When I needed a new car a couple of years ago, I thought carefully about what would work best for me. My last three cars had been Cadillac STS models, and while I love the ride, the technology was starting to fall behind and how I would use a car. I carefully considered what would be the three most important aspects in my next vehicle, and it came down to this:
- Small and economical – most of the time I’m driving by myself, about 28,000 miles a year, so I just needed enough space for myself, a coffee cup, and my small bag of electronics.
- Electronically connected – I wanted to make sure that my car supported my smart phone, which at the time was an iPhone 4. I wanted to be able to access the things that were on the phone from the car’s console for a safer drive, and one that was more connected.
- Fun to drive – it was important to me that my car was performance oriented and a lot of fun to drive on the often two-lane roads that I travel on to clients.
When I considered several cars on the market, the Mini Cooper offered a connected system that would bring my phone to the console, and would be fun to drive, while at the same time being small and economical. I looked at a few different models, and in the end purchased a Mini Cooper Coupe. This is a rare model which they have since discontinued after only about four years of production. It is perfect for me, as it has two seats, is a blast to cruise in especially on curvy roads, and my phone is fully supported in the dash controls and display.
Since then I’ve logged about 60,000 miles and work my way through three different iPhones as well as a couple of iPads, and an Android phone. The Android phone is not as well supported, but the IOS devices are phenomenal. There are several native applications on IOS that are supported directly in the applications on the console, including Pandora, Mini Connected, Amazon Cloud Player, Spotify, and what has become my favorite, Stitcher. With each of these applications I simply plug my phone in to the USB port, and go to the Mini Connected option in the center console screen. I can then control any of these applications including moving forward and backwards through tracks, finding new content, and even seeing things like my calendar, and latest Facebook and Twitter feeds.
If you are on the road, and would like to stay connected to the rest of the world while at the same time having a lot of fun, I’m not sure anything could beat this particular car.