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Cars Worth Noting: 2003 Mini One D

2003 Mini One D

Having finally driven the supercharged Mini Cooper S only days before, I was excited when Bosch gave me the keys to a Mini One D. Before turning the key I couldn’t help but wonder if the drop from 163 to 75 hp was going to ruin the Mini experience.

It didn’t.

First gear is nowhere near as exciting in the diesel as it is in the S, the rest of the ride is still just as smile inducing. Second gear was better and third gear had significantly more snap.

The handling characteristics felt just as good as the ‘S’ and once up to highway speeds, I decided to open the panoramic sunroof. The rush of fresh air really enhanced the go kart feel of the car.

On surface streets, I found the controls to be very well placed, namely the window controls which sit directly at your fingertips when your hand is resting on top of the shift knob at a stoplight.

I marveled at the vast amount of interior space, even within this small package. Being that I’m 6’6 and of lineman-esque dimensions, I still had no problem with head and leg room or entering and exiting the vehicle. Now that’s engineering.

While this car is destined only for Europe, there would likely be a place for it in the U.S. market. The pricing of the diesel option would be an important consideration, but might not make or break the decision to buy because of the money recouped in gas savings.

The Mini’s ‘fun factor’ and the economy of the diesel (in this case nearly 50mpg) will speak to anybody who is looking for a cool car and some relief from regular gasoline pricing.

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Mon. July 15th, 2024

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