MINI Cooper S
|Rating: 7 / 10|
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|The interior: Very nice leather interior, with Mini's quirky circular infotainment center. It's a little bit tight in the back seats, and the hatch is pretty small. It is also only a 4-seater (which I didn't realize until seeing it). This isn't an ideal car for someone that's going to have kids in the back and a lot of stuff in the trunk, but for a lot of people, the space is fine. For me, it's not going to work.|
Driving: I now fully understand the hype about Minis. They're not just "cute little cars." The clutch feels great, with just the right amount of spring, and the shifter has some great resistance to it. I really like a shifter that makes you feel like you're working, and this one is excellent. It is also extremely chuckable. It's light weight, very responsive, with excellent handling, and it will make you want to find the curviest backroads you can on your way to work, and fling it through all of the corners.
The tech: This one is fully loaded, so it's got navigation, bluetooth, heated seats, heads-up display, backup cam, Harmon/Kardon sound system, multiple driving modes, and some other things that don't factor into any decision I've ever made in my life, like color-changing ambient lighting.
The value: This one has just under 25k miles, which isn't too bad. It is a Mini though, and they are notoriously unreliable and expensive. And this one has a salvage title, so resale is terrible on top of that. It is only about $16k though, and has the unlimited warranty on the anything touching the floor. It takes premium gas, but it gets about 28 mpg combined.
The car is way too small for my needs, and the reliability scares me, but the car is really a blast to drive. Now I do think that the reliability may be better on newer models, but a British car, owned by a German company, with a salvage title doesn't seem like the smartest decision to me. I hope, for every driver's sake, that the reliability has turned a corner, as I would love to own one of these at some point in my life for the pure driving fun.
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