I get asked to drive cars and give my impressions of them. Most Mondays a car shows up at my front door with a full tank of gas and insurance. Rod gives me the keys and tells me he'll see me in a week. If all goes well, he brings me another car.

Tough Gig But Somebody has to do it

I wrote about the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid here at BlastingNews.

I am driving a 2016 Lexus NX 200t now. I'll write about it next week.

After that, a Land Cruiser. And so on.

I once had a $98,000 Jaguar delivered to my door. I was afraid to drive it. For a few minutes anyway.

My buddy, James Raia of TheWeeklyDriver fame has driven more than 500 different cars.


It occurred to me that it's pretty hard for a 3rd party, you the reader, to know what I am talking about when I use adjectives like bigger, smaller, wider, smoother and so on. Compared to what? Right?

I thought to write up the cars I usually drive. The two cars my wife and I own/lease.

Altima vs Mini Cooper

I have a 2013 Nissan Altima S. My wife drives a 2012 Mini Cooper.

That was the plan for the first couple of years. Problem was, my wife didn't drive her Mini enough to max out the miles we are given in the lease. We switched. I drive the Mini. My wife drives the Altima.

It's an odd arrangement. I am 6' and my wife is 5' 2''. You'd think?

The Nissan is our family car and does a great job of being that.

I fit well as does my wife. When her parents and our 8-year old daughter want to go along, all five of us fit just fine, thank you.

Trunk is great. My golf clubs live there along with other things I seldom touch. I found a jumbo bag of Peanut M&Ms in there once.

Nissan's Big Plus

My favorite part of the Nissan is its 18 gallon gas tank and 40 mpg on the highway.

I can drive from Sunnyvale to Disneyland (350 miles one way) and back on a tank of gas. Not bad, not bad.

The Mini has more leg room than any other car I have ever driven. Seriously. Who would have thought?

The driver's side seat will go all the way to the back seat. Nobody can sit behind me, but then seldom does anybody.

My daughter fits in nice and snug on the passenger side. My made-in-China wife, daughter and my wife's parents fit in the Mini just fine. I take the Altima.

There's no room for golf clubs in the trunk.

Mini's Big Plus

The Altima gets better gas mileage than the Mini. But I almost never have to worry about parking when I am in the Mini.

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