Archive for the ‘Mini’ Category

2009 Mini Clubman S

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


Three point two. That’’s how many inches they added to the standard Mini’’s wheelbase to create the Clubman. Doesn’’t sound like much.


But it’’s huge.


For starters, a real live person can fit in the back seat now. With me up front and comfy, Zak the Intern sat in back without complaining about loss of feeling in his extremities. The trunk goes from able to hold a measly ½ body to now about ¾ of one. Put the seats down, and they actually make a flat section instead of a ramp like in the regular Cooper. Plenty of space for a dog, a tent, and enough supplies to spend a week in the woods.


We even saw a young family test drive one before us. The child seat fit in the Clubman; not so much in the standard Cooper.


2009 Mini Cooper

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

This car took us all by surprise. My impression has always been that the Mini is a chick car: cute, nonthreatening, and small, the kind of car you want to paint bright pink and put a set of magnetic eyebrows on above the lights. A VW New Beetle for people with a little style.

Then you get inside. The tach gauge sits above the steering wheel, right where it should be. It moves up and down with the steering column, like the old Porsche 928. The center stack, dominated by the massive round speedo and the other controls, sticks to the retro-cool theme. The buttons and switches scream “Apollo moon landing.” The sport seats (a must have option at $250) hold you in place without squeezing.

The trunk will only hold a small child, or a medium size adult if you take a chainsaw to their limbs. The backseat only works if you don’t have legs, unless you move the front seats way forward. I’m six-one; no one is sitting behind me in this car.