Having been a former owner of a Mini Cooper, I can tell you that this car is a much better car. While it may not corner quite as well as the Mini (that can be fixed with the addition of the TRD lowering springs, a dealer installed option) It is none the less equally fun to drive. It has more HP stock then a Mini Cooper (not S of course). The styling is unique, just the right amount of funkyness to get you noticed. The cabin is more spacious, and their is definitely more storage then a Mini. Plus, the standard factory installed Pioneer ipod control rocks (an expensive Mini option). The rear seats fit two adults comfortably, and I'm averaging over 35 mpg! Bottom line, best value for the money!
Ipod integrated control on steering wheel. Pioneer sound system is awesome sounding in the cabin. Ridiculous level of options available for the car from supercharger to custom cabin lights!
An armrest would be nice. The Pioneer ipod controls on the main console takes a little getting used to, I would design the selector to behave more like the click wheel interface on the ipod so its less of a learning curve.