Mini Hatch Review 2023 | Top Gear
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Sunday 24th September
The moustachioed Mini is an excellent grown-up hatch, if not the most practical choice

Good stuff

Strong engines, high-class cabin, seemingly endless personalisation

Bad stuff

Rear-seat and boot space remains a joke, standard Union Flag rear lights


What is it?

This is the modern Mini Mk3, born back in 2013 and revitalised by means of yet another facelift back in 2021. It won’t be too long for this world, however, because Mini has said that it’ll be the first brand in the BMW Group to go fully electric at some point in the early 2030s.


Ha-ha – that hefty new snout on the three- and five-door hatch and that odd moustache-like surround were all part of the facelift. Mini says they were added to make the car look wider and more aggressive, although we’re unsure quite why that would be necessary. 

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Now, set your ‘non-British ideas of what Britishness is’ alert mode to Defcon 3, because Mini is laying it on thick. It’s a wonder you don’t get a free bulldog with every car purchased.

Since 2018 you’ve had to have Union Jack rear lights on your Mini hatch. Fair play to Mini, it has been meticulously correct in ensuring the split, illuminated emblem is the ‘correct’ way up (which caused a few issues in the US, where asymmetric rear lights are not usually permitted) and we have no doubt some folk utterly adore this feature – but we’re also of the opinion that many find it somewhat… challenging. Especially outside the UK, where they’re an option. 

That’s a subjective point though. The facelift also brought with it several interior tweaks including new trim options, an upgraded infotainment system, and the option of an electronic handbrake instead of a conventional ratchet. Head to the interior tab for more.


Engines are all the same as they were at the last facelift back in 2018 (although you can no longer buy a diesel-powered Cooper SD). That means One and Cooper models get a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, whereas the Cooper S and John Cooper Works iterations get a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot in different states of tune. Full details over on the driving tab.

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Ask, and you shall receive – click these blue words for our full Mini Electric review.


Take your pick from any of the many superminis you’ll find on these shores, including the Audi A1, Citroen C3, Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i10, Mazda 2, Kia Picanto, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Toyota Aygo, Vauxhall Corsa, VW Up and more.


Starting prices are somewhat inflated at time of writing, largely due to the fact that chipageddon means that the One hatchback is currently unavailable. As such your entry point to Mini ownership is the three-door Cooper at £22,565, with the five-door £660 more. That’s before you start on the optional extras and Mini Yours customisation programme, mind. Head to the buying tab for the full lowdown.

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

The moustachioed Mini is an excellent grown-up hatch, if not the most practical choice

The Mini Hatch remains a cut above the rest of the class inside, has superb drivetrains and a very well-sorted chassis to handle whatever poke is provided by the chosen motor up front. The facelift has certainly provided a bolder face (naturally), but it’ll hardly alter its showroom appeal and the almost limitless Mini Yours Customised options list guarantees that it’ll still fly out of showrooms.

The 211-litre boot is particularly tiny and obviously the three-door can only seat four, but you absolutely won’t be buying a Mini Hatch for the practicality. The infotainment has been well updated and the JCW remains fantastic to drive. The Cooper S provides the same big-engine, small-car level of fun too, and it’d be easy to make the One and Cooper your own.

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