MINI

The MINI range is anything but small! It now includes a quirky MINI Clubman ‘estate’, the practical MINI Countryman 4x4 and the racy MINI coupe. But it was the hatchback that started the retro craze, and it's still a strong seller. As well as being fashionable, it's fun to drive, well made and holds its value well. However, top specification cars are expensive to buy, especially if you go crazy with the options.

MINI hatchback

Price 
£13,750 - £20,150
3 Doors
4.1 / 5
Pros
  • Stylish image
  • Economical engines
  • Lots of fun to drive
Cons
  • Firm suspension
  • Still not very practical
  • Expensive price and options

The MINI hatchback is one of the most iconic cars on British roads, and that is all-set to continue with the new model. It's still lots of fun to drive, and interior quality is even better than before – but unfortunately it's beaten even by tiny city cars like the VW up! when it comes to boot space and practicality.

MINI convertible

Price 
£16,420 - £26,565
2 Doors
3.5 / 5
Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Roof operates quickly and easily
  • Low running costs
Cons
  • Firm ride
  • Wind noise with the 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

3 Doors
3.2 / 5
Pros
  • Exhaust note
  • High resale value
  • Great fun to drive
Cons
  • Lack of boot and rear seat space
  • Some cheap interior plastics
  • Poor standard spec

The ultimate BMW-developed MINI comes in the form of the 208bhp John Cooper Works, the hottest production MINI yet capable of 148mph. The MINI JCW faces comeptition from the Renault Clio Renaultsport and Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Excellent resale values and an economical engine means the performance MINI is a sensible, if expensive choice. Sharing many parts with the MINI Challenge one-make racers, the JCW provides cracking entertainment in a desirable hot hatch package.