Saturday November 18th 2017

2013 Mini Cooper Hardtop Review

“They are changing the Mini Cooper in 2014?!” I asked the dealer incredulously.

When I went to test drive a Mini Cooper Hardtop I thought I would just take a quick drive and head on my way. Many hours later (why does it take so long to process the paperwork at car dealerships? Is it the dot-matrix printers??) I walked out owning the car. Here is the thing, I was coming from a 2011 BMW 328i and didn’t think a non-luxury car would meet my needs. I was totally wrong. The performance of the car was comparable vs the BMW and the fit and finish almost as nice. And then there is the fun factor…

Performance

Walking into the dealership I was certain I would want the S Model for the engine performance. I thought no way would I be able to go from the 230-something horsepower BMW to a puny 1.6L 122 hp engine and be satisfied. After the test driving the base model I realized this little engine had plenty of power for me.

One of the great features of the Mini Cooper is the “fun” or sport button. This does something technical and gives more power to the engine as well as making the steering tighter. Overall the car is very zippy and fun to drive.

The car is great for city driving. I can fit into all sorts of small spaces my previous cars wouldn’t fit into and the turning radius is excellent so navigation is very easy.

Fit and Finish

I don’t need to tell you that the car’s styling is unique. What I didn’t expect is how many people would stop me to chat about the car. Total strangers on the street stop and ask how I like the car while they stare into its funky interior. Some of the cute perks include interior lights that you can set to any color of the rainbow, the classic giant speedometer in the middle of the car and the giant sunroof that encompases almost the entire roof.

One thing that surprised me was the material of the seats. All the Mini Coopers come with the faux leather but it is a bit plasticy. I would have liked the option to upgrade to real leather. My only other complaint is that the sunroof doesn’t have an auto open feature, you have to hold the button the whole time it is opening.

These are small complaints though. I test drove this car with very high expectations and almost all my expectations are met everyday as I drive the car. The only remaining question in my mind is should I have stripes applied or not.

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