I can't wait to test drive it. I would really like to know the acceleration specs on it (the S in particular). My only concern is fitting into it (at 6' 5"). We'll see. I'll be there at the bimmer dealer when they arrive.
That's all anyone ever points out to me when i mention the Mini. "That's a deathtrap!" As far as I'm concerned, when pitted against a bohemoth SUV, what small car isn't a deathtrap? Aside from that, I think that safety features have become so far advanced that it really doesn't matter if you're in a midsize sedan or a compact car. If you're going to get hurt in an accident, you're going to get hurt no matter how big your car is. In other words, if I go head on into an Excursion with a combined speed of 120 mph, I'm getting crushed whether I'm in a Mini or my 626.
You're right about head on, but what about getting t-boned at an intersection or side-swiped on the highway? I think those are much more "likely" accidents and also the kind of accidents where size does matter. If I'm going 35 mph and I get t-boned by an SUV at an intersection, I'd much rather be in a 626 or an Accord than a Mini. I don't think that the Mini is a "deathtrap." I think they are rather neat cars. But I would rather have my wife and daughter driving around town in my VW Passat than a Mini. Even though the pricing on both cars is comparable, both are neat looking and (I assume) fun to drive, I think the safety factor has to go I favor of the VW.
well, I think we're going to have to wait on the crash test ratings. The developers are claiming that the Mini is going to redefine compact car safety. With crumple zones and impact beams and airbags all around, but what car doesn't have those things these days? We'll just have to find out how much "redifining" there will be.
Currently, I also drive an Alfa Romeo Spider in the nice weather, so, when it comes to myself, I just don't find that I'm terribly concerned with the safety of the car. But, as you point out, would I want my wife driving it around all of the time? Probably not.
And if they can do more on safety, then I would be more than happy to buy one. I think it's a great looking car. As safety goes, another compact -- the VW Beetle -- has gotten excellent crash test scores, so certainly I think the Mini could follow suit.
Certainly, a lot of what is great about driving is not analyzing crash test data and reliability reports. It's about what is fun. And certainly the Mini seems to promise the fun factor in spades. And anyone who drives an Alfa would agree on that point!