn't have more than 2 children, as this could make it difficult when concerning space inside the car. It is also perfect for someone like me, who is commuting back and for University and needs a car which is cheap to run, and doesn't need boot space.
We have a mini Clubman D as a second car and tend to use it fornlong journeys when we don't have too much luggage to take. We have had the car for approximately 2 and a half years and in that time it has been such a reliable car. It is incredibly efficient and does approximately 60mpg for long journeys. It is surprisingly spacious inside and we will frequently have 2 adults in the front and 2 children in Group 1 car seats in the back and there is plentynof space. The boot is also surprisingly spacious and I can fit my son's pushchair and various bags and also the shopping too! The car has 3 doors (one of them being a half door) which means it is easier to get the children into the back seat. The car tax for the year is only £20 which makes this a really cheap to run car!
It was time to replace my girlfriends car, and she had her heart set on a Mini Cooper S. Luckily, I kept my sensible head on and suggested that we go for a diesel model, better mpg, plus the added bonus of being able to fill it up using works fuel card! After lots of shopping around we found a one owner private sale of a 2009 Mini Cooper Diesel, slightly high mileage for the age, but it was fully loaded. As it's a diesel model, I will start by reviewing the engine. It's a 1.6 Litre turbo diesel engine, producing 110bhp. It's suprisingly quiet for a diesel engine and does run very well, the six speed gearbox is very smooth and it pulls like a train in all gears. With my girlfriend doing a 25mile trip to work and back, with a mixture of city and motorway driving, it always averages an impressive 57mpg. We did once drive it to London and we managed to get this to 66mpg!! Servicing is very cheap on the mini, the previous owner paid an extra £200 for 5 years servicing, so we are currently benefiting from this, but after this runs out, if we still own the car, a full service is only £199. 12months tax on the car is only £110 which is one of the lower band, we also find the insurance pretty reasonable, costing not much more than her old 1.4 petrol Mitsubishi Colt. I love the look of Mini's from outside, there are so many options to put on them that if you are buying one brand new you can really make it look unique. If you go to the mini website and see how you can personalise your car, the list is endless, they have literally thousands of options! We were lucky enough to find a spec'd up mini which has a body kit & larger wheels, a real head turner! Whenever we go out at the weekend, I always find an excuse to use the mini over my own car, as i find it so much fun to drive; It really is very nippy around town and out down country lanes you can really throw it into corners. It handles excellently and never feels like it will let you down. It has to be one of the easiest cars to park too, the steering is so light when stationary, and as it's only 3.7metres long you are pretty much guaranteed to find a parking space that it will fit into. Before buying the car I had read that mini now fit electric power steeringto their cars, I had heard mixed reviews on this idea but it does work very well, it always centres perfectly when letting go of the wheel, which usually electric steering doesn't do. When we bought the car it had the standard 15" wheels, and this gave a fairly comfortable ride on all road conditions. We have since upgraded these to 17" like on the John Works Cooper S, with these on the ride is rock hard. If you have a bad back this may not be the car for you. Nobody could call the mini a practical car without being laughed at, there is absolutely no leg room in the back, and the boot is barely big enough for my girlfriends handbag. However when in the front of the car it feels like you are inside a much bigger car, there is plenty of leg room and the seats don't feel close together like you would expect. The big speedo in the middle of the dash looks great in the dark, but does cause problems as your passenger can always see how fast you're going, which does tend to cause some arguements when I am driving. Everything inside the car feels extremely well made, there are no tacky switches or any flimsy plastics, the seats are very comfortable for a small car and the addition of mood lights on the centre pillars makes it nice to travel in during the dark. The engine noise that can be heard inside the cabin is also kept to a minimum, considering it's a diesel engine, when sat stationary you can hardly hear her running, and at high motorway speeds it's as quiet as you'd expect from a much larger car. When you buy any Mini, standard kit includes CD/MP3 player, electric windows & mirrors, height adjustable seat and air conditioning. Ours is a pretty high spec, when you buy a mini there are several packages including Vision, Pepper, Chilli, Sport etc... Ours is the fully loaded sport pack which had full leather interior, auto wipers, auto xenon lights, electric heated seats, electric folding mirrors, glass roof, Harmon Kardon stereo that does sound amazing, the list goes on! One great thing on the newer mini's is the way you start the engine, they no longer have a traditional key style ignition. Instead you have a fob which slots into the dash, then a nice red push start button to start the engine, this gives the car a real sporty/luxury feel. Although the main reason for buying a Mini was because my girlfriend wanted one, its also nice to know she is in a 5star NCAP rated car, it's full of airbags, has traction control and the rear seats have isofix as standard making it ideal for when we have kiddies. Whilst on the subject of NCAP, it's probably worth stating that it only got 2stars on the pedestrian rating. If you have a habit of running people over then this is a car you should avoid, as you will probably end up doing people some harm! Depreciation is a worrying factor on the mini, our one brand new was £23.295, we paid £17,500 for it one year old with 20,000 miles. Thats a hefty loss when buying a new car, Now the car has taken its initial hit and as our particular model is such high spec'd, I am hoping we will not lose too much in the time we own it. Overall, I can't rate our Mini highly enough, it's so easy to drive, a doddle to park and it fits in wherever you take it, whether it's Knightsbridge in London, or outside a kebab house in Manchester. If you are looking to buy a Mini, then definitely do it, you won't regret it and it becomes more than just a car, it feels like another member of the family. 5/5 well earned stars.
