For the last 10 days I have been driving round in a Mini Copper SD while ‘Baby’ was in the garage getting fixed after someone who wasn’t looking decided to run into her while she was parked.
Never before have I had such a courtesy car as this one, in fact Hubby commented that even when he had the Jaguars he never got a courtesy car as good as the Mini, with only 24 miles on the clock when it was delivered and not the basic model either it seems somewhat extravagant, but hey I am not complaining I would never be able to afford one so it is nice to get the chance to drive it. (although you can pick up a new Mini Copper SD for just under £20k this one with all its bells and whistles would cost you another £10k). I am glad to get ‘Baby’ back and have missed her, in my book she is more fun to drive she is gentler and more refined, she is a lady while OWF the title of this post which is the last three letters of the Mini’s registration better describes it.
It’s been fun, but now with me and it parting company I thought I would share my thoughts if anyone out there is in market for a Mini Copper SD.
It is a punchy little car with a kick like the Jag when you put down your foot and even when not in sports mode the engine races making the car go quicker unless you put on the brakes, no coasting to slow down in this little number. It is not for the faint hearted nor for the newbie driver and it gobbles diesel as if it is going out of fashion (I’ve got 39.7 which for a diesel isn’t very good at all). It is being sold and has been built as a sports car but it doesn’t handle like one, due mainly to its height, it certainly doesn’t stick to the road but it’s 2 litre engine and twin exhaust reminds you each time it grunts that it is a very different beast from the mini of old that my grandma used to drive.
Inside is like sitting in the lap of luxury, and just like every other sports car that has rear seats, there is no room for your legs. There is more buttons than a keyboard and some of them are out of reach when you are driving including the rear heated windscreen and the hazard lights, yes they put buttons on the steering wheel to change the cd, or radio, to turn the sound up or down, to speak on your phone, with none steering wheel buttons in easier reach than those two essential buttons! And while we are on the subject of bad design the sun visors don’t go along the whole length of the window so you are still blinded by the sun, however they have put a very nifty extra visor over the side window which gets plus points. However the major flaw in my book is the gear ratios and the fact that reverse is right next to first, alright when you are driving but when you are stationary and setting off it can be difficult to know which gear you are in till you try to move! These gripes aside it is indeed very well designed inside and extremely comfortable with three heat setting for the very comfortable leather seats and the most wonderful courtesy lights which have for the first time ever made me all girlie about a car.
For those of you who haven’t already heard me wax lyrical about them here goes, for those of you who have sorry I am off again you might want to skip to the next paragraph. The lights light up the inside door handle, the inside door pocket, the glove box, the gear knob, the seat belt retainer, and there are two which beam down on the bank of switches plus there are extra lights in the back – for the passengers without legs. It isn’t the number that I will miss, but that you can change their colour, red, green, yellow, orange, white, blue, purple, or even indeed have them gently scrolling through all the colours, you can also change their intensity. I am so glad I have had the Mini during a change in the liturgical year as it has meant I have been driving in a car whose lights are liturgically correct!
On a practical level the boot is hopeless almost none existent although the back seats fold down simply and quickly however getting them back up isn’t quite as straight forward, well it might be if you have arms a foot longer than mine.
Would I buy one? Well there is a question, which having posed I will immediately not answer directly. If someone was to hand me one, then I wouldn’t turn it down, but I would probably only drive it for a while and then replace it, as fun as it was it isn’t really my type of car. If I had £30k to spend on a car I would save or borrow another £5k and buy a second-hand Lotus Evora a proper sports car, with back seats that you can actually sit in! But then again I don’t want another car now that ‘Baby’ is back.