MINI, who really do stress a minimalist concept offer a seemingly rock star cool, if that still exists, which is ironic, because MINI is more like the top 40-pop of automobiles. They’re simple but in a good way: affordable, economic, can park anywhere, and have good resale value.
Brit-born in 1959 the jolly old car has been cultivating fans for a while now. Culturally refined in Europe, it reemerged under BMW’s skillful guidance in 2002 and has since broken down barriers across the globe.
MINI is unmistakably so. The aptly put “go-karts for adults” (thanks, Edmunds.com) combine small presence with unmistakable character and obvious appeal. But it’s not just an excuse to use the world’s woes as a way to be unique. MINI really does embody drivers’ attitudes towards life as a car with a concerned presence that still knows when to let loose.
All while satisfying needs both metaphysical and mechanical.
MINI’s are offered as hardtop or convertible in three trims: Cooper ($20,100), Cooper S ($23,700), and the stylin’ JWC, or John Cooper Works ($29,800).
1.6L of 121 HP carries Cooper to destinations, armed with a 6 speed manual standard. 6 speed autos are optional if that’s more your style. Cooper S offers turbocharged 181 HP fun, good enough for sub-seven second 0-60 speed. Push HP to 208 for the JWC version, creating a power to weight ratio of 12.8 at 2668 lbs.
Fuel issues are MINI. At worst, 28 MPG is still very reasonable and that’s combined with the turbocharged JWC models. More modest buyers will see 30 combined MPG for the manual Cooper S engine and 29 MPG for the automatic. Convertible lovers get to play around on 30/31 MPG while base engines conserve well at 32 MPG.
Inside MINI, overhead space is ample for front seaters, however rear passenger room can be claustrophobic and knee knocking. Ridding backseat travellers rids some room worry as the folding back seats leave 24 cubic feet of trunk space to play with (just 5.7 cubic feet with seats up).
Many accessories are refreshingly (or overwhelmingly) dependent on personal touch, as niceties like a sunroof, heated seats, parking sensors, and navigation can be intermixed with one another to owners’ content.
Another MINI trait is the seemingly endless array of interior/exterior trim, seating and color combinations.
After it’s put through the grinder, the resulting MINI will definitely have the personal glow of its owner.
Those that must have their MINI fix while necessitating more space should consider the Clubman and/or Countryman models:
Cooper Clubman offers more interior space, specifically for backseaters and cargo enthusiasts.
And super-MINI-sized Cooper Countryman ventures into MINI SUV territory featuring room for more than two with assumed baggage in tow.
MINI lets owners play, but its versatility and ergonomics satisfy practicality woes as well. It’s not for everyone, but offers just about everything to anyone who falls under the MINI spell.
MINI. They’re happy go lucky with a cause.