I'm writing this review specifically about Classic mini's - not the BMW ones (which aren't proper mini's anyway!) I made a suggestion for classic mini's but was told to write my review here. I will also say at this point that although my dad is a mechanic, I don't know all that much about cars myself so this review won't be full of technical information! Very brief history: The mini was built between the years 1959 and 2000, with the overall design changing very little in those years. In that time however many different companies made the mini such as Austin, Morris and Rover. In the year 2000 BMW bought the rights to build the mini and it's never been the same since! Clubs: Classic mini's have a huge following and there are many clubs dedicated to them - my boyfriend (he's the mini owner, not me) belongs to our local club which is the Chichester mini club. If you're a classic mini owner then being in a club is a great idea - you make friends with the same interests as you, you can often get cheap parts from other owners or swap parts with them and if you ever need a hand fixing something then more often than not someone in the club will offer to help! My boyfriend frequently goes around to help other people in the club fix their mini's and several people have come to ours to help him too. Reliability: Yes in the above block of text I did mention the word 'fix' which would imply that mini's break down alot. Of course all cars are subject to break down's but some are worse than others, mini's are generally reliable cars but they are now in the realm of classics and whatever classic car you own there is a high chance of frequent break downs. My boyfriend has owned his mini (a morris mini 1000 from 1974) since 2007 and it has been off the road for roughly half that time - although to be fair it's not all the mini's fault. 6 months of that time was due to the car being hit from behind at a roundabout and it spent a long time in the garage being fixed up. Other than this we had a the head gasket go 3 times - in the end it was decided that something was very wrong with the engine and spent £2000 getting a custom one built to replace it, since then there have been no problems. Again due to the classic nature of mini's, they need constant maintenance - of course many parts of the car are 'getting on a bit' and prone to wearing out/failing. This can include issues like having to change the light switch, wheel bearings and the starter solenoid and aren't usually too expensive. A known issue with classic mini's is that the rear subframe is prone to rusting so this is something you will want to check on your car and sometimes requires welding to pass the MOT, in extreme cases a replacement will be needed. Driving: For long drives the original mini seats aren't necessarily the most comfortable, however many people (my boyfriend included) have modified their cars and replaced the seats - often with some form of bucket seat which are very comfortable indeed! I find it almost impossible to drive mini's because I'm on the tall side (5'11") and everything is too low for me - my legs are either right up either side of the steering wheel or I'm too far back in the seat to work the pedals properly. For people with shorter legs however, they should have no problems driving a mini and they are a fun car to drive! The car handles incredbly well on the road - because it's so low to the ground you can pick up alot of speed and maintain it around bends with hardly any body roll. Depending on whether your car is original or modified - you may have a small engine (less than 1l) or a larger upgraded one, which will of course greatly effect the speed you can obtain. Mini's are fitted with a 4 speed gear box so this does mean that your rev's will be higher at high speeds, although you can obtain 5 speed gear boxes to fit. Fuel economy: Of course this depends on your engine - I believe there were originally 4 different standard size engines ranging from 850 to 1275. It also depends on the way you drive, where you drive (motorway, residential etc) and other factors such as how much air is in your tyres! As a general rule though mini's are quite economic on petrol. My boyfriend's car originally had a 998 engine from which he got roughly 50mpg, he has since upgraded to a 1340 from which he gets between 35 and 40mpg. Cost: It's impossible for me to give a rough cost of a classic mini as of course you cannot buy them new so prices are dictated by the sellers and the market at the time. It also depends on how old the mini is (pre '72 is of course tax exempt so these cars tend to go for more money), the condition of the car and what model it is eg. mini pickups are rare now so even ones in very poor condition (no interior and rusted through floors etc) can demand prices of over £1000. In order to make sure you don't over pay for a mini I'd say do your research on them first - look in the ads at the back of mini specific magazine and also do searches on ebay. Ebay tends to have alot of mini's for sale from complete wrecks to highly modified ones which go from as little as a couple of hundred, all the way up to £20,000 plus. Well that's about all I can think of to say about the classic mini - if you're looking for a decent classic car then they're definately one to consider as they're cheap to run, mechanically they're not too complicated so theoretically easy to fix and because they're small you can fit them into tiny garages such as the one I have!
