Review of "Rover Mini 1.3"

published 02/09/2001 | pink
Member since : 25/07/2001
Reviews : 42
Members who trust : 9
About me :
Pro FUN FUN me Do, Unsafe
Cons Doesn't work that well, Unsafe
very helpful
Road Handling
Fuel consumption

"I've got a BIG ONE"

Really, I *DO* have a big one, it's bigger than most peoples. It's not massive, but it is big all the same.

To be honest I'm not sure if I could even change a tyre on a car, so I'm probably a fraud for daring to write here at all. One thing I do know though is what it's like to drive a Mini. Since passing my test (first time may I modestly add) back in June 2000 I have almost permanently been on the road in my mum's Mini.

Sadly it's only a Mini Sprite, a more middle-aged model than the glorious Cooper. All the same it IS a Mini and Minis are the coolest cars on the road. Well perhaps a Beetle might just win that title, but hey a Mini would wipe the floor with a Beetle in a race so let's not worry about that for now. In fact you'd be surprised at how fast Minis go, of course they lack high top speeds but for racing in a more built up area or from side-by-side at the traffic lights a Mini can often fly away and get in front. Not that you'd race of course, not that I'd ever race of course. That would be silly and childish.

The Mini is a God of the roads, it is the lasting memory of all things "British". The car is summed up by one little word: Eccentric. It arrived before the Beatles (band) and it shall remain after Hear'Say. Yet throughout all that time it has managed to remain cool. Seriously, think of watching TV programmes from the 70s or 80s or even 90s and seeing the cars. They always look so dated now, yet the Mini has never dated. Okay so they've just made a new version, but that's just because corporations are scared of eccentricity in this globalised market. A Mini still looks good, always has and always will.

(for my Mini)
Engine: 1.1litre *BEAST*
Top Speed: the one just before you die
Other: well, it's a car and it "goes"

Okay but what about the cold reality? You know that things are never all rosy; the world sucks too much for anything to ever be all-good. Well certainly my Mini and thus I can only presume other Minis never seems to fully work. There's always something broke or not working and the moment you get it fixed something somewhere else goes. Brakes in particular have always been a problem for me.

The first time I ever went for a drive alone, after I'd past my test was quite interesting. It shouldn't have been interesting of course; you don't want it to be interesting. You want it to be safe and easy whilst you get used to not having someone there telling you what to do. Ah ha but my darling Mother had neglected to tell me that the Handbrake didn't work. Brilliant! A new driver tends to need the handbrake waiting on a hill to turn. Anyhow ever since the handbrake has been fixed and gradually becomes less and less effective, though we tend not to leave it until it doesn't work at all anymore.

More importantly though is the footbrake. The same story there I'm afraid, it works for a while and then gradually becomes less and less effective. I say gradually but actually it doesn't take that long at all. The brakes never feel right after about a week of having them done.

You don't really need brakes though. I mean what's the point of having brakes if you don't have an exhaust pipe? Yes we're onto our third and that's looking a little dodgy. The problem is that Minis are so very close to the ground and the exhaust pipe rather sticks out unprotected. So you tend to catch the exhaust pipe on speed humps and at the top of ramps in car parks.. and basically anywhere that isn't perfectly flat which in Britain is pretty much everywhere.

I could go on nitpicking about such things as it not seeming to have any suspension and how the engine sometimes judders when you're trying to accelerate into a tight spot on a fast moving roundabout. But as I'm sure you'll have worked out these things are all fairly irrelevant, and we all have to die sometime.


The Mini becomes the best car on the road because it's a potential death trap. Really. You constantly have a feeling that you're slightly out of control and that something is going to break at any second. You may think this is a bad thing, but it really keeps you into the driving. In other cars you can just coast along and it's all easy for you, in a Mini you really have to drive the thing. You constantly feel on the edge, and the buzz from that can be throbbing. Believe me, I've done 80mph on a little road over the Pennines with glorious views all around and the feeling is pretty amazing. And I'm normally not into that kind of kink, but it really whacks you one should you do it by accident. 80mph in a Mini incidentally is something you should only try once, it started rattling and making funny noises and I wouldn't want to risk it again. All speeds though seem multiplied, you never go as fast in any other car. This is probably a combination of being so close to the ground and also being shaken and stirred.

Sex in a Mini -I'm told- is great. I mean what could be better than having your butt pressed up against the window, constantly banging your head on the roof and accidentally snapping the gear stick off with your foot? This said a Mini does fit four people with ease and I'm proud to say I've had five, with unease! My biggest mistake was making it five of us stoner types, I turned out to be the only one with short hair. What's the problem there? Well I make "driving tapes" of music with a selection of tunes on and I fatefully forgot that Bohemian Rhapsody was on the tape that was playing. My word, jippers and crippers, when they head-bashed did that car jerk backwards and forwards! The best thing was there were other cars around; the Land Rover behind even flashed us. Just picture it, just picture this little tiny Mini with five potheads packed in like sardines. Just picture the atmosphere being filled by rouge particles of long cannabis soaked hair, every last inch of the car, moshing away. THAT is what a Mini is all about.

It's quite cheap petrol wise, doesn't guzzle that much because it's still a reasonably small engine and there isn't too much weight to carry up hills. Well, when you haven't got five stoners in it. The inside of the car even manages to offer a few hiding places and pockets to stick things such as mobile phones, or other stuff should the Police pull you over. And five stoners in a Mini at all times of day and night leads to Police attention believe me! The seats are small and very uncomfortable, oh and getting in and out of the back seat is a nightmare especially under the influence. As the driver of the Mini though you are rewarded with some of the funniest images you'll ever see as people attempt to climb in and out of the car. It's a scientifically proven fact that 75% of drunks getting out of a Mini from the backseat will end up on the pavement face down. I'm a scientist.

It's just fun beyond words. I'm going away to Uni in a few weeks and after my dog it will be my Mini that I miss most, then my parents and friends. I would say my own toilet but I'm staying in an en-suite room. It's like a few men, like Ken Clarke for example, enjoy the odd massive Cigar now and then, it's like my mate Jake who's a hip eighteen year old who insists on wearing a tweed jacket when we go out and occasionally a flat cap. It becomes part of you; it's quirks you come to love. And should you ever crash, believe me it really would become part of you.

Yeah so it breaks and never works properly. Yeah so it feels like you're constantly about to die. Yeah so the bigger vehicles think they can bully you. Yeah well, who cares when you look so gosh darn cool! Not the horrible trendy type of cool, the genuine kind of "YOU ARE THE MAN" cool.

I'd only prefer to own a VW love wagon, even if I was a billionaire I'd want to drive a Mini. Take your chances, throw the dice. Going to the local shop for a stamp? Why not risk everything and go in a Mini! You only live once, and who wants to live forever.

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Comments on this review

  • Katieshaz published 24/06/2011
    brilliant review!
  • js2ht2andl published 18/05/2006
    Great review, this has brightened up my day and provided me with a laugh a minute. I found it really refreshing to read through. Marvellous effort. x
  • darkangelwing published 22/04/2006
    Great review with some madly great decsriptons, well done(-:
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Most popular similar products

Product Information : Rover Mini 1.3

Manufacturer's product description

Hatchback - Petrol

Product Details

Body Type: Hatchback

Fuel Type: Petrol

Range: Rover Mini

Range + Engine Type: Rover Mini 1.3

Manufacturer: MINI


Listed on Ciao since: 13/07/2000