I went with my wife to Cincinnati so as to order this:
And what this is, is a Cooper Mini Countryman S All4, which is one of the new, slightly larger Minis (yes, an oxymoron, just like “jumbo shrimp”) with all-wheel drive, which will be useful come next winter, what with our long, snow-filled driveway.
We ordered one because after nearly 15 years of service, Krissy’s Suzuki Sidekick is close to death, and thus it’s time to pick its successor. Because of the aforementioned long, snow-filled driveway (not to mention all the icy/snowy rural backroads near us), we confined our search this time to cars with four-wheel or all-wheel drive. The CMCSA4 was the one that stood out in a mass of blah coupes and sedans, and equally bland 4x4s. We drove down to give the thing a test drive; it was fun and responsive. It also gets gas mileage that doesn’t suck (30+ mpg on the highway), and the reviews I’ve read of it have been generally quite positive. We were sold.
The picture you see above, incidentally, is pretty much what we ordered — I went to the Mini Web Site and fiddled with their configurator, and put in all the bells and whistles we planned to have, plus picked a color I liked and so on. And yes, we ordered a fair amount of bells and whistles. The Scalzi family financial philosophy is “buy as well as you can afford, then run it into the ground,” — which is why this car is replacing one nearly 15 years old. We will very likely get a similar amount of service out of this one, so we’re making it something we’ll be happy to live with for that much time.
The saleslady who sold us our new car told us it would take about sixty days, more or less, for the company to make ours to specification, which means that it should arrive right in time for my birthday. Yay! At which time I will be gone for at least two weeks on a book tour. Boo! But at least it will be waiting for me when I come back.