I bought the Avensis at the start of May, after unfortunately losing my Rover 25 in a crash (that thread also exists somewhere). I drove it daily to and from college and work and everything was fine until about 2 weeks ago, when I started to get a bit bored of the overall driving experience it delivered (being an old turbodiesel saloon). Around this time, I saw a friend’s K11 Nissan Micra and got a bit envious and I decided that I really wanted a small, fun car again. I went to go and look at a 2002 Nissan Micra, but it was rotten as fuck (as they all seem to be these days). After that heartbreak, I went home and began looking for cars, with my search criteria being:
- 3 doors
- Very small
- Somewhat unique
Now, I’ve never been particularly attracted to BMW Minis, but once I started looking at the R50 Minis I really did start to like them a bit. Certain quirks like the frameless doors, the centre speedometer and the fact that Rover was behind basically the whole development process really helped to sell it to me. After finally finding one that didn’t cost £2000 with 150k miles, I went to go and look at one IRL.
Immediately after climbing into this car, I knew it was the car for me. There’s just something about the R50 Mini that really appealed to me, and I’m not quite sure what it is. Whether it’s the low budget premium feel, the size, the strange sense of sportiness or what, I don’t really know.
Anyway, fast forward a couple of weeks to the present day. I’ve done about 1,000 miles in it already, almost all of which has just been me having fun on country roads. Even with the crappy off-brand tyres on it, the car sticks to the road like no other budget hatch can, and it even feels weirdly powerful with just 90hp from its 1.6L engine (the One is a de-tuned version of the Cooper, which produces 115hp). The exhaust is quiet when you want it to be, but when you put your foot down in any gear it produces a very nice, decently loud growl which actually manages to turn heads and it somehow even manages to pop and crackle at high RPM. str8 racecar bruv.
Anyway, I intend to keep this car for a long time, and as such I have many (expensive) plans for it. It’s already had a service including fresh brake fluid & gearbox oil (old stuff was black, don’t know how either me or the car didn’t die tbh) and a K&N panel filter, so it shouldn’t blow up anytime soon. Fingers crossed
Oh and for those interested (nobody), the Peugeot is still waiting for a coolant hose after the last time it wet itself on the garage floor. Should be fine to drive
or sell after that.