Great fun to drive, funky image, unique interior, economical engines
Tiny boot, cramped rear seats, miserly standard kit
The MINI, launched in 2001, introduced a whole new generation to the iconic model. Retro was all the rage and the funky hatchback took full advantage with its cheeky looks and classic interior both inspired by the original. The second generation model builds on this formula and although it may not look very different, comes with better engines along with improved safety and comfort.
It's still great to drive with go-kart like handling and good performance - even from the entry level First model. Some things have remained unchanged though and the MINI still lacks a decent boot while rear seat space is limited - standard equipment levels aren't generous either. But with a new diesel engine available, superb economy and almost endless levels of personalisation possible, the MINI is a great choice.