I grew up surrounded by the original British Leyland (RIP) version of this car in the home counties of England. They weren’t exactly the cool kid car to have, but here in Los Angeles you can’t swing a cat without hitting a Mini by BMW driven by everyone from yummy mummies to studio execs. Finally I get my turn in the long version, and while previously I swore up and down I’d take a stripper Cooper S with cloth seats, stick shift, and sport suspension for a surprisingly entry level price of around $23k and change, the more upmarket leather makes this Mini a beautiful place to spend time. The $32k sticker IS getting up there, but the autobox that comes on my COTW also makes LA traffic a slice and dice without thinking about it affair, as long as you leave it in Sport. The Porsche Tiptronicesque steering buttons click off manual shifts quicker than any slushbox I’ve tried until now. While the extra length of the Clubman takes some edge of off the short cars perfect dimensions visually, the extra room and the suicide door are way more practical for getting a car seat and a kid in the back for the school run. I’m loving this car so far. Jonny isn’t though. So I won’t let him write the full story coming soon.