Price £13,750 - £21,070
- Great interior
- Fun to drive
- Efficient engines
- Suspension still a bit firm
- Rear legroom tight
- Expensive to buy
At a glance
"The latest MINI Hatch has addressed many of the issues with the old MINI, making it one of the most stylish, fun and economical cars on the road."
The old MINI Hatch earned a reputation for having cool styling, lots of customisable options and being the best-handling car in its class. The new model was launched earlier in 2014 and looks to keep the good points of the old car, while improving the suspension, interior quality and space in the back seats and boot.
Although the outgoing model wasn’t exactly heavy on fuel, the new car makes impressive improvements across the board thanks to a range of new hi-tech engines. Even the basic 1.2-litre petrol can return up to 61.4mpg. Road tax is completely free for all the diesel models except the SD performance version.
Not convinced? Well, our pick of the range, the MINI Cooper, boasts fuel economy of more than 60mpg, while still covering 0-62mph in just 7.8 seconds. Few other cars of this type can offer performance and economy like the MINI can.
Inside, the interior is bigger than the old car's and gets better-quality plastics. Although the large, centrally mounted speedometer remains, it now sports an infotainment display that controls things such as the stereo, as well as displaying instructions from the sat nav.
The MINI range starts with the MINI One and One D, while the MINI Cooper and Cooper D are good all-rounders. They combine pretty reasonable acceleration with rock-bottom running costs.
For now, the Cooper S is the fastest model thanks to its 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the MINI John Cooper Works (JCW), which is scheduled for release in 2015, will be even quicker.
Thankfully, the MINI remains an exceptionally fun car to drive, and while the suspension is definitely softer than it was before, some drivers may still find it a bit too uncomfortable on long journeys. And the back seats could still do with a bit more space – tall passengers will feel extremely cramped.
Standard equipment is more generous than ever, with the Cooper getting a Bluetooth phone connection, front foglights, keyless go, electric windows and climate control as standard. As ever with MINI, there are plenty of pricey options you can spend your hard-earned cash on, though.
Compared to traditional superminis like the Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa, you’ll be spending a bit more in the first place – the MINI has more of a premium price tag than either of those models. It does feel a lot more like an upmarket product, though, so many people are willing to pay the difference.
At the time of writing, the latest MINI hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but we’re expecting it to get the full five stars. Owners weren’t too happy with the reliability of the old MINI, but this one should offer improvements there, too.
A new range of great small engines means the MINI Hatch is seriously cheap to run. There are great servicing deals, too
It’s as fun as ever to drive, but feels more comfortable and refined on long journeys. The Mini Cooper S offers serious thrills
The MINI's interior has finally come of age: it’s clearly laid-out and feels well built
The MINI Hatch has been improved compared to the car it replaces, but the boot is still too small and the rear seats are still too cramped
The new MINI Hatch should prove to be more reliable than the old one thanks to huge investment from BMW