Mini Hatchback (2014-present)

The Mini Hatchback is a modern icon and one of the most stylish cars you can buy

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Fun to drive
Characterful and well-made interior
Engines combine performance and economy

Weaknesses 

Four-star safety rating
Bumpy on rough roads
Fairly cramped in the back

It’s been almost 60 years since the Mini first brought its cheeky charm to the roads, with round, bulging headlamps and downturned grille.

The modern car might be considerably larger than the original but it remains one of the most characterful cars on the market. Models built after March 2018, when the car received some small updates, even have a Union Jack pattern on the rear lights.

It stands out a mile from most of its supermini competition, including the Ford Fiesta, Audi A1 and Volkswagen Polo, despite costing little more to own. Mini finance costs are particularly affordable because the car holds on to its value well. Inside, the car is just as distinctive. A circular screen surround dominates the dashboard, just above retro toggle switches and high-quality plastics that can be finished in a wide range of colours, allowing you to personalise the car to your exact taste.

Only the Fiat 500 and Volkswagen Beetle have been as successful in updating a popular modern design, and neither of those cars can match the Mini on the road.

The Mini’s marketed as being fun to drive, with a so-called go-kart feel, and the car can easily put a smile on your face, whether you’re in the very cheapest Mini One or the popular Mini Cooper.

With zippy petrol engines that produce a growling exhaust note and power the car forward with energy, even burbling around town at slower speeds can be fun.

But it’s twisting roads that are most likely to make you grin well within the speed limit, where the engine can be revved smoothly to get maximum power, and the Mini’s quick, accurate steering sends it darting from one bend to the next, with plenty of grip from the tyres and barely any leaning at all.

Few other superminis can match the car’s nimbleness but it does come at a price: the stiff suspension required for rapid and stable changes of direction struggles to absorb the impact when you drive over potholes and rough surfaces, which leads to some jarring, uncomfortable bumps. The Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza and Vauxhall Corsa have much of the Mini’s cornering agility, with much less if the discomfort.

Unless you opt for the longer five-door Mini Hatchback (or the larger Mini Clubman), you’ll also have to accept less practicality from the Mini. Its back seats aren’t very spacious, so adults will feel tightly enclosed.

There are plenty of large storage spaces for bottles, small bags, sunglasses and mobile phones but its boot is behind the competition. The 211 litres of space is big enough for a weekly shop, but there are more than 100 litres extra in the Seat Ibiza, Volkswagen Polo and Honda Jazz.

Still, it’s larger than the previous generation of Mini, which is also fun to drive and looks extremely similar from the outside. You’ll easily recognise these earlier models from the inside because the speedometer is in the centre of the dashboard, rather than behind the steering wheel, as it is in the latest generation.

The current Mini has an acceptable four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, an independent crash-testing association. Common safety equipment, such as airbags, is standard but an automatic emergency braking system, which can help avoid front crashes is optional.

The car has three sets of Isofix points for securely mounting a child seat: two in the back and one on the front passenger seat, where the airbag must be deactivated (by flicking a switch) when a child seat is placed there.

  

Last Updated 

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 11:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/unlimited miles
Boot size: 
211 litres
Width: 
1727mm
Length: 
3821mm
Height: 
1414mm
Tax (min to max): 
£100 to £200 in first year, £140 thereafter / Pre-April 2017 cars: £0 to £130

Best Mini Hatchback for... 

Mini One D
The latest Mini diesel engines are very efficient and most frugal of them all is the entry-level One D version, which is exempt from road tax and can return in excess of 83mpg economy.
Mini Cooper D
Family buyers should really consider one of the more practical Mini models, such as the five-door hatchback or the Countryman crossover. But if you have a small family and fancy a three-door Mini, note that the Cooper and Cooper D add an ISOFIX child-seat mounting point and airbag deactivation switch for the front passenger seat. The diesel Cooper D gets the nod over the Cooper, as its low running costs will help keep the family budget down.
Mini Cooper S
The Cooper badge has been associated with fast and fun Minis ever since the original car’s sixties heyday and the latest versions continue that tradition. Even better, the Cooper S is reasonably economical for a hot hatchback, too, achieving nearly 50mpg – so you can have your cake and eat it.
Mini One Auto
While the Mini’s automatic gearbox is quite good, it goes against the car’s fun, involving character, so we wouldn’t recommend it unless you can only drive automatics. The One trim level is pretty sparsely equipped, too.

