(Disclaimer: Mini wanted me to drive this so bad, they they sold it to a rental car company, let some saps drive it for 11k km, and then rented it to me for 122.95 euros)
Upon arrival at the PMI rental counter, I was asked @5 times if I wanted to purchase the extra insurance, with the agent insisting my credit card only covered 500 usd. Right /s
I then received the keys and rental agreement with a list of previous scratches. My thoughts were “great, the beater example. My reputation proceeds me.” I approached to find the car “awesome black, so it shows every scratch”.
I proceded to leave the airport to find a supermarket. (note: supermarket in Spain isn’t larger, but more convenient store size.) this lead me to Gentilicio with a maze of one way streets, and scooters diving into gaps in traffic. “Crap should have booked a narrower car”
First impressions; No clutch feel, a stick that had an odd amount of slop.(1/8" 3mm of extra travel) and a dash that was constantly telling me to upshift. Around town the brakes seemed to be very grabby, which was a bit annoying when putting around in 30km/hr city zones.
After meeting ChinnyRaccoon, we decided on the scenic route to the Airbnb. Hustling up some narrow roads and watching how close his tires were to the edge, I thought “shit, this is 6" wider”. In the mid/normal setting the 3cly 1.5 turbo sounds like a tractor below 2000rpms. Things come a bit more alive in sport mode, the upshift notifications stoping and you can hear a little bit of turbo noise. The aggresive brakes also were appreciated when coming up to a 1st gear hairpin.
Power is 136hp 162ft/lbs of torque which is helpful with the complete lack of clutch feel.
Not much longer I notice a warning on the dash with this on the center screen. Later added some air and with Klaus Schmoll resetting allowed me to stare at options all in German.
Throughout the week, I enjoyed the cabin and handling, but despite daily hillclimbs and hundreds of 1-2-3-2-1-2-1 shits, couldn’t get used to the play in the stick to inspire confidence, without double checking the dash for which gear I was in.
Overall an enjoyable small car, with good visibility, nice interior, and good engine.