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Mini Hatch

Overall verdict


Terrific handling, lively and smooth engines, endless custom scope


Some options are bundled into costly packs, longer front end looks flabby
More sophisticated than ever, without losing the sense of fun.

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Our choice


1.5 Cooper 5dr


What we say: 

Still all Mini to look at, but beneath the skin there's been a BMW-flavoured revolution...

What is it?

One glance says it’s the Mini: successor to the Mini, and the Mini before that. But this is no mere re-skin. The whole underneath is new, sharing rather a lot with the latest BMW 2-Series Active Tourer people carrier (yikes, yes, FWD BMWs are now upon us). Engines are all-new too, but the range structure of One, Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper SD holds no surprises.

There’s a 5-door option now, with a stretch to the body and more space in the back than you’d ever expect. Mini becomes a roomy supermini? Why, almost.



The Mini offers a mix of three-cylinder or four-cylinder engines. All are impressive. The Cooper’s engine is the more interesting, a three-cylinder 1.5-litre job. Shared with the i8 supercar, it’s loaded with all BMW’s tech, and is gutsy (7.9secs to 62mph), keen and interesting on the ears. It’s also a lightweight motor, which helps give the car a terrier-like way of biting into bends. It’s huge fun, but the other story is one of refinement – the ride is hardly big-car cushy, but it doesn’t bash you about.

The Cooper S has a four-cylinder 2.0 turbo version of the same engine family, making a healthy 192bhp. It’s set up a bit more stiffly than the Cooper, but on bumpy roads that means it loses a bit of the cornering fluency, and (possibly because of the heavier engine) the steering is a fraction less sweet. But it’s still a hoot.

On the inside

The style is really very, very Mini. The dash and screen graphics are full of design flourishes and all the cabin parts are separate rather than being integrated smoothly together. The driving position is excellent, and very distinctive – legs straight forward, upright pillars, shallow screen. Rear room remains poor in the 3-door, and the boot is deeper than it was, though if you want practicality in your small car look elsewhere. To the new 5-door, perhaps? It’s appreciably bigger in there, getting in and out is easier and even its 278-litre boot (over 30% bigger) is passable.

As ever you can spend hours on the configurator, but the snag is that to add certain juicy options, such as navigation or adjustable dampers, you’re hooked into bigger, more expensive packages. It can be a very sophisticated small car indeed but the price becomes anything but small change. 


Despite the fact there are so many of them around, Minis have always resisted depreciation, so they’re cheap to own over time. Go for the optional TLC service package and your costs are further protected. Strangely, even the all-new engines can’t quite haul the Mini to the top of its class for economy (or lowest CO2) but in performance/economy balance they’re very strong.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.0 John Cooper Works 3dr Auto
6.1s 133g/km 49.6 231 £24,335
The cheapest
1.2 One 3dr
9.9s 109g/km 61.4 102 £14,020
The greenest
1.5 One D 3dr
11.0s 89g/km 83.1 95 £15,160


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