Just a really small one.
The soon-to-be-Mrs. PG and I picked up this 2008 Cooper S on Friday. It's in fantastic shape outside, inside and mechanically considering it's five years old. We got a great deal from the folks at Mini of Alexandria, who were among the most straight-shooting car dealers I've met.
We like to rag on Mini a lot over their weird product decisions and newfound love affair with crossover SUV-things like the Countryman and Paceman, but I've always found the Cooper S hatchback to be a first-rate funmobile. This thing makes you drive like a hooligan for sure. It's surprisingly quick, handles extremely well for a front driver, comes with some decent equipment and is pretty practical. It's also absurdly easy to park and returns great fuel economy, which is also kind of nice.
It's also great because for the first time in a year, I have my own car again. Mrs. PG and I moved to the District from Texas last year and sold our cars (including my beloved old WRX, sniff) thinking we could depend on D.C. public transportation, press cars for Jalopnik and car sharing services like Zipcar to get around. That plan failed miserably for a lot of reasons. Now we own a car again and it's fucking awesome.
Anyway, I can't wait to get to know the Cooper S — whom Mrs. PG has named "James Hunt" — a little better. If anyone has experience with these cars, I'd love to hear it.