Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

I was sur­prised at the spa­cious­ness of the cabin, and felt an im­me­di­ate sense of ex­cite­ment at the in­te­rior — bucket seats, retro-styled gauges, air­craft-like con­trol switches, two-panel sun­roof — it looked like this car had it all.

The en­gine has the hol­low bur­bling noise fa­mil­iar with diesel en­gines, but with the doors closed and win­dows up, you’d have no idea it wasn’t a petrol mo­tor, un­til you use the ac­cel­er­a­tor.

The dis­tinct dif­fer­ence is the torque this lit­tle beast has to of­fer com­pared with a sim­i­lar-sized petrol pow­er­plant. It’s def­i­nitely not lack­ing.

The clutch and gear­box feel solid and are both easy to adapt to and very smooth. Gear ra­tios prob­a­bly couldn’t be much closer to per­fect ei­ther. The steer­ing is firm, and it han­dles well.

There was an ini­tial abrupt re­minder that the en­gine switches off when sta­tion­ary af­ter you shift into neu­tral. Not yet trust­ing the sys­tem, I just touched the clutch pedal and the en­gine fired back up, and very quickly too.

The Mini also coped well with a peak-hour com­muter’s big­gest drama

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