by Cynthia Bogart
If you read my last post on What A Woman Wants in a Car, you’ll know that I have become a car aficionado by default. I have always loved my work horse 2001 Suburban, Big Bertha, who currently has 230,000 miles on her and I will drive her until she drops. But my husband loves cars. He restores the old ones. He knows the specs on any car on or off the highway. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate, and am actually fascinated, by cars. But don’t lift that hood up and talk to me about the mechanics. I am all about function and comfort and how a car fits into my lifestyle.
Cars for Different Times of Our Lives
I have always been “The “Mom”. “The Mom” who drives the kids to school, hockey practice, moving in day at college, moving out day at college. I am the Mom who let my kids use Bertha as their first car thinking that if they could drive a Suburban, they could drive anything. Well, that part was right, but poor Bertha has had both her sides ripped apart and has backed into 2 cars and a brick building. And, no, I wasn’t driving.
So, what’s the point? The point is when Heels and Wheels’ Christine Overstreet, asked me out to join a group of women auto journalists to test drive cars in Oregon, I discovered something astounding. As much as I have LOVED my big, hard working SUV’s, I have come to the end of my chauffeuring days. I am ready to move on to a car just for me.
I called my husband from Oregon and told him what I wanted for Christmas. He had a choice. Either he could get me the Aston Martin DB9 or the new Mini Roadster – convertible in either one, please.
The Aston DB9
On the stat sheet it says, 620 NM- Torque, 517 PS- Power, 0 – 62 mph in 4.6 seconds. I have absolutely no clue what that means.
What I do know is this. I drove this car for 30 miles on an absolutely gorgeous day in the high desert in Oregon and had a blast.
- It was mega fast and I did go from 0 to 62 in 4.6 second – effortlessly. Cruising on the highway will be a breeze. I can accelerate when merging onto a busy road pretty nicely. It turned on a dime, it was super responsive and was truly fun to drive.
- The comfort factor was extraordinary. When I played with all the seat adjustments, it fit me like a very expensive kid glove. As I have always been used to sitting up high and reigning over the highway, I thought this very low rider would bother me. Quite the contrary. I felt like I owned the road. I loved that feeling of complete control.
- Of course it has all the latest must have features- GPS, heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, Sirius, Nav system, phone chargers… you name it – she had it. The dashboard was very intuitive – easy to manage. If you want to know all of the capabilities of any car you purchase, reach into the glove compartment and read that manual. You only have to do it once just so you know what your machine can do for you.
- What I couldn’t do was fly through ditches like I can with Bertha. Then again, this is not suppose to be a truck, is it? This car is low to the ground. Going from an SUV, which can climb over curbs, to any low car, you have to be more mindful the condition of the road.
- Mpg – 13 city, 19 highway. What do you care? It’s an Aston Martin DB9.
When to drive:
How about all the time. Yes, I would drive this every day to work, for groceries, to the movies. Actually, taking this car on a weekend road trip would be perfect. People will stop and stare, but the only person I am out to impress is me.
$200,000 give or take $20,000.
Smooth, luxurious, pampering. This is the car for a gal who wants the best, deserves the best, loves a good driving car and can afford it. You only live once. If your husband wants to give this to you for Christmas – take it!
The Mini Roadster
Just so you know…this is not a comparative study. I had just driven the DB9 when I found myself behind the Roadster. Apples and Oranges – you simply cannot compare these two cars.
I could see why this is a love at first site car. I quickly adjusted to this totally sporty, almost rustic, car that had an “I can do it all” attitude. It was very ‘manual ‘ meaning things like the convertible was not on auto up or down – you were the crank and the steering wheel was tight, very sporty like. That big signature speedometer dial in the middle of all Mini’s is totally retro in feeling – very cool.
I loved the rigid, broad stance of this little Bull Dog. Look at this car. The wheel base is wide with very little overhang of car. It gives you more room inside and complete race car control on the road. I mean, this car is totally fun to drive.
The Cooper S has a turbocharged 16 valve alloy engine. Again, I have no idea what that mean except because of it, the pick up and go factor was fantastic. Merging into traffic was smooth.
What’s so great
- It does have a great sound system, Sirius, plug ins for your hand helds, bluetooth… all that stuff we have come to expect in the latest cars.
- There are different ‘packages’ like the Cold Weather Package (heated seats), Sport Package, City Package (alarm and parking controls) and more packages that will let you can customize to your heart’s content.
- The mileage is good, 27/35 – not the best but pretty good, but hey, I’d be thrilled especially since Bertha gets 13 mpg.
When to drive
This is your everyday, everywhere car. As you can see from those blue skies and clear roads in the pictures that we didn’t test drive these cars in the snow. If I had to guess, it will handle beautifully in all kinds of weather. A tall, full powered SUV would be a better snow car by the mere fact that it can slush through snow drifts without getting buried. If heavy snow is not a worry where you live, you are good to go here.
It comes in three different levels.
- The Cooper (starting at $25,000) is probably as much car as I need.
- The Cooper S (starting at $28,550) this boasts fast sports car performance .
- The John Cooper Works can go on the race track – so, no, I don’t think that is my kind of around-town car, however my husband would adore this model. (starts at $35,700.)
As I said, you can add all kinds of packages and elements to this car, but these are good ball park figures.
About my Christmas present. I usually get a couple of new travel coffee mugs from Starbucks and a couple of sweatshirts from the kids. I am not so sure that I will be seeing an Aston Martin or a Mini Roadster in front of the house with a big bow on it . I can always ask, though, can’t I?