Mini for Christmas

Marita may never own a car (she doesn’t need one), but she likes (new) Minis. Always spots them on the road.

So I got her one for Christmas.

Mini Cooper

Well, for a day. Hertz offer them as part of their “fun collection“, so I reserved one and went along on Wednesday to pick it up. Despite the posters on the wall at Hertz saying “Every second counts”, they had a very long queue due to computer problems, but eventually I got it and drove over to Marita’s to pick her up.

I had told her to expect me at 11:30, but hadn’t told her what I would bring, and it did manage to catch her by surprise.

We jumped in and went for a spin to see her brother and his girlfriend fiancรฉe down in Cape Paterson, which is past Wonthaggi.

If you’re driving to Cape Paterson, be aware that Mr Google doesn’t know about the roundabout outside the Wonthaggi hospital. If you think that’s the roundabout referred to, and follow the directions and take the third exit, eg turn right, you’ll end up near the Desalination Plant and the nearby wind turbines, which are impressive, but not where we wanted to go.

Wind farm near Wonthaggi

We had a nice afternoon tea, a walk around the beach, and then drove back into Melbourne.

The next morning, before returning the car, we had a nice little drive around the place… up Beach Road, through Elwood, along Acland Street, that One Sweet Promenade, then around Albert Park Lake, back to Beach Road and through Port Melbourne, over the Westgate and back again, and along St Kilda Road, before filling it up and taking it back to Hertz, where for the second day in a row, they had a queue out the door (which fortunately we could avoid this time).

Marita driving the Mini

The Mini is a heck of a lot of fun. Very nice to drive, very zoomy, and seems as economical as my Astra (eg, very). And of course it looks great. Quite comfortable, too… at least in the front.

On the down side, there’s virtually no room in the back seats, unless you’re going to limit yourself to carrying only amputee midgets. In practical terms it’s clearly a vehicle for 1-2 people max. Ditto, very little room in the boot. The speedometer is in the middle of the front console, so you have to keep looking across to check your speed. This version didn’t have cruise control, though I would assume some do.

I don’t think I’d want to own one (it just wouldn’t be practical), but it was great fun for a day.