I have a dilemma. I traded my sweet, sweet baby (BMW 335) last year for a family wagon (4Runner) because I have a one year old, another on the way at the end of March, and a dog to haul around. The 4Runner is my daily. My lovely wife has an '08 Focus. Soon it will no longer make sense for me to drive the 4Runner daily - I commute 15 miles each way, and there is no point logging unnecessary miles to let the T4R sit in my office parking lot all day while my wife tries to cram kids and a dog in her Focus. So I'll be taking her car. Her Focus is a fine vehicle, low miles for the year (60k), but its boring and I'm not thrilled about driving it because I want something with a bit of character, even though I'll just be using it primarily to commute. I previously drove a GTI for 7 years and then two different 335s for 6 years, so a Focus sedan is a big step back in the "fun" department. I should also mention that I have a '95 F150 that I share with my dad as a "spare" vehicle that's practical, gets used a few times a month, and we tinker with it.

My plan was to trade the Focus for something fun with good MPG, that can still fit two car seats and a stroller in a pinch. Was looking at GTI's, older A3s, 4 door Coopers, Focus ST, X1. When fortuitously, in my daily perusal of car ads, I stumbled across a 2004 Cooper S with 100k on it for around $5,000, a bargain. (not pictured, but similar) Appears to be one owner. Manual. Clean history. But it's a two door and totally impractical for child seats. However, I've been doing my research on getting into SCCA Solo events and an old manual Mini would be perfect for that duty.

So here's my problem. I can't justify ditching the practicality of a 4 door Focus that can carry kids for a 2 door Mini that's 4 years older and has an extra 40k on the clock. BUT, the Mini gets great mileage and would be a good commuter. It's also fun, and some quick research on parts/maintenance shows it's reasonably cheap to wrench on. And I can buy it cash, and it appears to be below market at the current price. However, it is totally unnecessary to have 4 cars, especially when the Focus would purely serve as kid transport on very rare occasions when the T4R is not available. I'm pretty conservative and tend to make rational (boring) decisions, but I'm really tempted to have a "spare" Mini.

SO, talk me into OR out of a poor decision.