Our cars: Mini Coupe - August
Week ending August 31
Driven this week 502 miles
Mini Coupe review
Call the bugler, for today is a sad day – the day my beloved JCW goes back to Mini.
I'm going to miss this car desperately. It made me smile on every single journey throughout the year, and on my last day with the car, it was getting just as many admiring glances as it was on the first.
I actually have a lump in my throat just thinking about handing over the keys. I know the car is only a lump of metal and plastic, but it's one that has its own fun-loving character, a character to which I've formed a real emotional attachment.
Goodbye old friend, you'll be sorely missed.
Ivan's Mini Coupe on video
MiniWeek ending August 24
Driven this week 700 miles
After 16,000 miles of (pretty hard) use, the Mini's servicing light came on, and it has now had its first routine overhaul. Barons Mini in Farnborough, Hampshire (01252 520500) did the work, and because I'd specified the TLC servicing pack (which covers all servicing costs for the first five years/50,000 miles for a one-off fee), I didn't part with any cash on the day. It also meant I didn't have to bother shopping around for quotes. At £275, TLC is a must for any Mini buyer, because it really helps keep down your costs.
The customer service I experienced at Barons was pretty good, too. The staff members were polite and the work ran to schedule. The garage couldn't supply me with a replacement car, but that was more my fault than theirs - I needed the work done at short notice.
I also asked Barons to fix a couple of things under warranty while the car was in. A persistent rattle from the parcel shelf has been testing my patience for months, and the ticking noise that accompanies the flash of my indicators has stopped working altogether. The technicians managed to sort the rattle, but were completely flummoxed by the indicators. They're now in the process of contacting Mini UK to ask for a solution, but it'll be touch and go on whether I'll be able to make it back to the dealer before the car goes back next week.
Week ending August 17
Driven this week 500 miles
I've said in previous reports that the Mini Coupe looks even sharper than normal when its retractable spoiler is up, but unfortunately, this has a big impact on your rearward visibility.
You see, the Coupe's rear view is already pretty rubbish due to the letterbox-like rear window and thick rear pillars. Then, when the spoiler rises automatically at 50mph, it eats into your rear view even further.
Week ending August 3
Total mileage 14,735
Driven this week: 101 miles
I've had a particularly busy car-testing schedule over the past couple of weeks, and with all the different cars I've been driving, I've hardly been near the Mini. I've really missed it.
This is more than a little worrying. It's not long now until my time with the car comes to an end, and if I miss it this much after a fortnight, what's life going to be like when it's gone for good?