The normally aspirated Mini Cooper is a great deal of fun. While it lacks the punch of the Cooper S, it still has quite acceptable acceleration if you are in the appropriate RPM range. I happened to acquire one with the 6-speed auto transmission. If you include the sport mode, there are six different operational settings for the tranny, and there is a learning curve to figure them all out. I usually drive in manumatic/steptronic mode with the heavier steering of the sport mode enabled. The paddles on the steering wheel are especially convenient, and I do not miss a clutch pedal in heavy stop and go traffic. The wheels are on the corners, which makes for wickedly fun cornering!
Handling, 6500 rpm red line, sport button, mp3 cd player, 3 yr/36,000 miles of free maintenance, dual panoramic sunroof, interior design, bonnet design, onboard computer managed maintenance intervals.
Design limits upward visibility -- which can make it difficult to see traffic lights when the mini is the first car at the light Craned neck will result for many drivers. (Circumvented in my case with an aftermarket stick-on fresnel lens placed at the top of the windshield.
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