Am I getting old - JAJ
On arrival at AVIS today the office had forgotten to book a rental car so I was given a choice between an Omega or a Mini Cooper. No contest I thought as I have fancied thrashing a Mini for ages.

When it comes the disappointment startes to set in as the interior is a bit tacky - aluminium is OK but aluminium coloured plastic is not. Also could not initially get comfortable and rear view mirror is tiny. Then I tried to put my bags in the boot and - well enough said - guess that is what the crazy rear seats are for.

I thought things could only get better but then I started to drive it. Very quiet and refined but god it is bumpy ! Reminds me of my old XR2/XR2i days - and that is on Madrid motorways, which compared to the UK are very smooth. Every time it hits a bump it crashes right through the cockpit leaving me feeling jarred and very unrelaxed.

The engine seems a bit gutless too. Just didn't feel to have any urge - in fact compared to some of the TDs I rent I prefer them vastly (especially the 156 with the 2.5TD). Steering feel very nice though. However the AC pump and the power steering pumps make a terrible din.

Illusions therefore broken - not sure why everyone rages about it as it just seems like no real progression from my formative years apart from the safety ones, e.g. airbags, etc. Or maybe, I don't like 'fun' things anymore and should have taken the Omega and bought some slippers and a pipe to sit in my armchair whilst reading Readers Digest !

What motoring illusions have been recently broken for you ?

On a side note - thought I had seen it all down here but was overtaken today whilst in the Mini 'approaching' 200km/h by a Mercedes pulling a trailer !
Am I getting old - Obsolete
I can direct you to Discount Zimmerframe Warehouse if you like? I know what you mean. What once seemed like fun when I was in my early 20's is now a no no. Now, where did I put my slippers ...
Am I getting old - CMark {P}
JAJ, You don't say which version you were driving but your reference to TDs implies you had the diesel Mini One D.

That _will_ feel sluggish with a peak power of just 75 bhp and a kerb weight of 1100 kg.

200 kph in a Mini One D? Either there was something wrong with your speedo [1] or that was an awfully steep hill you were driving down.

[1] which could explain why the car and trailer overtook. Or maybe not.
Am I getting old - JAJ
Sorry should have said but I was in a Mini Cooper not a diesel. Point I was trying to make is that over the last year I have been converted to the torque that a diesel produces - especially for overtaking. Most petrol engines simply don't compare.

This morning though the Mini seemed a little more fun as I was playing up and down the gearbox.
Am I getting old - DougB
JAJ

As it is a hire car it may be very low mileage and the engine and gearbox will not have'loosened up'.
I know what you mean about the ride. It is even less pleasent for the occasional passenger!

DougB
Am I getting old - Burnout2
Mmm...well whatever you think of the rest of the driving experience, the basic Cooper is undeniably no pocket rocket, and the cabin is stylistically naff. So I'd say you're just experiencing an outbreak of good taste - or would if it weren't for your incurable dervophilia.
Am I getting old - JAJ
Burnout2 - Dervophilia didn't quite get to me that much as I am relocating back to the UK and am buying a petrol A4 convertible. Diesel with the hood down just isn't right.

The Mini only has about 1100km on the clock so needs to loosen up but it just isn't fun anymore to have my fillings loosened every time I go over a bump in the road. I agree that the cabin is naff. It is all poor quality plastics which feel awful. The window switches may look good but - no one-touch function and they are a stretch to use.

It has been great fun however to do this for over a year and try a different car each week. It has been said on this site before but there is definitely "no car faster than a hire car" :)
Am I getting old - apm
I test drove a mini cooper S, and found it slower than I had anticipated. Also felt that the switchgear felt low quality, and yes, the ride is harsh (apparently specifying the 16" wheels is the way to go, the 17"s are denture-jarringly harsh). The whole experience left me underwhelmed, and I felt was rather expensive- a kitted out Cooper S came in at well over £18k. My new Leon Cupra was £3k less than that, and from a main dealer. It's also faster (or feels it, anwyay).

Alex.
--
Dr Alex Mears
Seat Leon Cupra
If you are in a hole stop digging...unless
you are a miner.

 

Value my car