54 search results for "mini cooper"

2011 Mini Cooper Countryman

Everyone (well, almost everyone) likes the Mini Cooper – the reincarnated, updated version of the micro-car Brit car of the 1960s. The problem has been that not everyone can use the Mini – which up to now came with just two doors and room for two only (or at least, realistically). So for 2011, the…

2012 Mini Coupe

Who doesn’t like the original Mini? It’s cute, but not girly. Sporty – but not overbearingly macho. A six foot man can drive it – and not look (or feel) silly driving it. So can his five-foot-five daughter. Or her 65-year-old grandmother. The Mini is also inexpensive – around $19k to start, which is cheap…

2012 Fiat 500: A Better Mini?

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I did not expect to like the Fiat 500. But I quickly fell in love with it. It may be my favorite new car. I’d consider buying one myself – and that is an eruption of affection from me, a guy who reviews new cars but mostly owns and drives old (and ancient) stuff. There…

2014 VW Beetle R-Line Turbo

'14 Beetle curb 2

Back in the Pleistocene – you know, before the ’90s – a “quick” Beetle (the original Drittes Reich model designed by Dr. Porsche and you-know-who) was a 12 second car. Not in the quarter mile. Zero to 60. This was of course modified. Heavily modified. A factory stock original model Beetle took anywhere from 15-30…

2014 VW Beetle TDI

2014 Beetle side view

In some ways, the current Beetle is nothing like the original whose spirit it tries to conjure: It’s a much larger – and much heavier – car, for openers. 1,500 pounds heavier, at least. Almost a foot longer, overall. It is also, let’s face it, a much nicer car – as far removed from the…

2014 VW Eos

Eos retracting

You can look at the VW Eos from two diametrically opposed viewpoints. The first – favorable to VW – is that the Eos is a steal of deal compared with a BMW 3 coupe. Both are spiffy European-brand sport coupes with folding metal hardtops and all the bells and whistles – but the BMW starts at…

2014 Ford Focus ST

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Back in 1987, my souped-up ’78 V-8 Camaro almost got smoked by a four-cylinder Dodge Omni. Only it wasn’t just an Omni. It was an Omni GLH-S. The GLH-S was a souped-up version of the Omni – which was ordinarily a slow-motion econo-box. The idea was simple: Take an inexpensive small car, goose its engine…

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

The obvious often isn’t until someone makes it so. For instance, adding a real-sized rear door to a sporty coupe – as Hyundai has done with the Veloster. Much better than one (or even two) quarter-sized rear doors, as in cars like the  old Saturn Ion – and more recently, the Mazda RX8. It’s as…

2013 VW Beetle TDI

The latest Beetle (new but no longer “New”) is more than an economy-minded car. It got bigger last year – as well as sportier and more luxurious. Sexy, even. And now the TDI diesel engine – absent from the roster since 2006 – has been reintroduced for 2013. But, again, the emphasis has shifted. The…