4.2 out of 5 4.2
Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Stylish hatchback is rewarding to own and drive

MINI Hatchback (14 on) - rated 4.2 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £16,055 - £29,950
Lease from new From £186 p/m View lease deals
Used price £4,250 - £22,415
Used monthly cost £106 - £559
Fuel Economy 38.7 - 49.6 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £200
Insurance group 11 - 33 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • All models are great fun to drive
  • Lots of tech and a high-quality cabin
  • All engines are impressive
  • Bags of character inside and out

CONS

  • Top-spec models on the expensive side
  • Optional extras can be pricey 
  • Boot and rear seat space is cramped
  • Ride can be firm on larger wheels

MINI Hatchback rivals

Alfa Romeo
Mito
3 out of 5 3.0

Written by Tom Goodlad on

If you want a distinctive and fun car with a premium edge, then make a beeline for a MINI Hatch. The upmarket-feeling compact car, which is offered in both three- and five-door configurations, rivals popular hatchbacks such as the equally retro Fiat 500, the desirable Audi A1 and the steadfast Volkswagen Polo – but it's often far more entertaining and characterful than many of those alternatives.

You could also add it to your potentials list if you’re shopping for cars such as the Mazda 2, SEAT Ibiza and Alfa Romeo MiTo. The MINI certainly has much in its favour, after all; it has eye-catching looks, a range of excellent BMW-derived technology, punchy engines and a long list of personalisation options. Consequently, it should be easy to come up with a car that meets your requirements and tastes.

How big is it?

The new MINI Hatch is, unsurprisingly, larger than its predecessor – in every direction. For example, the standard three-door model is 3,821mm long, 1,932mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,414mm tall; its predecessor was 98mm shorter, 19mm narrower and stood 1,407mm tall. There’s more space inside the new MINI, as a result, but tall adults will still struggle for space in the back of three- or five-door versions. Fortunately, if you need something more practical, you could opt for the more spacious Clubman or Countryman.

Despite the size increase, there’s no mistaking the Hatch for anything other than a modern MINI thanks to its familiar grille, headlights and rear lights – and even more so since the revisions carried out in 2018, which included the fitment of a set of Union Jack-style rear LED lights. In any case, the MINI is a modern and fresh-looking car with a suitably sporty profile.

Interior packed with BMW technology

Inside, MINI has served up an interior that’s interesting to look at and packed with plenty of design cues that hark back to the original car. There's also a huge amount of modern technology on offer, much of which you'd only expect to see in much bigger, more expensive cars.

The distinctive central instrument binnacle no longer contains the speedometer but instead the infotainment system’s details, with the speedo located behind the steering wheel next to the rev counter. A variety of screen sizes are available, depending on the spec of the car, and each runs a more fun-looking version of BMW’s slick iDrive infotainment system.

You'll notice that the central display is also surrounded by an LED ring, which illuminates differently depending on your preferences. It can act as a fuel gauge, change colour depending on how close you are to something when parking, or you can let it do its own thing and scroll between a variety of vivid colours.

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MINI Hatch interior

Sensible five-door option

For the first time, a five-door (four doors and a hatchback tailgate) version of the MINI Hatch has been made available. Previously, it was only available with three doors. You get virtually the same choice of engines and equipment grades whether you pick a three- or five-door car, which gives buyers a bit more choice if they need a drop of extra practicality.

Don’t go thinking it’s some kind of family wagon – it’s still smaller inside than supermini rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo – and the boot is smaller than those of its competitors, too. Still, if you only need the rear seats for occasional use, it does make a lot of sense as a slightly more usable version of the regular Hatch. If you do need a bigger MINI, there's also the Clubman estate and Countryman SUV.

Engines: all TwinPower petrols

When ordering a new MINI, you typically pick from one of three petrol variants – One, Cooper and Cooper S – followed by a trim level; Classic, Sport or Exclusive. The entry-level petrol MINI One is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine (it used to be a 1.2) with 102hp. Move to the Cooper, which accounts for the majority of sales, and you get a punchier 136bhp variant of the same three-cylinder engine.

Topping the standard range is the four-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol Cooper S. This offers significantly improved performance as it packs 192hp, which aids it in sprinting from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. A special 60 Years Edition of the Cooper S is also available, which features additional kit and bespoke cosmetic tweaks.

In any case, an automatic transmission is available throughout the range – a seven-speed dual-clutch on some and more traditional eight-speed auto on others, and most MINI Hatches – 60 Years Edition aside – come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard.

Previously, the MINI was available with diesel versions of the Cooper and Cooper S, however these were removed from the line-up in 2018. 

MINI John Cooper Works

Taking the regular MINI Cooper S one step further is the MINI John Cooper Works (JCW). Its engine punches out 231hp and the hot hatch is capable of dashing from 0-62mph in just 6.3 seconds. It's also differentiated from other MINI models with several red exterior accents and model-specific trimmings inside for the seats and decorative elements.

2018 LCI facelift

January 2018 saw the arrival of a subtle facelift for the MINI - the brand calls its mid-life updates LCI. The engine range was tweaked, with the One’s 1.2-litre petrol being dropped in favour of a larger 1.5-litre engine producing 102hp. A new seven-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission replaced the old eight-speed automatic in some variants, too.

Although the overall shape and style remained unchanged, the Hatch received changes to the interior, as well as revised front and rear lights. All cars now come equipped with LED headlights as standard, with the option to step up to dazzle-free Matrix LED ones. The rear lights were updated to a twee Union Jack design, which were designed to divide opinions.

Other highlights of the 2018 MINI update include the Yours Customised scheme, which allows the owner to buy personalised 3D-printed inserts for the dashboard and door sills, as well as unique graphics for the car’s puddle lights. Apple CarPlay and a concierge service were added as options to the infotainment system.

MINI 60 Years Edition

To celebrate 60 years since the launch of the original 1959 Mini, a special 60 Years Edition joined the range – and production was limited to just 500 cars. To set it apart from other models, it features a new British Racing Green paintjob with black roof, mirror caps and exterior trim details, unique alloy wheels, and leather interior in what MINI calls Dark Cacao. In terms of kit, the Comfort Plus Pack and Navigation Plus Pack are fitted as standard, with LED spotlights on the front grille added as well. 

Dealwatch special

Our leasing partner, ZenAuto is offering Cooper Classic II spec cars with the 1.5-litre petrol engine for £165 per month with no processing fee. The usual terms and conditions apply.*

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*Quote 'beat the blues' to remove £199 processing fee. These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 23 December 2019 but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone's financial circumstances are different, and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. Bauer Consumer Media Limited is an appointed representative of ZenAuto Limited for the broking of regulated hire agreements. ZenAuto Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ZenAuto Limited's registered office is Number One, Great Exhibition Way, Kirkstall Forge, Leeds LS5 3BF. ZenAuto Limited's company registration number is 10967345. ZenAuto is the trading name of ZenAuto Limited. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.

MINI Hatchback rivals

Alfa Romeo
Mito
3 out of 5 3.0