|The 2013 Mini Cooper Hardtop in red and black.|
|The odometer is the center of the world in the Mini. Note the toggle switches for all operations except the audio system.|
The interior look is enhanced by the sharp carbon black, checkered cloth upholstery. Other than that there isn't that much space in which to put appointments. But, like, the door handle is cool. Little things like that. And none of the touch points felt cheap.
Powered by a dual overhead cam 1.6 liter inline four-cylinder engine coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission, this little two-door was fast off the mark and had plenty of power, uphill or on the flat. I left several bigger cars in the dust and let's face it, it pays to be small and lighter when you want to go, go, go. Sport-tuned suspension makes it all the more fun.
|Seen from the rear, the Mini is a design darling.|
I was stumped by the audio system. I could not get the radio to turn to FM. Shouldn't turning on a radio be a no brainer? Yes, it should be a snap to figure out and if it's not I think things are overly complicated. I even read the manual and still couldn't get it to go to FM. Then I decided to plug in my (OK, ancient) iPod and the Mini USB wouldn't accept my connector. Like my USB connector wasn't up-to-date enough to be in a Mini? That's discriminatory.
There's not a lot of space in this cutie. I can't imagine having to sit in the back seat on a three hour trip for example. I carry a lot of stuff back and forth. I did put the back seats down and crammed my stuff in the car but if you haul at all, you'll find the space in this Mini very tight. Other Mini models are bigger.
Base cost for my Mini was $19,700 and with delivery and the extras on my model, it cost $25,600.
Gas mileage is excellent--29 city/37 highway/ 32 combined.