When we drove to Publix this afternoon there was a MINI that I of course had to park next to; we chatted to the owner for a short time and complimented each other’s car choices. After shopping, the MINI had gone and a much bigger vehicle had taken it’s place!
It’s been more than a year now since I bought my Clubman, and it’s been wanting an oil change for a while – much less than 5,000 miles, but due to time:
Clubman wants oil change
There’s also a not very urgent recall; so this afternoon I took it to Orlando MINI; Anthony had arranged a loaner for me – another Clubman, though rather different colors (and an automatic transmission):
Loaner Clubman, creamy white
Loaner Clubman, purple interior!
Loaner Clubman, automatic transmission
It’s a creamy white color, which is ok – but it appears to have purple leather seats! Surely a mistaken order (no idea what the color is officially called, don’t really care because I’d never order it).
The center display is smaller than I’m used to, without navigation, and the head up display is missing, but with an iPhone cable I had no problem playing my music on the way home …
Loaner Clubman, smaller center display
I was convinced, driving home, that it must be a Cooper because it seemed to be way down on performance compared to my car – but it is an S, so maybe the automatic transmission has a big effect (perhaps it would be better in sport mode, which I didn’t use).
I took pictures of a few showroom MINIs while I was at the dealership, including this strangely wrapped-with-matte (old model) Countryman, and a nice looking (new model) Convertible:
It’s nice to have a loaner available, not something I ever had at MINI Peabody!
We learned today of a MINI drive nearby, so I washed my car and we headed down to Championsgate to meet everyone – and there was a good turnout of 15+ MINIs there!
I took a photo of each MINI individually, just like the old days!
Once everyone had arrived, we set off on a maybe 20 minute drive, over to food trucks in Kissimmee – complete with reserved parking for our group!
Good fun to join some MINIs again! Thanks to Joey for organizing 🙂
I have no interest in going back to a Countryman – my Clubman is a very fine MINI; but it’s interesting to compare the newest vehicle. I’ve not seen the new Countryman, but comparing dimensions on the MINIUSA website indicates that it’s built on the same chassis / wheelbase, and that it’s almost 5″ taller – but even with that extra height, front head and shoulder space is basically identical; and the Countryman has taken away an inch of front legroom, to provide more rear space!
Countryman Clubman comparison
(new Countryman on the left, 2016 Clubman on the right)
So the Countryman is a better choice if you need the rear space – but the Clubman is a better choice for no more than one passenger. Interesting too to note that the Countryman S now includes automatic transmission (only the ALL4 S can have manual transmission).
UPDATE: MotoringFile can written about this too; it’s interesting how they favor the Countryman, only writing what’s “more” …
With working from home, a three week trip to Africa last year, and other reasons, my Clubman hasn’t done many miles in it’s first year!
I’ve posted a few Apple Memories creations from the new iOS 10 Photos feature; today it created this good set of memories from this date back in 2004, a MINI rally organized by MINI Peabody at their original US Route One location:
Here is a link to the original entry.
Shortly after I bought my Clubman, I got a couple of new car surveys including one from JD Power – today I got another one, but it really wasn’t about my Clubman this time even though it pretended to be!
The survey started normally, asking about my experiences with the car and moving on to experiences with service at the dealership – but it then moved to asking lots of questions about tires, brands, etc. The paperwork even included an area to encourage me to gather tire data(?)
At least they paid me $1 for my effort!