If a new generation of kids are going to hit the road, they're going to have to go through a little bit of driver's education. But what's the best driver's ed car?
Part of our driver's education occurred behind the wheel of a fourth-generation Camaro. It was awful: huge blindspots, limited visibility, vague controls, a lot of power, awkward seating position, and a small backseat for the rest of the participants.
We think the Mini Cooper may be the best choice for a driver's ed vehicle. It's relatively affordable should anything unfortunate happen. It offers good visibility, usable power (but too much of it), small size for easy parallel parking, great handling, and a relatively pure driving experience. Even better, there's the possibility of offering lessons on how to drive a manual simultaneously (we once worked above a motorcycle riding school that gave stick-driving lessons on one). Plus, it'll help indoctrinate a new generation of drivers against big, cushy SUVs.
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