I've never been much of a car girl and therefore, you may think, I'm probably not the best person to be writing a car review.
Normally I would agree with you wholeheartedly. But this isn't a normal car review, and the Mini Countryman is no ordinary car.
It's a statement piece: A car that when you drive around makes you feel like the main character in a mid-2000s romcom, living in a city with a better bar scene than Auckland.
When I picked it up from the Newmarket I watched a pair of parents choosing one for their daughter for what appeared to be her 16th or 18th birthday. The father was wearing a Louis Vuitton fanny pack across his body. She was wearing fluffy slides.
I'm not implying that's the typical Mini driver, of course. Mini fans can be like band groupies as some of the most ardent fans out there - to be honest until I got to drive a Mini Countryman for a week, I didn't realise quite how ardent.
My colleague Kate Rodger almost cried when she saw it in the office carpark and made me take several photos of her posing with it.
In comparison to other Mini models, the new Countryman is much bigger - kind of like a city appropriate version of an SUV.
This means the name Mini - which I associate with teeny tiny - is no longer quite correct. This car's turning circle was larger than the Toyota Corolla station wagon I usually drive. If anything it's a bit of a box: A roomy backseat and giant boot can make it a little unwieldy. When I mistakenly turned down a particularly narrow Kingsland cul-de-sac, it was something of a 10-point turn to get it turned around. Despite its size and slight boxiness, it handles well and zips in and out of traffic with ease.
A real highlight is the lights. LED rear lights in the Union Jack design will make any British ex-pats feel at home.
If you lock it up in the evening, take note when you look down. The word 'Mini' is projected in lights down onto the ground when you get out of the car in the dark, which makes you feel like Batman, albeit with less responsibility.
The interior is as chic as you would expect, with all the features that make Mini recognisable, including a giant circular panel that you'd recognise from the Kingsmen movies, now digitised to suit an enhanced entertainment system that includes Apple CarPlay.
The interior in places feels a little much - if just in case you missed the homage paid to Britain with the literal Union Jack lights, here's some tan stitching to remind you of colonial history - but it's definitely chic.
There is a line-up of press-down toggles which could be seen as a bit gimmicky, but hey I'm a gimmicky girl. Through these you can control the automatic stop/start system, and the car's 'mode'.
There's energy-saving mode "green", along with "normal" and "sport" mode... which according to professional car reviewer Brian Harper "remaps the eight-speed automatic to delay the upshifts, thus delivering a more aggressive throttle response".
Sure! All I know is I felt the car contract underneath me and got that Fast and Furious rush as we zipped along the motorway to head to the Hallertau Brewery in Riverhead for a couple of Sunday vinos in the sun.
Strictly only a couple, of course.
All in all, this car has all the quirkiness you would want in a Mini, with the size and practical features you simply just need to have when driving in Aotearoa. If you want to pop away on a road trip there's enough boot space for your bags, but if you're just nipping to brunch you won't have an issue finding a parking spot - and will probably get a few admiring glances in the meantime.
And now? Having returned the Mini I'm driving my Toyota Corolla again with a boring, rectangular front panel where I once had a circular cockpit. When I lock my car no bat signal is beamed onto the concrete pavement. Life seems bleak.