What to say about my wife’s Mini? So I like cars, and being over 6ft tall (that’s 186cm in the new money), a Mini would not be my first choice. But sliding into the driver’s seat, I was pleasantly surprised by how roomy it is. I didn’t even have the seat all the way back, with one or two clicks left in the seat adjustment.
Firing the engine into life with the starter button and engaging first gear, we took off, and the drive is responsive and peppy. This is no fire-breathing John Cooper Works edition, but it has enough pick-up to be fun through the hills of south-east QLD. The auto ’box and engine are well matched and quiet when cruising, but it has a sporty sound when pushed into sports mode.
This Mini is a convertible and well suited for top-down driving in SEQ, and when the roof is fully open you get only slight wind buffeting in the cabin. If needed, the roof can be closed at the touch of a button, which needs to be done at less than 25km/h. If you try this at a faster speed, the onboard computer will warn you to slow down.
The car’s controls hark back to earlier design cues of the original Mini, and it has a round central control display with onboard navigation, radio, hands-free phone controls and car data information. There are several versions available from Mini, and this car is fitted with a few fun options including colour-changing interior lighting, and a cool Mini logo that projects on the road by the driver’s door when you open the door – just in case you forget you’re driving a Mini.
This Mini is ideally suited for two people and a couple of weekend bags. There are two seats in the back, but with the driver’s seat almost on the rear setting, leg room for the fourth passenger is minimal. The boot is quite roomy, and if needed the rear seats fold down. But if you need to move a lot of stuff, borrow your mate’s ute.
Overall, this is a fun car to drive, and while you won’t beat an Evo or Ferrari away from the lights, that’s not what it’s designed to do. Enjoying a drive to a winery and back in comfort, with a dash of sporty, is where the Mini shines.
NOTE: With no image supplied, we have used an official press shot with this review.