March 23, 2010 in Random
So here’s the setup… Quick, maneuverable and fun with a cool aesthetic… That’s what I generally like in a car. So from their debut close to a decade ago, I had wanted a Mini Cooper S to call my own. And a during the madness of Thanksgiving weekend shopping in 2007, I made that wish a reality: a fully loaded electric blue Mini Cooper S with a 6 speed gearbox, 17″ wheels and that gigantic sunroof…
It’s now going on 3 years later and I’m starting to look around for a new ride. I’m still looking for something that’s quick, maneuverable and fun with a cool aesthetic, but this time with the addition of practicality (at least a little bit more than my Mini). I definitely love certain things about my car (fast acceleration via the supercharger, ability to take quick corners, general design & uniqueness), but there are definitely some big reasons why I’m not likely to get another one…
- The Upkeep Cost:
Unfortunately, one of the things that I love about my Cooper S, its relative uniqueness, is also the cause of one of my biggest frustrations with it as well… Until recently, I was forced to go to the Mini/BMW dealership for everything related to the maintenance of my car. I couldn’t even get oil changes (a $200 job at the dealer) done by third-party shops because most refused to work on Minis due to the need of specialty tools and experience (that is until I met Bogi and her crew at 180 Automotive). And with relatively few aftermarket parts available, most replacement parts have to come via Mini no matter where you get the work done ($$$$$$).
- The Everyday Ride Quality:
While I love the racing-type, stiff suspension on my car for taking a corner at 60, going over anything but the smoothest roads (not to mention speed-bumps or potholes) can be rather annoying after a while.
- The Space Constraints:
Yeah, okay… You’re probably already saying, “Well, duh. You bought a Mini. It’s in the name.” And for the most part, it’s usually not that much of an issue. For seating, it’s usually just me (very comfortable for my 6′ 2″ frame) or me with 1 other person, but trying to fit a snowboard or bag of golf clubs into the car can be more difficult.
So after a bit of thought and internet research, I’ve narrowed the search to 3 possible car contenders… A 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 (the 262 Hp, turbocharged version of the normal 3), a 2009+ Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart (the 237 Hp, turbocharged, AWD, not-quite-Evo version of the normal Lancer), and a 2008+ Subaru Impreza WRX (the 265 Hp, turbocharged, AWD version of the normal Impreza)… Now it’s time for the fun part. Test driving!Share
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