When BMW bought Rover the prime asset was undoubtedly the MINI brand and it unveiled its vision of the new car for the masses in 2001 to rapturous applause. A car that was small, fun to drive and for the first time in the segment offered plenty of personalisation – and the momentum didn’t stop there, with the firm releasing an open-top convertible model in 2005.
Like the hatch, space in the rear, and in the boot, was on the tight side. But it was still so much fun to drive, with a range of petrol engines that included the Cooper S’ supercharged unit. There was no diesel engine available, but with wind-in-the-hair motoring available, that mattered not. Like the hatch it was available in One, Cooper and Cooper S specification though its personalisation popularity means most are fairly uniquely specified and trimmed.