Is it really UNMANLY for a guy to drive the Mini Cooper?

Our Automologist KEVIN thinks NOT and here are his 10 reasons why you should get one!

There is a reason why I started writing this article. Some time back, I had someone insinuate that it might be unmanly for a guy to be seen driving a MINI Cooper. It got me thinking: should guys drive these pocket rockets? After doing some research of my own, I must say that the critics are terribly mistaken. Sorry to disappoint you critics, but here’s the big, hard and THROBBING truth: MINI Coopers – especially the Cooper S and the JCW – are not unmanly at all. In fact, the MINIs are more like ATVs, a juvenile boy’s toy, a rebel somewhat or someone who just knows how to have fun. The MINIs were built for masculine guys who really don’t care what those Camry-driving uncles’ opinions are…By the way, those are also the uncles who think catcalls actually work #facepalm

And here’s the 10 reasons why you should get into a MINI:

10. Design

The MINI design has definitely evolved over the years, but it still manages to retain the overall cool theme and funky shape. Paying tribute to the original, the current MINI is an absolute work of art, it’s a living thing, a cool little car that works perfectly in town, a fun drive in the outskirts and around bends, and can be a superb car for a weekend track day. A MINI stands out from the rest and always gets noticed even though it doesn’t try very hard to make a statement. You will definitely recognise its funky and fierce stance from a mile away.


9. All the movies it has been in were really cool movies!

I mean, c’monnn, MINIs always look good in the movies. You get “cool points” for driving the “cool car” from these cool movies, and to name a few of the hits:

1969 The Italian Job:  

Perhaps the MINI’s greatest moment of glory (and one of the earliest examples of cinematic product placement) came in 1969 with the release of the action-adventure flick, The Italian Job. Though officially starring Michael Caine and Noel Coward, the film’s real stars were a trio of modified MINI Coopers decorated with rally-type accessory spotlights, and painted red, white and blue.

2001 Austin Powers – Goldmember:

Although the era of the “classic” MINI ended in the late 90s, the new millennium saw a new MINI that was a little more Germanic under the skin. No matter; the new MINI still looked like no other car out there and it made the perfect ride for Austin Powers and his father Nigel, coincidentally played by quintessential British actor Michael Caine.

2003 The Italian Job:

The 2003 reboot of The Italian Job gave a respectful nod to the original 1969 film. In the film’s early scenes, the character played by Charlize Theron is shown driving a classic red MINI Cooper. This updated version of The Italian Job was really an in-your-face product placement and with the MINI being one of the most identifiable automotive brands, there was no point in trying to disguise the new MINIs used in the film. Did featuring these cars in the film have an impact on sales in the real world? It did, of course, a repeat of what happened in 1969.

2015 Pixels:

Being a kid growing up the 80s, spending all my pocket money on arcade games with standard resolution between 262.5 and 315 vertical lines, the Pixels movies was a pleasant surprise from Hollywood. In the movie, Pacman goes into battle with his mortal enemies, the infamous ghosts fondly known as Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde, played by F56 MINI Cooper S. Look closely at the number plate and you will see their names displayed (not many know that).


8. Idris Elba drove a MINI Cooper

Image source: Free Car Mag

Yep, one of the world’s coolest actor picked up his first car, a MINI Clubman at the age of 13 for just £50. He explained, “I had a goatee…As soon as I could grow a beard, I was like, ‘This is a good idea, I’ll buy a car’, so I bought this car for 50 quid. I used to drive to school and park around the back.”

The car helped him pick up a 19-year-old girlfriend when he was 14. He managed to con his girlfriend into thinking she was dating a real man by telling her he was off to work in the mornings, rather than heading to school, and when she stumbled across his homework, he told her that his boss made him do his children’s school work.


7. Fuel Economy

Extremely frugal for something with this much power and fun. Normally, fuel economy and fun have an inverse relationship with each other. But with the MINI, whenever you put your foot down on the accelerator, it darts forward with enthusiasm without sipping more than it should. How many cars do you know can do the same?


6. Space

Yes, SPACE!!! Everyone always assumes that a MINI lacks cabin and storage space. It’s not as bad as you think. You can actually fit quite a few people in a MINI. Even for a tall person, a MINI offers lots of space. It doesn’t have too much boot space, but it’s enough for a couple of medium-sized bags. It’s a car for fun, not cargo. But seriously, when it comes to funky, sporty and fun cars, this is one of the best models for both short and tall guys. There’s tons of front leg room and headroom. If you still need more space, check out the MINI Clubman. Not only is it gorgeous, fun and handles well, it is also fairly practical when it comes to space.

5. Motorsports Heritage 

The MINI Cooper is actually a killer car with real racing heritage. In 1961, racing legend John Cooper unleashed the potential of the Classic MINI onto the racing world. Though it wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or most powerful, this feisty little thing took the motorsports scene by storm, dominating opponents with its lightweight body, nimble handling, near perfect balance, reliable and punchy engine, and a perfect wheel layout. All that racing knowledge has gone back into making the new-age MINIs drive the way they do.

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4. British style, German engineering

The modern MINI is arguably the most successful Anglo-German collaboration since David Bowie’s Berlin-period albums, as it combines an iconic style and long heritage with BMW’s renowned engineering credentials. The Ultimate Small Driving Machine? Quite possibly.

3. Not just a three-door hatch anymore

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The number of variants has grown from the original three-door hatchback to now include a five-door hatch, a drop-top convertible, an estate (the Clubman), and an SUV (The Countryman). The previous generation saw an addition of two other models, a Paceman (a three-door Countryman), the coupé and roadster models which you can still get on the second-hand market (they were discontinued in 2015). There are options for every kind of characters now.

2. Great everywhere…

Great in the city. Because of its size, the MINI can squeeze through almost anywhere. It can fit into small KL parking spaces without having to bump into  cars. It can turn around into any tight street quick and fast when you perhaps see a scary dude in a hoodie with his hands in his pocket, walking directly towards you. It has all the benefits of a city car, with the fun of a hot hatch without being unstylish in anyway at all.

Super fun around the bends. Whether on the track or a beautiful scenic trunk road, the MINI never fails to excite. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 1.3 three-cylinder mill or if it’s the Cooper S or the JCW. MINI makes good of its cars’ handling with a ‘go-kart-like feel’. They’re great to drive. Try it. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the MINI.

1. Chicks Dig It

Women are drawn to men who own these cars. A man behind the wheel of such a car is one who is absolutely secure in his masculinity, and confidence like that is not going to hurt either. It really isn’t a bad car and the build quality and driving experience are perfectly satisfactory. The MINI may not necessarily be attractive to every single woman out there; I mean, women who hangs out with biker gangs will probably not look at you like the other really hot, sensible, attractive, seductive and sexy ladies out there would. The MINI didn’t end up so high up on the list for no reason. This is quite possibly the most likely car to get you a woman.

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