2021 Mini Countryman plug-in

INDIANAPOLIS — I have long been a fan of the Mini, a fun little zipper with classic British looks that can fillet cars way above its weight class.  About ten years ago, my family even bought a first-generation Countryman crossover.  It was underpowered, but drove like a BMW, got good gas mileage and had the best Harman Kardon audio system I’ve ever heard.  It became too small for our growing family, so it had to go.  I wonder if we would have made the same hard choice if we owned the 2021 Mini Countryman SE ALL4 “plug-in.”

2020 Mini Cooper EV

MIAMI — All-electric power trains may be the future in the automotive world, but the new electric version of the 2020 Mini Cooper SE Electric is already behind the times, which, as we shall see, is unfortunate. With an estimated 110-mile duration on a full charge, the Mini Cooper SE Electric is burdened with a notably short driving range, especially considering several other all-electric competitors are offering twice that and more with recent models.

2018 Mini Countryman plug-in

MIAMI — The Mini Cooper is not yet at the stage where it needs to be upgraded to the “MAXI” Cooper, but it seems to be moving in that direction. Launched in 1959 as a trend-setting, two-door sub-compact that was 120.25 inches long — not much more than the wheelbase for many large vehicles — and weighed in at just over 1,300 pounds, the Mini now is available as a four-door wagon that is four feet longer and weighs in at twice the original hardtop’s heft.

Mini sparkles with new, fresh top down approach

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s been on the road for more than two years. But it will still turn your head. It seems we just have to stare and admire.

Just the other day while we were cruising down a stretch of four-lane highway, we noticed a Mini Cooper closing in. We turned, almost involuntarily, to observe the diminutive car pass us on the left. We gawked like it was something just off the floor of the Detroit Auto Show, a car we had never seen before.

Mini Cooper Clubman — stretched is very good

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Like thousands of Americans, the wife fell in love with the tiny Mini Cooper the first time it arrived for a test drive several years ago. She was enamored of its quirky exterior appearance that mimicked the famous English city car and adored the interior with its dinner plate speedometer smack-dab in the middle of the dashboard and the form-over-function toggle switches for windows and lights.

Mini Cooper convertible — always in the sunshine

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It’s a tale of two cities.