It's still early in 2020 and most of us are putting our New Year's resolutions into practice. You've likely promised yourself the usual: eat healthier, stick to a rigorous self-care routine, and spend more time with family and friends. But as we look to better ourselves in the new year, there's often one thing we take for granted and may not be thinking about — our vehicle or mode of transportation.
Our cars are a part of our family and an extension of ourselves: trusty, ever-present companions that we drive to work, school, and countless trips to grocery stores and shopping centres. In fact, many of your New Year’s resolutions require the use of your trusted and loyal vehicle — your car can literally drive you to your goal!
A car is so much more than just a machine that gets you from point A to point B. It's freedom; it's independence; it’s an expression of your personality; it's something all your own — which is why you love your car like it's a part of the family.
We spoke to one family of four from Abitibi, Quebec, each of whom owns a MINI. Through the years, they've come to find a passion for this high-energy brand, proving that when you find your car, nothing can compare: "Our MINIs serve as the perfect road trip vehicles because of their reliability. We use them for everything: shopping, special events, outdoor travel," Alain, the father, told us.
But MINI is more than just a reliable tool. When you own a MINI, you're part of a community rooted in 60 years of heritage. In fact, every MINI comes complete with new friends. From the moment you drive your MINI off of the lot, there's an instant camaraderie provided by the brand’s various organized rallies, charity drives, and events.
"Whenever we see another MINI on the road, there’s always a little hand gesture we make to salute each other. As we meet more and more owners, we feel like a big family. I feel privileged to drive and own this vehicle, and joining this community allows me to participate in fun events, like the MINI Invasion 2019," Alain said.
In this exclusive interview with Narcity, Alain and his daughter Lea Rose discuss their family's MINIs, the MINI community, and why they recommend MINI as the ultimate car brand for 2020.
Questions and responses have been translated and edited for clarity.
Can you tell us a little bit about your MINIs?
Alain: My MINI is a Volcanic Orange 2018 MINI Cooper three-door with a white interior and equipped to the max. My wife's MINI is a fully-loaded white and blue 2019 Countryman [and she] nicknamed it "Smurfette." My eldest daughter's is a white silver car with hot chocolate bonnet stripes. My second-oldest daughter's MINI is a purple 2005 three-door. They all have their own characteristics, but mine is my favourite as it's been my dream car for a while! It has everything I want in a car, and it's REALLY beautiful, too!
What made you want to have multiple MINIs in your family?
Alain: Part of the reason why we chose to buy multiple MINIs is that we get to be distinguishable from other cars. Also, people really enjoy seeing these unique cars on the road! I love the fact that [they] stand out.
Can you tell us a little bit about your first MINI? How did you feel when you brought it home for the first time?
Lea Rose: In 2017, as a surprise, my dad came to [pick me up] from my Hawaiian vacation with a beautiful, vibrant 2015 car. I loved the car since it was manual and so much fun to drive!
Alain: It was a three-door model and the unique orange colour was something I'd always dreamed about. The car I have now is a 2018 model and it's still the orange that I love, just like my first one!
What’s the one thing that makes you most proud to call yourself a MINI owner?
Lea Rose: The best part of driving a MINI is the adrenaline I get. I feel like I’m on a racecourse due to the manual transmission. MINIs are original and unique cars that not everyone has, and I get a lot of compliments on mine. [In fact], everyone in my family experiences this! Also, the feeling of owning a MINI and being part of the MINI community brings a very special feeling that not many other car brands have. I’m proud to be the owner of a MINI because it makes me super happy. It’s a personality trait and a characteristic that sets me apart from the rest. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I have the MINI DNA in my blood!
You went to MINI Invasion this fall in Prince Edward County. How was that experience?
Lea Rose: It was a great [family] experience; [I went with my father] and it was a great memory to make with him. We loved driving the MINIs and felt like we were in a race car even if we were only going 20 MPH!
If you could take your MINI anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Lea Rose: I’d like to go on a road trip to somewhere warm so I could use my panoramic sunroof. Also, I wouldn’t have to wait 10 to 20 minutes for my car to warm up before driving it. It would be a change from Abitibi’s winter landscapes!
Alain: Once I retire, I’d love to take my MINI on huge road trips across Canada and the USA.