I will be honest, I have never really been a big fan of Mini's. At school my best friend was crazy about them and she was certain that was what she wanted to drive when she was older, however personally I was not too fussed by them. Yes, they were a nice car but not top on my list! Then when my old car needed to go my Dad asked me if I would like a Mini. I thought long and hard about it and initially my answer was no but then I began to come around to the idea. I never actually picked my Mini. One evening, I mentioned someone was interested in my current car to my Dad but that they couldn't view it until the following weekend. He replied that was fine because I wasn't getting my new car until the weekend. Um, sorry Dad what was that?! I went into panic, anyone who knows me will know I am extremely picky when it comes to cars and I was terrified he might have bought something I didn't like (although I am well aware I should be grateful for what I get). He told me to look at my new car as it was listed online. As I was waiting for the page to load my heart was pounding! When it loaded I was over the moon. My new car was perfect! My lovely Daddy had bought me a 52 plate Mini Cooper, with a Chilli pack, red with a white roof, full body kit and complete with 17" Cooper S wheels. I have the petrol version. As you can imagine, the following week until we brought it home took forever and finally in January 2010 we brought home Marvyn Mini! *History of the Mini* Many people will of course remember the old style Mini's that were produced from 1959 right through until 2000. There were 3 different Marks of the Mini available and many different variants including the Clubman, the Mini Van and the Cooper. However, in 2001 BMW bought the company and gave the Mini a facelift. The BMW Mini is unrelated to the classic Mini however many features are similar between the two cars. *Prices* For a 51 reg Mini which has done around 100,000 miles you can expect to pay anything between £4000 and £5000. For a 2004 plate Mini which has done around 50,000 miles you can expect to pay around £7000. Now I appreciate this is very expensive for a used car, however Mini's do retain their value so when it comes to selling it you will end up with a decent percentage of what you paid in your pocket. *Variants* There are many different variants of the Mini. Currently in the UK, you can opt for a Mini One, a Mini Cooper, a Mini Cooper S or a Mini Clubman. Alongside this there are many different packs you can put on your Mini including a Pepper pack or a Chilli Pack. The Chilli pack includes optional extras such as air con and the majority of used Mini's seem to have this. *Exterior* Mini's are quite rounded in shape, something that I was not keen on initially. However, I now love the shape. I prefer the back of the car to the front, I like the rounded shape and the fact that the boot is practically the car itself, therefore when reversing I can see where I am and what is happening. My favourite part of the front of the car is the headlights, these are big and round and look like eyes! The car is not very long (after all it is a mini) so perfect for those who have difficulty parking. Mini's all have 3 doors, the doors all have chrome handles. When the door is open you will see that they are pillarless - there is no metal around the window, therefore when the window is down it is just the door itself. I really like this and I especially like the way the widows go down and up a little bit when you open and shut the door! The mirrors contribute to the round theme and are very curved in shape. Again, I like this and think it adds to the look of the car. Overall I really like the look of the Mini, it looks very fun and also friendly! I find that when I drive past Mini's they all always look great fun and also happy (the front is their face). I like the roundness of the car, I hate boxy square cars so my car is brilliant for me. *Interior* I love the interior of my car. It feels very luxurious and you could never tell that Marvyn is 8 years old. The seats are half leather with a black cloth in the middle. Personally, I think these are the best type of seat to have and I have had them in two of my cars now. I find that whole leather seats are always too hot or cold but these are perfect. As it is a Mini, the seats are quite close together, however when I have people in my car I never feel like I am sitting on their knee or I am too close to them, in between the two front seats there is the handbrake and a drinks holder so this gives you a bit of breathing space! There is also plenty of leg room, the seats go back a fair way but if you are below 6ft, people can comfortably sit in the back aswell. As a lot of people will know, Mini's have their speedometers in the middle of the