The MINI is everything I hoped it would be.
Very refined and quiet on the motorway.
Suspension is a little firm at lower speeds, but this does have its advantages when it comes to handling.
Styling is superb.
Although the base MINI One is a little short on extras (no CD player, air-con or alloy wheels as standard, for example), the little thoughtful design touches are great.
For example, when you open the car, the interior lights come on. When you start the engine, after a short delay they go off. When you turn the engine off at the end of your journey, they come back on again.
The car's aerodynamics means that it does tend to get dirty very quickly, especially at the back, which is unfortunate considering that the screen-wash reservoir is rather small.
The MINI is surprisingly spacious. Front passengers need have no worries, while rear passengers should be OK for short journeys.