Mini Hatchback History 

November 2013: Third-generation ‘new MINI’ unveiled for 2014 launch
June 2014: Cooper D diesel joined by more powerful Cooper SD version
October 2014: 1,100 Dec ‘13-Sep ‘14 MINIs recalled for spare wheel problem
November 2014: 2,800 Aug-Sep ‘14 MINIs recalled for seat backrest issue
December 2014: Euro NCAP awards MINI four out of five stars for safety
February 2015: Sport Pack options package now available

Understanding Mini Hatchback car names 

  • Hatchback
  • Engine & trim level
    Cooper D
  • Option package
    Chili Pack
  • Gearbox
    Automatic
  • Engine & trim level
    Details of a Mini's engine and its level of standard equipment are both contained in a single word. Entry-level cars with the least-powerful engine are badged One. Cooper is the next level, adding more power and equipment. This is followed by Cooper S and John Cooper Works. Diesel cars are identified with the letter 'D'.
  • Option package
    Most Minis are fitted with option packs, which add a bundle of extra equipment for a set price. These include the Pepper Pack, bringing air conditioning, parking sensors and cruise control, plus several other items. The popular Chili Pack has all of this, plus part-leather seats, larger alloy wheels and different driving modes, giving the option of a sportier feel.
  • Gearbox
    An automatic gearbox, which is also known as Steptronic, is optional.

Mini Hatchback Engines 

Engines: 1.2, 1.5, 2.0 (petrol); 1.5, 2.0 (diesel)

Even the basic 1.2-litre petrol in the entry-level MINI One is a good engine, with a 0-62mph time of around 10 seconds and impressive fuel economy of over 60mpg. It’s more than able for frantic city driving and motorway cruising, so it’s by no means a poor relation to the punchier engines in the Cooper models.

The 1.5-litre diesel in the One D is the running-costs champion of the MINI range, topping 80mpg and easily qualifying for road-tax exemption. It’s perhaps a little too sluggish for the MINI’s youthful, fun character, though, so if you want a diesel MINI, we’d recommend the Cooper D, which has a more powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine but is still exempt from road tax.

The Cooper D’s petrol equivalent, the Cooper, is faster from 0-62mph but, as you’d expect, not as economical. Those hungry for more power than the Cooper models can provide are catered for by the range-topping Cooper S (petrol) and Cooper SD (diesel) MINIs. The S makes nearly 200bhp and is the fastest of the MINI hatchbacks, while the SD isn’t too far off its performance, while returning much better fuel economy. All are responsive and satisfying to drive, but the reasonably efficient mid-range Cooper is the best all-rounder of the bunch.

Fuel

Mpg

Bhp

0 - 62mph

top speed

1.2 (One)

Petrol

60.1 - 61.4mpg

102bhp

9.9 - 10.2s

121mph

1.5 (One D)

Diesel

80.7 - 83.1mpg

95bhp

11.0s

118mph

1.5 (Cooper)

Petrol

61.4 - 62.8mpg

136bhp

7.8 - 7.9s

130mph

1.5 (Cooper D)

Diesel

78.5 - 80.7mpg

116bhp

9.2s

127mph

2.0 (Cooper S)

Petrol

49.6 - 48.7mpg

192bhp

6.7 - 6.8s

145 - 146mph

2.0 (Cooper SD)

Diesel

68.9 - 70.6mpg

170bhp

7.2 - 7.3s

140 - 141mph

Mini Hatchback Trims 

Trims: One & One D, Cooper & Cooper D, Cooper S & Cooper SD

DAB digital radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, air-conditioning and foglights are about the extent of the MINI One and One D’s kit, so while they’re an affordable route into MINI ownership, many buyers may want some more in-car toys for their day-to-day driving.

The Cooper doesn’t have a great deal more standard kit, but one important addition for family buyers is an ISOFIX child-seat point and airbag deactivation switch for the front passenger seat. On the Cooper S, you get a leather steering wheel and more supportive sports seats, but realistically, the trim levels are only the beginning when it comes to speccing your new MINI.

MINI was one of the first brands to really embrace ‘option packs’ that group together various accessories and options for a set price. Those available include the Media Pack (which adds sat nav), the Chili Pack (which adds 17-inch alloys, rain-sensing wipers and dual-zone air-conditioning) and two MINI Sport packs (one for the exterior and one for the interior – both adding an array of visual and styling enhancements).

Mini Hatchback Reliability and warranty 

This latest third-generation MINI hatchback made a very impressive debut in the Auto Express magazine Driver Power customer satisfaction survey in 2015. It was ranked ninth overall out of 200 cars by what are clearly some very satisfied owners, as well as finishing 40th for reliability and 23rd for build quality. MINI has clearly benefitted from many years of large-scale investment from BMW that’s now paying off. On the warranty front, the three years of manufacturer cover offered by MINI is in line with other upmarket brands such as Audi and Mercedes, while the absence of a mileage limit within that time is a nice plus.

Used Mini Hatchback 

The MINI is a very desirable car that’s highly sought after on the secondhand market, so used values remain very strong for several years. That makes it a great brand-new purchase for private buyers, who’ll make back a good chunk of their money when the time comes to sell. Strong residual values also allow MINI and its dealer network to offer very competitive finance deals.

List price

BuyaCar new

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

MINI Cooper S

Price

£18,840

N/a

£17,480

£15,525

N/a

Save

N/a

7%

18%

N/a

Best for families

MINI Cooper D

Price

£16,450

N/a

£14,450

£12,845

N/a

Save

N/a

12%

22%

N/a

Best for economy

MINI One D

Price

£15,075

N/a

£13,270

£11,825

N/a

Save

N/a

12%

22%

N/a

Other Editions