There's nothing like walking out to the parking structure on a warm, early-summer day with the keys to a Mini Cooper S convertible in your hands. The Mini - in both hardtop and convertible forms--never fails to make me smile. Part of it is the cute-as-a-button styling. Sure, the gigantic speedometer is over the top, but every switch and button is unquestionably Mini. You'll never mistake either the exterior or the interior for any other car on the road, and that's saying something in a day and age where so many vehicles seem to bear a resemblance to one another. But the biggest part of the Mini's charm comes when you're actually moving. Sure, its road manners aren't perfect - a little torque steer here, a little suspension sharpness there - but it's an extremely involving car to drive, especially with the top down. Yes, I had a lovely afternoon and evening with the Mini.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor