Category: Cars

Cars and car related stuff. Mostly about my MINI Cooper.

I Test Drove a Countryman (and I Liked It!)

My husband has wondered if I would really enjoy driving one, since he got one as a loaner car when he took my MINI to the dealership in May. He got his answer today. This afternoon, I took a test drive of a Countryman S All 4 and all I can say is “Holy Jesus, I want that car.”

The handling was better than I expected for a vehicle of this size. I expected it to really lean in the curves, like my husband’s SUV, but I was pleasantly surprised by how little it leaned. It is heavier than the base model Cooper that is my current daily driver, but it really seems to compensate for that elegantly. The steering is nice and crisp, the wheel turned exactly as I thought a MINI should.

When I got my MINI originally, I didn’t even bother test driving an S. I really felt at the time that I didn’t “need” the extra zip, but it was so nice to put my foot on the gas going uphill on a 20 degree incline and have the car just go.… [Read More]

MINI Almost Killed My Enthusiasm.

Those of you that are regular readers of this blog, or are personal friends, may remember that I had a really horrible service experience with my MINI dealer this past July during which they left me stranded in a motel 6 next door to a greasy spoon for 24 hours after promising me a loaner car on 3 separate occasions. You will also remember that prior to this service experience, all I did was talk about my car and how much I loved it. I’m sure you’ve noticed how much quieter I have been about my MINI lately. … [Read More]

Road Trip Hell

Given that it is a five and a half hour drive from my house to my car dealership, I’m sure you can imagine that it takes a bit of planning to get there. While in the planning stages, I made a phone call and scheduled an appointment with the service department. In this first phone call, I asked for the sunroof TSB to be applied to my car, I explained that my power windows rolled themselves down in the middle of a blizzard and that I wanted them to do an oil change and warranty service inspection. This was about a month before I intended to actually go to the dealership. I needed to get a date and time on my calendar because, with a new puppy coming home soon and two teenagers, stuff tends to fill up quickly. At this time, I told the gal on the phone to make sure that it was noted that I would need a loaner car.… [Read More]

The Truth About Aftermarket HID Conversion Kits.

One of the most popular topics I run into on car forums is the discussion of how to “upgrade” a car with aftermarket High Intensity Discharge lamps, or Xenon headlights. I find the discussion amusing, because the posters readily admit that they could have ordered their cars with the Xenon headlights in place before they took delivery, and opted not to do so in order to save a few bucks. They often find out later that not only are those aftermarket conversion kits not legal, and not DOT approved, but properly installing Xenon headlights after a car has been purchased is prohibitively expensive.… [Read More]

Viola’s New Shoes

Viola came with Goodyear Excellence run on flat tires. These tires are great for summer driving, and I liked the traction they got in the rain. I felt pretty confident driving on them until the colder temps hit, and then I felt like I was skating on dry pavement so hubby and I agreed that Viola needed dedicated snow tires.… [Read More]