I went in pretty much knowning I wanted a mini cooper. I was able to find a nice 2004 with what I wanted. One of the main things is I had to get a manual transmission as I heard the CVTs from that year are notorious for going out early. I'm able to get around ~350 miles per tank if I'm doing a lot of highway driving. One thing I like is the on board computer will calculate your average MPG as you drive. Straight, flat highway I can get about 36 mpg. Overall my mix of driving leaves me at ~30 mpg through the life of a tank. It is a mini cooper so the trunk space is pretty limited. I'm 6 ft 1 though and driving it is still plenty comfortable. It has pretty tight suspension and you feel every bump in the road. Whether or not that is a pro or con is open to interpretation. Shortly after I got it I had some issues with the power steering going in & out. They weren't able to reproduce the problem when I brought it in but has been holding up since so I'll just keep my fingers crossed on that one.
Even though I am 6'2", I easily fit in the Mini. Now, no one can sit behind me so basically I have a three seater. Driving a Mini is a blast. It's kind of like driving a sports car. Wait... it really is. I loved my F1 50 until I had to go to the store and park it in the parking lot or in the garage, go to the gas station, pay the monthly bill, or go slowly around corners.
Sure, it's a small car. It looks different. But that's what makes a Mini so memorable. It doesn't have a lot of space but more than enough for a couple of weekend bags and a few cases of wine. Its engine won't out-muscle the monsters from Detroit but do you really want to base your own performance and identity on something so...inflated? Borrowed from the Brits and born of a unique engine, the Mini is a sensible car with a growing following of loyal supporters. It drives like a go-kart and when was the last time someone was miserable after driving one of those? Exceptional handling, better-than-average gas mileage, and a style that defies most labels, this is a car for the individual.