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My MINI experience
I was all set to purchase a (used Lexus 200H Hybrid. It seemed to fit all my needs, that being that I could fit my bike into it, and since I do small around town driving, the hybrid function would be better on fuel. For a year, I looked at them online, red reviews and did the cars.com search to see how the market for used Lexus looked while waiting for the right time to make my purchase. Then the moment arrived, via my '03 Saab needing a lot of work. I took the plunge and when to the nearest dealership. They had about 30 variations of grey, black, and silver Lexus Hybrids on the lot. However, none had the leather interior package I was looking for. This meant that I would look further, but at least since I was there, I'd take the test drive. What can I say about the test drive but "meh?" My other cars have all been 2-door sporty or coup style cars, so 5 doors would be big style change. But really, sitting in the car, it just didn't "fit" in a way that I liked. First time I sat a Saab 93 I new "I have to have this car!" But wasn't getting that vibe from the Lexus.
How important is car style? My feeling is that life is to short to be stuck in a car that I don't like. Though I don't drive much, when on the freeway it can seem like your trapped for hours so why not enjoy the vehicle. I thought maybe if I drove a Lexus with the leather interior, or maybe came back on another day, I'd get used to it, appreciate the 200 h more. As we finished the test drive and were walking back into the cool confines of the dealership (and this place was like a large corporate monolith of a dealership), I noticed, sitting on a corner parking space, away from all the other cars, a little red Mini Coupe. Small, cute, tempting, I had to drive it. So we test drove it. While I did not like the ride to much (it wasn't the S model which has more "upmph") I liked the ergonomics. It fit, I was more relaxed driving it. And at $13K, it would be a nice quick solution to my current car status.
But buying a car is a big decision for me as I keep them minimum of 10 years ( the Saab is at 10 years exactly), I decided to do some more research into various Mini models before making a purchase.
Onward to my next test drive - the MINI lot!
ps I"m getting the Saab repaired while looking for the Mini ; )