dash. To begin with I found this really difficult and couldn't get used to it, however now I prefer it this way. The large size of it makes it easy to read and also it prevents you from speeding if you have a back seat driver on board (like my Mum!). The dials are silver in colour and light up a bright orange when your lights are on, I like this look. The Mini has drivers airbag, passengers airbag and side airbags. This was a must for me, I wanted a car I could feel safe in. I do an awful lot of driving and nothing is as important as safety. Beneath the passenger airbag there is a shelf, I do not have a glovebox! This has got to be one of the most annoying things about my car! I have nowhere to store my sat nav which is safe and whenever I pull away at speed all my CD's fly out into my passenger's legs! My Mini has aircon, electric windows and front fog lights. The buttons for all of these are next to the stereo. My Mini has a cassette player in the car but a 6 CD changer in the boot. I had never had one of these before but now don't think I could live without it as I love to change my CD every 5 minutes! The back seat of my Mini surprised me - they only have 2 seats in the back. I expected there to be 3 but there simply is not room! The back seats both have 3 point seatbelts and it is quite spacious back there (as long as the drivers/passengers seats are not as far back as they will go). The interior of my car is predominantly black and grey in colour. It looks very nice and it is in brilliant condition for an 8 year old car. The seats are comfortable and the Mini provides a very smooth ride (unlike my previous car)! *Driving* I love driving my Mini! I am still not bored of it and I've been over 15,000 miles since my Dad bought it for me! The driving is very smooth and it feels as though you are driving a quality car. The gear change is smooth and despite having low profile tyres, the ride is smooth and comfortable. I have the 1.6 Cooper version of the Mini and it is the quickest car I have ever had! It accelerates easily and does well going up hills, I never have to change to a lower gear to give it welly. It can easily overtake in fifth gear and the car feels fine going along at 70mph. *Costs* The car has a 40l tank and I have found that my car can do around 350 miles to a full tank. However, if I drive slower and more calmly I can do around 400 miles. Tax for 6 months currently costs £85.25. Parts for the car are quite expensive, the other day I needed a new third brake light and a new one from BMW cost me £65. I serviced the car last week and a full inspection cost me £219 with a recommended BMW specialist (but not a BMW dealer). Tyres for my wheels are expensive - I paid £115 for one the other day and that was at 'mate's rates'. To insure my car it costs me about £950 a year, it is insurance group 8. Therefore, the car is brilliant on petrol consumption but when it comes to buying parts it is quite pricey! *Me and Marvyn* As you can probably tell I adore my Mini. I am a true convert and anyone I meet hears about my car! I am very proud of my car and I will keep it for as long as I possibly can. When I do finally have to get rid I will seriously consider another Mini as I think they are great fun. Parts are expensive but most things are and I think it is worth paying that little bit extra if you love your car as much as I love mine. Sure, I do have a few niggles with it such as there being no glove box but these issues are not too important and I would wholeheartedly recommend Mini's to everyone!
The Mini may be the only car I've ever owned, but I can't imagine having any other one and it will definitely be my top choice when I have to buy another car. First of all, it's a smoothy, sporty little drive and reacts well to the driver's actions. For a small car, it has a decent-sized engine and it's the only car in my opinion that you could get in literally any colour and it would look cool. Can you imagine yellow or turquoise looking quite as good on another vehicle? Aesthetically, it's hard to beat: that classic mini design, sometimes with the fun roof stickers or "go faster" stripes on the side, the retro-feel dashboard on the interior. Safety-wise too, it's pretty good and you feel comfortable in the new models that there is sufficient bonnet in front of you to help cushion some of the impact of a crash. I've never had a break-down or a problem of this nature with the car. The one downside for me, is the lack of space inside. In the front, everything's very spacious and comfortable and passengers often tell me that it's the same in the back, but the Mini only suits 4 people and this can be a bit awkward. Also, the boot tends to be too small to be useful for big suitcases/bikes etc., but then what do you expect? It's all in the name!