- Build quality
- Driving experience
- Stylish looks
- Pricier than rivals
- Sporty models sacrifice comfort
What's the MINI Hatch like?
The BMW MINI might look very similar to the original 1960s model designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, but in fact, it’s much bigger in every direction.
It's been a huge success ever since it was launched and demand is such that even some years down the line, prices remain high for good examples.
Those prices stay up because this is a car that’s great to look at, comfortable to ride in, fun to drive, and stylish to be seen in, making all very sought after.
The third generation MINI hatch was introduced in 2013, before being replaced by the fourth generation in 2021.
The lowliest petrol MINI One is appreciably slower than the Cooper, with 102bhp instead of 136bhp from the same 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine.
But both feel lovely and responsive out on the road, with the same excellent build quality and quirky yet functional and stylish interior.
However, in the sportier Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) models, the rise is somewhat compromised by stiffer suspension and bigger wheels.
They all look great, and those looks are carried through to the experience on the road, with an excellent chassis giving superb agility, positive and direct power steering that has loads of feedback, and a comfortable ride.
There are manual and automatic gearboxes available in all guises and the manuals have a light clutch and a delightfully easy, slick gear change.
The brakes are superb, and the roadholding, with a huge amount of grip up to phenomenal cornering speeds, is top-notch.
The One has 102bhp and reaches 60mph from rest in 10.0 seconds while managing a best of 52mpg, and the Cooper has 136bhp giving the same economy and bringing up 60mph in 7.8 seconds.
Move up to the Cooper S, and you'll benefit from a 2.0-litre power unit producing 178bhp. It gets to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and will do a best of 43mpg, but the JCW with 231bhp is performance king as you'd expect, covering the sprint in 6.0 seconds while still managing 40mpg.
Diesel engines are a 1.5-litre with 93bhp in the One D or 114bhp in the Cooper D, and a 2.0-litre for the SD that has 167bhp. All three have excellent economy with the Cooper capable of 74mpg, and the 0 to 60mph times are 10.8, 9.1 and 7.2 seconds respectively.
Reliability is very good, so you'll rarely have any problems – and of course, the MINI is now one of the few cars still built in the UK.
Interior and Equipment
Inside, everything is sophisticated and special, with great seats, an excellent driving position, and well-placed controls.
There's a split folding back seat, and a proper hatchback, but the hatches are pretty much two or three seaters, because with the front seat back for a six-foot driver, there's not much rear legroom.
Basic equipment in the Cooper includes an alarm, stability control, remote locking, electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning, AM/FM radio, good seat and column adjustment, and a service indicator.
They also have plenty of airbags and other safety devices, plus alloy wheels, but of course, most used will have added spec from the wide list of add-ons.
There's a bewildering number of models available with every engine, so make sure that any you want to buy have everything you want already fitted.
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Find your MINI Hatch your way with CarStore
The MINI Hatch is a supermini like no other. Its go-kart like handling will put a grin on the faces of most, whilst its top build quality ensures great levels of refinement and reliability. It's not the most practical car on the market, but that's easy to forget when you're having so much fun behind the wheel.
Here at CarStore, you're able to buy your car your way. Whether that be online, in-person, or a mix of both, the choice is yours. With an extensive variety of used cars available, we're sure to have a car that suits your lifestyle.