| | On the road--First Impressions
I had the pleasure this week of taking the Cooper on the highway to Charleston, some 200 miles away. In my 2 weeks of ownership, this is unfortunately the first opportunity to get the car out on the road for an extended time. Let me share some of my first impressions, especially with those in the group who are considering the purchase of a Mini and have concerns about taking the car on long freeway trips. In short, the drive was great fun, even on the freeway.
Main impression: the car is rock solid. The ride is firm but comfortable. There is no vibration or excessive noise. Steering is straight and accurate. Drive-By-Wire throttle was responsive, even in 5th gear.
Cruise control is very easy to use and speed is well maintained.
The car rides like a much larger car. It is not intimidating to pass or be passed by large trucks. This was of some concern before I bought the car.
I highly recommend the Sport package for the excellent Sport seats. The leather Sport seats were exceptionally comfortable over the long haul. The lumbar support control helped make the ride more restful. I really didn't miss the armrest, although I am sure it would have been a plus. I rather did miss having room in the front cupholders for a full size cup. Any container larger than a 12-ounce soft drink can is too big.
I enjoyed the base stereo system/CD player. Radio reception was much better than other European cars I've had. The stereo system fingertip controls on the steering wheel were super. The automatic climate control provided constant temperature throughout the day.
Gas mileage was over 30 mpg. I wish the OBC gave us more information on economy other than the overall average mpg from the beginning of time. I can't figure out yet how to reset the OBC settings. That information is not in the Owner's Manual, that I could find it.
Most importantly, the car "arrives" as well as it travels. People on the relatively crowded streets in Charleston reacted very positively to the car.
Pure Silver/Black Cooper