Thanks Paul, I agree it will be difficult to give driving impressions of a car that has not been released, that was why I was asking for Mini driving impressions in general. If the members reported similar general impressions of a Mini 2 then we would take a note of these when we took our next drive, notchy gearbox, turbo lag, noisy over bumps, stiff clutch or what ever. Just things we could look out for.
I can tell you about my MINI Cooper (petrol not diesel)
1) Powerful enough to be good fun
2) Averaging 38 mpg over the first 1,800 miles
3) No rattles or odd noises
4) Gearbox is 'snick snick' smooth between all gears - addictive
5) Handles bumps perfectly fine - ride is smooth on standard 15 inch wheels with normal tyres (not runflats)
6) Clutch is nicely weighted, but has quite a long travel - be careful to make sure you press it right into the carpet before changing gear, or you might find the gearbox harder work than it really is.
7) Brakes are fiercely strong !
Things to look out for
a) Bonnet alignment especially over front wheel arches can be poor
b) Bonnet release catch can be extremely stiff
c) Electric door mirrors sometimes reluctant to move
d) Takes a little while to get the seat in the right position
e) Air conditioning works, but is not particularly powerful
f) Radio sound quality is not brilliant - lacking in bass
g) Drivers side carpets move around a lot - make sure it doesn't obstruct the pedals
h) The seatbelt can get trapped between the door moulding and the rear plastics - there is a sliding plastic clip which you can adjust to stop this happening
i) Use the gears - performance can be poor if you labour the engine - may be different in the Diesel
j) Warning light for boot open might come on - switch is too sensitive out of the factory
k) Standard headlights are rotten - you need Xenon's if you intend to drive at night - trust me on this one thing if nothing else
And finally - a more massive car with larger crumple zones is safer than a lighter car with smaller crumple zones. Don't say I didn't tell you !