No matter where the car went, people stopped, craned their necks or pointed at it. It just reinforces the fact that the new MINI is THE car to be seen in this year and will probably continue to be until deliveries catch up with demand for the Cooper and its entry-level One brother.
We opted to test the Cooper which has a little bit more power under the bonnet - 115bhp as opposed to 90bhp - and also offers some visual tweaks such as different colour roof and door mirrors.
Choosing rivals for the Cooper is a bit of a hit and miss affair because MINI offers buyers the chance to buy different packs called Pepper and Chili (Salt is available only on the One).
We have chosen the Cooper in its basic form, priced at £11,600 on-the-road, even though our test model was laden with the £1,000 Chili pack and assorted other options which raised the price to £14,825 on-the-road.
However, we would do without many of the options fitted, such as automatic stability control, air conditioning, heated washer jets and leather upholstery.
All you really need for your Cooper is the Chili pack which adds, among other things, leather steering wheel and gearknob, sports seats, alloy wheels and a rear roof spoiler, bringing you up to an on-the-road price tag of £12,600.