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2004 Mini One

Discussion in 'off topic' started by George J, Mar 8, 2022.

  1. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    I do like this little eighteen year old Mini One. The first car I actually liked since my Volvo 240, which I parted with more than ten years ago.

    I will agree that the steering is a slightly acquired taste ... but it is precise and predictable.

    This evening I took it out for a short run on the lights. It has a very good dipped beams and wonderful full beam. Generally I hate driving in the dark, but these lights are well enough planned and built to allow comfortable night driving. The last car I had with lights this good was the Volvo, and that was made way back in 1989. It surprises me how many cars have lights that are either too bright [so the risk is of the car coming towards you cannot see enough to avoid the curb and bouncing into you], or so poor a dipped beam pattern that you really can see nothing beside the headlights coming towards you. Cars I have owned with bad lights include Nissan Micra [noddy car shape], Citroen Saxo and Skoda Fabia. Amazingly my Meastro van [ex BT used between 1993 and 1996] had superb lights, on such a basic vehicle!

    I also have had a good gander at the underside, and it is perfectly preserved without rust.

    This one is going to be with me for a while!

    Best wishes from George
    Sloop John B, Tony Lockhart and Olaup like this.
  2. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    my 2021 Cooper S, courtesy car version is going back next week. Its steering is erratic and unpredictable in the wet, it oversteers on roundabouts a bit too easily. Suspension is rock hard.

    Seats are comfy, it is exceptionally well put together, which is hardly surprising for a BMW. Switchgear is good, but the dash is confusing. Auto box is sprightly.

    I'd consider one as a retirement car, but it would need to be a fully tricked 300bhp Cooper S Countryman
  3. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    You get oversteer on roundabouts in a FWD car? How bloody fast are you driving?
    SteveS1, Sean K, Jezzer and 3 others like this.
  4. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Seeing G&T''s reply about a modern [BMW] Mini oversteering, I thought I'd add my tuppence' worth:

    The handling of my poverty spec Mini tends to neutral handling with a slight trend towards understeering, just like the BMC Mini.

    It is shod with 175/65R15 wheels and tyres. That is the smallest diameter wheel with the narrowest section and tallest tyre ever issued on the Mini One. Good for snow, and not aqua-planing, but not quite so good in perfect dry conditions ... but I never drive any where near a vehicle's limits. My own limits are far more constraining!

    The engine is quite good. Good torque, though far from being a pocket rocket in basic power tuning. I like that.

    Fuel is not astoundingly good. I seems to have managed 42 MPG according to the computer. I used to get 38 from my 240, and up to 44 on a good run. I know that is above the claimed figures for the 2.3 litre 240, but it resulted from a light throttle pedal foot!

    So efficiency-wise things have not improved all that much. Just like speakers have not improved much since the Quad ESL57.

    I'll keep this thread alive over the next few weeks with a real life review of the Mini One!

    Best wishes from George
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr, Olaup and gintonic like this.
  5. Nic Robinson

    Nic Robinson Moderator

    Would seem good advice for everyone.
  6. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Dear Nic,

    In my forty-one years of driving [firstly agricultural tractors till I passed my car licence, which qualifies me for anything up to non-HGVs!] I have never run into anything. I have been hit from behind three times. Twice driving tractors and trailers, which naturally destroyed the cars that ran into me, and once in my Volvo 240 [girl on phone not concentrating at the lights] which totalled a Vauxhall Corsa. The Volvo had a bit of Vauxhall paint to clean off the back bumper! Her engine fell onto the road - pushed off the engine mounts by the impact. I saw her coming in the mirror and let the brake off to help lessen the smash. I was a good car length behind the stationary car in front of me, and actually stationary when she bowled into me. She was crying her lunges out. It was her mother's car. Fancy explaining that ...

    I was always a cautious driver going back to the start. Poor brakes were normal on old tractors. Only two cars I have owned really gave any degree of confidence in their braking ability. The Volvo, and I am thinking the Mini may be as good.

    I used to get annoyed by people tailgating me, particularly if I happened to going at or near the legal speed limit. Nowadays I just slow down enough that the tailgater can pass easily at the first opportunity. I'd prefer the idiot in front of me!

    Best wishes from George
  7. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr neither here nor there

    I'm never sure which I prefer: the idiot in front of me so I may shortly have to deal with the aftermath of his idiocy; or the idiot behind me who may become the idiot embedded in my rear end. On balance, I'm probably with you in that I prefer them where I can see them, ahead of me.
    Garrard 401 and George J like this.
  8. George J

    George J Herefordshire member

    Funny story about the idiot in front! I was on the A44 going from Bromyard towards Worcester just by Knightwick [06:30 hours a week before the Beast from the East]. Before the Knightsford Bridge [over the River Teme] is a small lane to the right leading to Suckley, and two central keep left bollards in the road either side of the junction. I was in my old Fabia. There was about three inches of virgin snow on the road I was going about thirty miles per hour, when an Audi [probably A3, it was quite small] passed me at a good fifty on the wrong side of the bollards! I was glad to see the back of him as he had tailgated me for at least a mile before the junction, but the road is so narrow and full of bends and negative cambers that there was no chance to overtake. The bollards were put there to prevent overtaking where the idiot did. It used to be an accident black-spot.

    Anyway about half a mile and you get to Dodenham [and another quarter of mile you get to Broadwas]. Well I saw a new hole in the hedge at Dodenham Court, so I stopped and investigated. It was the Audi. The driver tried to hail me to give him a lift, but having seen he was in good health, I decided to let him rot. Was that wrong? Probably, but the feeling was satisfying, I have to admit. I guess his Audi was going nowhere as one front wing appeared to be hanging off. Hard cheese. I know the farmer so he will not have got away without a hefty bill for repairing the fence.

    Best wishes from George
  9. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    I have driven a Mini Cooper S around Donington Park circuit a few years ago, as a build up to driving a Formula Ford single seater racing car at Donny.

    The Mini was okay, although a bit of a hairdressers car.
    Not much room in it.

    But for £400 if it lasts a year, all gravy. Plus worth nearly £200 as scrap. Sounds a good deal.
    George J likes this.
  10. MUTTY1

    MUTTY1 Waste of bandwidth

    GT is your answer. Our exceptional member:)
    Nic Robinson and Ginger like this.
  11. AnilS

    AnilS pfm Member

    Given today's prices, that is an utter bargain.
  12. mark121211

    mark121211 pfm Member

    My R55 Clubman would need to be travelling dangerously fast to understeer in the dry; not so much so in the damp / wet.
  13. Olaup

    Olaup pfm Member

    A workmate yesterday bought a 2013 Toyota Aygo, 1 owner, 40175 miles, FSH, £2000 :cool:
    AnilS likes this.
  14. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    Driven a Mini Cooper S around Mallory Park but it was my own 1275 original one in the late 70's
  15. Jezzer

    Jezzer Unspecified

    Ah nice. Brings back memories of the gunmetal JCW Mini I used to own. Quite a characterful little thing. Never oversteered. Understeer and tram-lining were a problem though.
  16. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    that's the thing, understeer is easy. Wet roundabout, turn in, foot down, wahey. But oversteer in a fwd car takes some effort. You need a lot of speed and then a dab of the brakes or lift off the accelerator to get the back to step out. Easy if rwd, n not at all in a fwd car.
  17. cutting42

    cutting42 Arrived at B4 Hacker Ergo

    Very easy in a Pug 205, many young men introduced to snap liftoff oversteer and into the scenery. Tricky to counter as the instinct for most is still to lift off more rather than mashing the power to drag the car around the corner; soon learnt and almost as fun as a rwd drift.
    freefallrob likes this.
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Yes, the 205 was known for it. That was 30 years ago though, and modern chassis are more refined, in general. In addition, there's not much excuse for an experienced driver falling foul of such a thing, certainly not on a public road. I have, but I was on a track in a rwd car. I didn't do it again, and that's the place to do that sort of thing.
  19. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    I used to have a 205 Gti back in the day and it did need care if you went into a corner hot and then backed off, as it would snap into oversteer very quickly. It was replaced with a Honda Civic VTi and that was easy easier to provoke and then control lift-off oversteer in.

    It's quite a while since I've done much mileage in a FWD car so don't really know how modern stuff compares.
  20. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    For most modern cars, even with all electronic stability etc switched ‘off’ you’ll still be looked after by them. Also, modern hot hatches are so bloody quick that I doubt many of us would want them going into any sort of slide on a dry and grippy road.
    stevec67 likes this.

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