MINI

The MINI Hatch is now in its third generation (excluding the sixties original, of course) and it's now more spacious, more luxurious and more fuel-efficient than ever before. MINI has concentrated on expanding the gap between the front and rear wheels to increase space in the boot, so it's now more of a usable family car. Plus, there's even set to be a five-door version for the first time. There's a model and a colour scheme to suit everyone, too, such is the level of personalisation. Kicking off the range is the One, followed by the Cooper and Cooper S – add a D to the end of each of those and you’ve got the diesel models. A sporty John Cooper Works (JCW) hot hatch completes the range.

MINI hatchback

Price 
£13,935 - £21,260
3 Doors
4.1 / 5
Pros
  • Great interior
  • Fun to drive
  • Efficient engines
Cons
  • Suspension still a bit firm
  • Rear legroom is tight
  • Expensive to buy

The MINI Hatch is a style-led supermini that also happens to be really good to drive. Those retro-inspired looks will draw you in, the luxurious hi-tech cabin will wow you and the agile handling will entertain even the most hardcore petrolhead. The petrol engines range from a 100bhp 1.2-litre turbo in the MINI One to a 2.0-litre turbo in the MINI Cooper S. The diesels are excellent, with the One D claiming fuel economy of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 89g/km – but our pick is the 1.5-litre petrol Cooper, which feels fast and fun, yet can also return 60mpg.

MINI 5-door hatchback

Price 
£14,535 - £21,860
5 Doors
4.3 / 5
Pros
  • Still fun to drive
  • Great build quality
  • Not much more expensive than three-door
Cons
  • Small rear doors
  • Boot still quite small
  • Bewildering number of optional extras

The small and stylish MINI hatchback has  spawned a pair of rear doors, adding family-friendly practicality to the funky model range. It gets the same selection of petrol and diesel engines, with very little penalty in terms of fuel economy or performance. If you need more space but love everything about the MINI hatchback, you won't be disappointed by the arrival of this brand-new 5-door version.

MINI convertible

Price 
£16,585 - £26,730
2 Doors
3.5 / 5
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Economical engines
  • Roof operates quickly and easily
Cons
  • Firm ride
  • Noisy with roof down
  • Tiny boot and rear seats

The standard MINI hatchback has tiny rear seats and a minute boot, so making space for the fabric roof makes the Convertible even more impractical. That aside, this MINI does everything else a small convertible should do, very well – it's fun to drive, has loads of space up front, is cheap to run, and the electric roof folds quickly. The Fiat 500C is a strong rival, but convertibles don’t come much cooler than the drop-top MINI.

MINI John Cooper Works hatchback

Price 
£23,050 - £31,315
3 Doors
3.8 / 5
Pros
  • Entertaining to drive
  • Funky interior
  • Stand-out looks
Cons
  • Pricey compared to rivals
  • Cheaper Cooper S almost as fun
  • Uncomfortable ride

The MINI John Cooper Works hatch is the most powerful MINI in production to date, promising to deliver more thrills than the already-hot MINI Cooper S. The MINI JCW has a distinctive body kit and unique styling options and comes with the funky interior seen in the rest of the MINI hatch range. The 0-62mph sprint is done in around 6 seconds, which is enough to worry cars that are a size class above. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol creates 228bhp and manages a respectable fuel economy of around 44mpg, depending on the gearbox choice, so running costs shouldn't be as much as you might expect. However, just like most MINI models, go easy with the optional extras as the JCW can quickly become very expensive.