test drive

miniSWe’ve started discussing getting me a car here since we will be staying for quite some time now. The possibilities are endless. Truth be told though, I’ve always had my eye on one car in particular, the Mini Cooper S. This desire is based purely on aesthetics. I can admit to this. Ever since the mini cooper made its appearance worldwide, I’ve been enamored by its look.

I went for a test drive today. Now, I have test driven the Mini before. A few years ago, back in 2009, when I was in the market to get a new car and I was still living in California. I was commuting many miles and my current car was starting to cost me a lot of money, both in gas and maintenance. In the end, I bought a hybrid vehicle which I still own today, but is being taken care of by my in laws back in the states. Truth be told, part of the reason why I never ended up buying a Mini was the poor customer service. Maybe its because they are on the same lot as BMW, but they were not very friendly helping me in my interest for a Mini and I found this to be true at several dealerships, not just the one I had a test drive with. They seemed to be highly under staffed with the sales men only having interest in pushing the BMW sales.

My experience today was much different. In fact, it kind of blew me away at how different it was from the states to test drive a car. We did have a scheduled appointment, but once I showed up, I was basically handed the keys and told the basic functions of the car. After that, it was just myself and my husband and the car. We were allowed to just drive it off of the lot and take it for a spin. They never once asked to see my drivers license! We were given the Cooper S convertible to drive.

At first, I had to get used to driving a manual again. I haven’t driven a manual since 2009 and the manual I did have was only a 5 speed, not a 6. So the reverse was in a different position than I was initially used to. It didn’t take me long to get back into the hang of things. Truth be told, the last car I did own and learned how to drive manual on, had a very “tight box”. My old car was a Saturn Ion Redline. I loved that car.

It was very fun taking the Mini out for a spin. There are a lot of design features that one would have to get used to with it. The model I drove felt a bit cramped even for me, but then again, I didn’t have the luxury of settling in and making the car my own. I do know that I would not buy a 2 seater (which is what I test drove), but a 4 seater. The little extra space is very important to me. I’d like to be able to have my dog with me and she must ride in the back seat.

My husband is pretty much giving me the luxury of, if I want this car, it’s mine. It doesn’t need to be practical, since his car will always be the more practical of the two. This car will be mine and just mine. I suppose this is hard for me to grasp. I’m not an impractical person. I am Swiss after all; it’s in my blood to be efficient and practical. Though I can name a handful of things a small car like this can’t do ( like pick up more than one person at the airport with lots of luggage), my husband’s car will always fit those needs. Essentially, my husband is telling me, “Who cares? Get a car you want and have fun with it!” This is hard for me to accept. Mostly because it doesn’t sit well with me to be driving around in a sporty car on his dime while he has more of the “family” car. I suppose I should just relax and enjoy my husband doing this for me. I’ll learn.

I am wondering if I should just go for it. I’ve always wanted the Mini and I certainly enjoyed driving it today. Plus, now is the proper time for me to own one. It suits our current lifestyle. We live in a small country that truly favors smaller cars. I knew that if I were to get a car here, it would be a small model. If we were to ever move back to the states, I’m not sure I would own a Mini there. So in all honesty, now is the time for me to indulge.

I think the question now is…. Do I get a manual or an automatic? Automatic certainly makes driving easier, not having to worry about changing gears or stalling out. However, the Cooper S is meant to be fast and fun to drive and a manual is really the proper way to go on that aspect. I may need to think on it some more.

© Semi-Charmed Life


6 thoughts on “test drive

  1. Wow, what a day you’ve had! I think you answer many of your own questions in this post alone. Yes, it’s time to indulge considering once you’re back in the states {whenever that is} you’ve already decided this is the car you wouldn’t have.

    Your hubby is clearly taking steps to help you to integrate a lot more. Help you to feel a lot more freedom. Not to have to ride the bus with those pesky school children 😉 He’s giving you a beautiful lifeline to add to this semi~charmed life.

    Grab it with both hands darling.

    Pea ~x~

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