Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Mini Coupe S

Price: Far to much.  But then again, it IS a Mini
Power: Plenty for its size
Sex Appeal: If you have the hots for teenagers with backward hats, then you are in luck!!!

If you want a Mini, you want a Mini.  I learned this when my sister bought her Mini Cooper S.  You throw out all reason, any sense of frugality, and plenty of better options for the sake of driving, and owning, a Mini.  Don't get me wrong, Mini makes a great car.  It is fast, economical, and pretty sexy looking (usually).  However, I only see there are two justifications for buying a Mini: 1) You REALLY FREAKIN want one, or 2) You have more money than you know what to do with.

On paper, buying a Mini is ok, until you look at the options list.  What should be a 25K car ends up costing well over 30K at any dealer because of the very few options they tack on.  This is a product of being owned by BMW, who LOVES to lure you in with a base price then hits you with several "packages" that add close to 10K for the base price.

I've driven several Minis before and I've always enjoyed the experience, so I have no doubt that this car will go like stink and handle well to boot.  I just don't see the reason for spending a bunch of money on a teenager witha  backwards hat.  I wish I could say I came up with that analogy but unfortunately Mini already has that honor.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mini itself thinks it looks like a cool kid with a backwards hat.  Lord help the future of all cars.

My only exposure to this car was sitting in this car at the San Diego Car show.  It looks and feels just like a Mini.  It has more blind spots than normal and absolutely NO trunk space so I really don't see the point.  Get a regular Mini Cooper S.  Same price but is slightly, and I mean slightly, more usable.  Otherwise, I would wait for the convertible version of the Coupe which I know will show up sometime.  But even then, it will still be a 30+ thousand dollar mini competitor.  But then again, if you like Mini......

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Subaru WRX

Price: USED to be be reasonable
Power: Lots and lots of it.
Sex Appeal: Ill leave that for you to decide.  If you have testosterone It will appeal to you.  Otherwise I have a feeling the best you can come up with is "nice rims."

I've wanted a Subaru WRX for years and years now.  I tried back in 2006 when I got my first car and they were conveniently out of them. I tried a couple years later and, again, they were out.  In the end I have come to determine that this car doesn't actually exist.  Ok that is a slight exaggeration.  What that really means is that this car is extremely popular with today's youth, and for good reason.  There are very few cars that offer as much "car" for the money as this one.

Since it started its life as a rally car, the WRX comes with all wheel drive (standard), and a big, bad ass motor.  Up until 2009, this mean about 220 hp.  In 2009, "Bad ass" became around 265 hp.  A reasonable number but what was really impressive was its performance.  A special little combination between the power, the all wheel drive, and the transmission made this car faster than pretty much anything on the road.  It went 0-60 faster than a BMW M3, Mustang GT, Nissan 370Z, and the list goes on.  The best part?  All this fun could be yours for 25 thousand bucks.

Last weekend I went to the San Diego car show.  What did I find there? A WRX that was cooler than ever.  They took the body kit from the STI (Its MUCH more expensive and powerful counterpart) and put it on the WRX.  So now it looks even cooler.  What wasn't so cool? Subaru decided to be lame and start overcharging for the WRX.  It is 30 thousand bucks now, for no particular reason.  You could argue that the performance is worth the money, but drivers spend most of their time inside the car.  What is inside this car? Crap.  Lots and lots of crap. You open the door and slide into a realm of cheap plastic, no technology to speak of, 3 different shades of grey, and boredom.

I would still get this given the opportunity, but the price bump and the lack of anything even reasonably nice on the inside really keeps me depressed.