Our 1993 Rover Mini spent most of its life in Japan, which you can immediately tell by the Japanese-style, fender-mounted side mirrors. Sliding into the 90s-pattern cloth seats, turning the key to activate the 1.3 liter engine and grabbing the knob of the sweet shifting four speed manual transmission all feels surprisingly correct and comfortable. The peppy exhaust noises remind you that you’re driving something special. Lest you’re worried about those hot Utah summer days, the car even has air conditioning. What's more, the car can fit four adults reasonably comfortably.
Our Japanese Mini has its steering wheel--a proper, handmade Moto-Lita peach--on the right (opposite) side. While you may think driving on the “wrong side” of the vehicle and rowing your own gears is intimidating, we assure you it is easy to adapt to this small bundle of Rover joy. The clutch engagement is easy to navigate, the steering is direct, and the brakes do their job. Just don’t forget to bring a passenger along to help you with those drive-thru orders.
Our spunky Rover transforms every turn-of-the-key trip from work to a playground romp. Motor about, not to and from. At every stop sign and stop light, the little car tremors with giddy idle, reminding you that it doesn’t give a bother about your destination, it’s happy to be the travel partner. It’s just happy.
The 4-cylinder can manage freeway speeds and it scoots comfortably enough on I-15 or I-80, even up Parley’s to Park City, though you may want to stick to the slow lane. Since go-kart-like handling doesn’t translate to a smooth ride, “bumpy” might be a generous description. However, the handling and the character of the engine make the experience what it is, grin-inducing fun. Around town and on canyon roads the car is alive and eager, making every drive exhilarating.
What do people think of the Mini? With a huge smile, Audrey described her ride by saying, “This is like Disneyland!”. Jonas’ experience was, “Entertaining. Overwhelming, with emotions of childish joy.” Ten-year-old Carson exclaimed, “So this is what it’s like to be an adult,” from the passenger seat.
Prepare for attention, because no one is too cool when it comes to showing interest in the Mini. Even a jaunt to the grocery store has strangers waving, smiling, snapping photos, and tracking you down in parking lots to chat about the car. “Everyone looks at you and smiles,” described Elise, “Of course they are looking at the car, but you can’t help enjoying the attention.” The photo-snapping phones, compliments from strangers and rubber-necking smiling faces give you a dopamine-boosting sense of celebrity.
1300cc Single Point Injection
12" wheels with Yokoham summer tires.
Factory Rover Mini brakes
Pick-up and delivery will be arranged and agreed upon between Deft Auto and the renter.