Product Type: Mini cars
Newest Review: ... 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 be... more
The Mini: A friend for life.
Mini in general
Member Name: wonkyno
Mini in general
Advantages: looks and stye. the drive is fun and economical
Disadvantages: boot space is small
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!
Summary: the drive that keeps on giving