Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini Cooper Clubman

A friend of mine in Halifax recently purchased a Mini Cooper Clubman, the car was loaded and slightly used (25,000 km) but drove impressive. It had a 6-speed manual transmission and the steering was very tight. I felt like I was driving a kart on the race track. The brakes were very, very good - a bit grabby/touchy and if you can get by the ENORMOUS center console which displays the time/temp, radio, and speedometer, the car is actually very nice to be in. The car has two suicide doors that open up the back so you can climb in the rear. The back opens up to a split-window which oddly reminded me of the 80's station wagons that GM made. Fit and finish was top notch. As I jumped into the driver seat, I noticed there was a performance button next to the manual shifter. Of course I pressed it. I took off in a squeal of rubber (I apologized later for doing that) and quickly ripped through the gears until I settled on 4th. Above your head was a massive moonroof that opened up - I think BMW called it the Panoramic roof. A quick note: These cars are expensive, even used you'll be spending close to $26,000 Canadian. They are also rare and hold their value very well over time. My only gripe: No center arm rest for the driver. This can be fixed by buying an aftermarket pillow or console - it makes driving long distances more enjoyable. It's a very cool car but a bit pricy for my liking; I think I'll stick to a cheaper (and more generic) Honda Fit as my next vehicle choice.

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