in for repairs. Hopefully, she gets better, and hopefully, it's not gonna cost an arm and a leg. Meanwhile, they gave me a car to tool around in. They weren't supposed to, but I think they're trying to buy a new one. I can't get rid of Itsuki-chan, but this new girl is fun to drive around in.
What you see here is the Mini Cooper Coupé S
in a gaudy light blue. It's almost like the standard Mini Cooper S, but only two seats, 3/4 of the height, and more claustrophobic. It's like a small closet. The ceiling is close to your head even cranking the seat down as far it goes. I'm 5'9" and my head nearly touches the roof. They've accommodated your head with little functional alcoves on the ceiling, but I think if you're tall, you're gonna be ducking a lot.
The most aggravating aspect of the coupé is lack of sight lines. The rear window is small and when the spoiler extends at 51 MPH the view out back is even more obscured. The B and C pillars block the view when trying to backup. It's small inside and hard to see out.
Yet, it still a fun little ride. Compared to Itsuki-chan, it's feels more agile. Perhaps this is because it is more rigid being smaller and lacking the sunroof. It goes into corners just as confidently as Itsuki-chan, but without the LSD that Itsuki-chan has, it doesn't pull as smoothly. There's some spinning.
The coupé has about the same options as mine, maybe. The interior is black which makes the plastic look much, much better. The radio integrated into the center speedometer is better designed with both the On button and the volume button adjacent to each other rather than the way it is on mine with one down below the CD player and the other on the speedometer itself. Mini is putting better effort in making the fit of the car better. It's come a way from my Itsuki-chan, but it feels just about worth its price.
The coupé is also a sport automatic. It's got paddle shifters on the steering column, or you can shift on the gear selector. It's weird because I can drive most other automatics, but in a Mini Cooper, I have to use the sport shifting.
When you drive a sport automatic, the ECU controls the shift points. I've put her into 'sport' mode during my drives hoping it would be almost manual, but the ECU kicks in and makes shifts when I don't want it to, especially when slowing down. The ECU doesn't help with the shifting; it hinders it when you're used to manual.
I also miss neutral, an essential gear on a manual. In a manual, you can take the car out of gear while coasting. In this special automatic, there is no neutral to get to when needed. It's always in gear. That's why its tough to drive when I'm used to manual. I like to coast in neutral sometimes and it's just not available.
I hope Itsuki-chan will be better. This dalliance is great fun, but I want her back.
Labels: automotive, mini, review