Jeep vs. BMW vs. MINI

Over the past month I’ve gotten the opportunity to drive not only my MINI, but also a varied assortment of other vehicles. Here are a few thoughts about them.

1978 Jeep CJ 7

The Jeep

Nothing Beats a Jeep [insert trademark symbol here]. This bright orange beast belongs to my Dad and I’ve been driving it daily for the last week while the cooling system of the MINI gets sorted out. I can tell you that it’s not quiet, does not have a smooth ride or handle very well. Hell, it doesn’t even have A/C. Still, it’s got a beefy V8 under the hood and when the go peddle is depressed in an aggresive maner, it does get up and go. Corners need quite a bit of braking to navigate safely and rough roads really require a kidney belt, but with it’s openness, throaty V8 and badass Jeep attitude, it’s still fun to drive. As a daily driver, I would have to pass, but for the occassional run around town it’s a hoot!

3 stars

2009 BMW 328i

Loaner #2

If you are looking for a BMW to get your Mom, this would be a great car. It’s quiet, comfortable, reasonably priced and handles like a Camry. This car could be great as a daily driver too since it even pulls in a respected 28MPG on the freeway. Too bad it’s a boring ride. Moving the automatic transmission level into sport mode helps a little, but it’s not going to set your hair on fire or anything. I will say that the brakes on this car were excellent, eventhough they are a full 1" diameter smaller than the brakes on the 335i. Sport suspension would help this car quite a bit. As would a different color. I can’t stand primer gray.

1 thumbs up

2009 BMW 335i

Not bad for a loaner

Now we’re talking! Power, handling, relatively economical and an overall blast to drive. This is the BMW that you want in your driveway, ignore the almost $US50K price tag of course. The transmission is better, the throttle response is better, the handling is better and the sound is better. Dear god the sound. The only real problem I had with this BMW was the seats. Obviously designed for a much thinner driver than myself, I still fit ok but felt more cramped than held in place. If you ever get the chance to take a spin in this one, you really should.

9 out of 10

2003 MINI Cooper

[you’ve seen it]

[you’ve read about it]

[no rating needed]

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  1. Before Margaret bought her 328 hardtop convertible, we test drove the 335 overnight – those seats were horribly uncomfortable for me (maybe they’d fit a little better now)

    She only gets about 23mpg with that engine on mixed driving :(

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