Driving: A Mini Love Story

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I believe in love at first sight. You know what I’m talking about: that sudden warm glow that starts from the heart and radiates through your whole body down to your toes. The fluttering palpations, the sweaty palms, the moonstruck eyes. I remember the moment it happened: April, 2002 at the New York Auto Show. I got behind the wheel of my first Mini Cooper, and I knew then and there we were meant to be together.

I sat behind the wheel of many cars that day, but when I buckled myself into the Mini, I felt like Goldilocks in Baby Bear’s bed: Just Right. For a compact car, it’s incredibly roomy. My 6-foot-two-inch tall friend sat in the passenger’s seat completely comfortable. After sitting in a Hummer, we both agreed there’s actually more room and comfort in the Mini. Plus, there’s the sleek design, the sporty console, the ability to customize everything about the car making it a total expression of you. What’s not to love?

As an appreciator of all things efficient, I was most impressed with how the Mini’s design allows for the maximum use of space in a minimum compartment. Granted, the Mini is best used as a two-seater, even though it does have a back seat. The choice is yours, however, and the back seats easily fold down to create a three-seater (which I recommend if you must have three adults in the car) or a two-seater which makes it great for hauling luggage, groceries, or whatever you might be carting around.

The best part of all is driving. The Mini has a tight turning radius which makes it super fun to drive on windy roads or make a quicky u-turn in a tight spot. It also has a very responsive throttle which makes it easy to pass a slow driver on a two-lane road, or get up to speed quickly when merging into traffic. Be warned: this car feels better the faster you drive it, and I for one, have a hard time keeping it under 100 mph when I’m on the open road.

Almost better than driving is parking. At just under twelve feet in length, it’s easy to park this puppy just about anywhere. If you’re like me and live in an area where parking spaces aren’t easy to come by, you will love new possibilities that will open up to you in the world of parking. For the urban driver, you know how valuable this can be.

The bummer part is that I don’t own a car, nor do I want to. I do however, adore driving the Mini. So, whenever I plan a road trip, I make an effort to rent from a place that offers Minis in their selections. When I’m in New York, I rent from Action Car Rentals where I know I can get my Mini fix. Maybe one day, I’ll break down and own my own. In truth, it’s probably a blessing that I don’t own one, because something tells me I’d be up to my eyeballs in speeding tickets. Until then, I’ll enjoy my Minis in small doses whenever I can.




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