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Our Mini One has been in the family now for 3 plus years so we do know about this car. I admit that I fell in love with the car and although I would really have loved a Cooper, practical considerations (learner driver) dictated the One.
It is a fun little car to drive that exudes quality of build and really makes your 'feel good'. I always like hoping in the Mini to nip to the shops or for the long commute - I regularly did the Lake District to Bristol run in the car and found it no problem at all. The seats are good and the car is easy to drive with all the goodies that make such journeys comfortable.
We did have some extras on our car - CD player, rev counter and trip computer etc. Did not go for any of the handling packages so don't know if they make a big difference.
Reliability has been very good. Of course what you would expect from a BMW. One grip is the cost of spares. We had the drivers door mirror stolen from outside the house - now who would steal a door mirror for heaven's sake - well I know why now - Over £100 for a new one and fitting - I have to say that is over the top in my opinion for a car of this nature.
The Mini is not perfect - what is. The internal size is really pretty small - not much more than the original yet the car is big on the outside. The Mini was the same size as our LWB Mercedes-Benz A Class!
Overall though I have to say if space is not your prime concern then put this car in your consider list. It offers a lot of driver reward and that, in my book, counts for a lot.