_Before reading any further, please note that our boy, db, has yet to read the owners manual of his 2008 MINI Cooper. He swears he’ll get to it, but for now, you get this rant. We tried to stop him. Ed._

There was really something about the first generation MINI that I liked. Actually, a few things. They really made the vehicle unique and relatively easy to use. At least easy to use after you spent the better part of 12 years with it.

1. Unlocking the boot
In the R50/R56, unlocking the hatch/boot was a very easy affair. With the key, a double click on the unlock button would do it, or the main door lock toggle switch. A quick flip of that and all doors are unlocked, including the boot and it would open for the loading or unloading of whatever.

In the R56, I still have yet to figure out how to consistently unlock the hatch. I know I can pop it with it the key, but why doesn’t it unlock from the lock toggle? Speaking of, why do I have to flip that twice to unlock the passenger side door? And, why does it not work if the car was previously locked with the key? If it were consistent, I could figure it out, but it seems to have a mind of it’s own!

2. Window toggles
I’m glad that, unlike the F56, my window switches are still in the center stack. I’m really glad that those toggles support 1 touch up and down. Truly awesome features. What I’m not pleased about is the fact that if there is anything in the cup holders, you can’t access the switches. To be honest, I would have rather received a custom coffee mug that fit in cup holders and allowed me to use the switches. This is just dumb. Hard b dumb.

3. And, finally
I guess I’m going to have to go to JCWhitney or something, but I really miss the clock that lived on the roof. There is not a way for my car to tell the time that I find convenient or easy to read. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty minor, but still. I just want my clock back.

Sure sure sure, I’m way late to all of these parties. I just wanted to make sure I was part of the club. Do we get hats or something?

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  1. The double-tap to unlock all doors (first tap does only drivers door) is a safety feature. If you are walking to your car in the dark, you could singke-tap to unlock only the driver’s door, so the thug hiding in the shadows can’t jump in on the passenger side to car-jack / rob you.

    1. It’s always been that way on the key. I guess my confusion is that it is also now needed on the switch in the cabin. On the R50, a single press of the toggle unlocked all of the door and the boot. In the R56, it needs to be done twice.

  2. I sprung for “comfort access” when I ordered my R56 so if the fob is in your pocket, doors and boot open by simply operating the handles. Not having to stick the fob in the dash to start the car is also nice. I thought $500 was quite expensive for such decadence but haven’t regretted it.

  3. The dealer can program the unlock button to do all doors and boot with one click (mine is this way) or with multiples for safety precautions (wife this way).
    Also if you press an extra time and hold the windows will roll down and sunroof if equipped will open.

  4. Know what you mean about the clock. In my R50, just look up slight to the center and see what time it is. Right there, no having to look around. I will miss that when I take delivery of my F56 in 8-10 weeks.

    When I test drove an R56 back in 2009, the clock thing was a big negative from me too. That was one of many reason I didn’t order an R56.

    Speaking of getting use to change, I have to get use to the new format and style of this site. I like the old version better :-)

  5. I replaced that trim ring on my key with a nifty metal ring. Looks great. And I still don’t consistent open my boot with ease.

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