Launched in 1959, the original, classic Mini revolutionized transport in Europe a few years before the Mustang did the same in America.
The 2012 MINI Cooper isn't quite as revolutionary as its ancestor, but it's equally distinctive, and it shows that even small cars can be popular in America--as long as they're fun to drive, inexpensive to run and offer the same sort of quality you'd usually find in larger cars.
You can thank parent company BMW for that. The blueprint may be basic econobox, but the product is anything but. Like the original, it's an affordable car that transcends class barriers and opens up a whole new world of customizing and personal touches to owners.
The MINI Cooper's retro styling echoes that of the classic vehicle, with large, round lights at the front, wheels pushed out to the four corners of the car, and often a contrasting roof color that really catches the eye.
Inside, the retrospective theme continues, with a large speedometer dominating the cabin from the...
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