Sunday, December 21, 2014

Long Term: 1.5 years with my first MINI Cooper S Coupe

I apologize for not finishing my previous one year review of my custom 2013 MINI Cooper S Coupe.  However after going on a quick drive to the coffee shop this Sunday afternoon, I realized it has been almost one and half years since I first received delivery of my 2013 Coupe (R58).  Let's recap that first year and half and all the fun I've had with and in my MINI Cooper S Coupe Bonnie.



First things first, the dealership will joke about how when you buy a MINI you also automatically become part of a great MINI community of fans, drivers and enthusiasts.  Nearly every state in the USA has a MINI motoring club, our local MN club is the Minnesota United MINIs club (Facebook page here) and each group has several yearly events and fundraisers for various charities and good causes.

In spring, I attended our groups New London to New Brighton charity run. There were about 25 MINIs in attendance and a fun group drive was had.

Later in the year we did a Toys for Tots drive and gathered around 600+ toys and made the local news that evening too.

So far the MINI community has lived up to it's name and rep and then some.  I'm very proud to be a part of such a diverse, unique and giving bunch of people. 


Back to my MINI and just a few things about it that I've come to realize in the last year and half.

  • Adaptive headlights are SO WORTH IT! I drive at night on some curvy roads and having your lights point to where you are steering is amazing.
  • Automatic wipers, heat are two other options well worth it.
  • New car technology has GREATLY evolved in the last 6 years.  I bought a brand new Civic Si back in 2006 and the difference and improvements in car stability control systems is amazing.  Most systems in 2006 were optional upgrades on more higher end, luxury cars.   DCT and DSC work great in the MINI and winter.
  • MINI Connected was well worth the price but there are still annoyances with it like MINI removing the best feature, Send to Car where you could send locations via Google Maps right to your MINI.  iTunes connectivity is the best part and having VIM removed is a nice bonus too (I have music videos play on long trips vs just music).
  • The automatic transmission with paddle shifters work great and if a manual driver would give it a chance may come to like it better than a stick shift.  I've driven stick most of my life (last car was a 6speed stick) and love the auto setup for traffic but ability to go into MT mode and fully control each shift point, downshift, etc.  Seriously is like stick w/o a clutch; sure I can't launch but who drag races a MINI?
  • Upgrades will become an obsession if you own a MINI. I'm still in love with my ALTA 3" JCW exhaust system and the JB+ tuner.   Here's a newer bumper cam video of it from last month.

Ultimately, the big question: Would I buy my Coupe again if I could go back in time?

YES!  I'd probably upgrade to a JCW version if I could do it again.

I LOVE MY COUPE!  MINI has stated this year that they will be ceasing production of the Coupe (R58) and the Roadster (R59) models so in turn it will become a much rare model of MINI.  There has been less than 30K sold in the world.  

If you have never driven a MINI, go test drive one!  I bet you leave with a big smile and possibly a new itch for a new fun car. :)