Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

MINI hatchback review - Interior & comfort

The MINI’s interior feels well-built and perfectly channels the car’s cool retro vibe

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.4 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

One of the best bits about driving a MINI is sitting down nice and low, with the pedals, gearlever and steering wheel all perfectly within your reach. There’s lots of adjustment in the supportive driver’s seat and in the steering wheel, allowing you to get set up perfectly. Also, it doesn't feel quite as claustrophobic as the old car, where you occasionally seemed a bit boxed in; now, it feels a lot more airy and spacious.

Advertisement - Article continues below

What may fly under the radar of the average car buyer is that MINI is, in fact, owned by BMW and this shows in the hatchback’s premium-feeling interior. There are plenty of high-quality materials, while details such as configurable ambient lighting, metal door handles and rows of old-school toggle switches all make the MINI feel truly special.

Our only gripe is the use of gloss black materials on the steering wheel; while the controls are certainly easy to use, it’s very easy to leave unwanted fingerprints which quickly build up and make it look dirty. Likewise, there’s also a row of shortcut buttons beneath the centre touchscreen that are finished in gloss black, making them magnets for dust and fingerprints.

Infotainment and navigation

If you’ve sat in an original MINI, you’ll be familiar with the circular dash design; instead of housing a speedometer – that now lies behind the steering wheel – the centre of the dashboard is dominated by an 8.8-inch touchscreen, which is standard on all models and encircled by a ring of ambient lighting. This can change colour depending on which drive mode you’re in and, if you have parking sensors fitted, can also function as a visual aid to let you know how close you are to the car behind, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The touchscreen itself runs a modified version of BMW’s class-leading iDrive infotainment software. MINI has modified this to feature funky graphics and this can be controlled via the touchscreen itself or by utilising a rotary dial in the centre console. Sat nav is an optional extra, however, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity is available if you’d rather use your phone – Android Auto isn’t offered, unfortunately.

Unfortunately, a digital instrument cluster is only available on the range-topping John Cooper Works model, or the plug-in MINI Electric. While this is a shame as it added another modern touch to the now-nine-year-old third-generation BMW MINI, in reality, it adds very little functionality, bar basic sat-nav directions and engine instrumentation.

We are pleased, however, that MINI hasn’t fallen into the trap of integrating the climate controls into the touchscreen; these can be accessed via a set of rotary knobs below the screen itself, which are much easier to operate when on the move than having to precariously prod the touchscreen.

Equipment

Every MINI comes with LED exterior lighting, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, parking sensors and the aforementioned infotainment screen with DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. In the last few years, even more kit is now standard, with all cars getting automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and projectors that cast MINI logos on the ground when the doors open.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The MINI hatchback offers a mix-and-match scheme between engines and trim levels. The options are now Classic, Sport and Exclusive which can all be chosen with either Cooper or Cooper S power.

Sport trim adds an aggressive bodykit, special alloy wheels and a racy interior theme with dark headlining, sports seats and 'John Cooper Works' logos in prominent locations. Exclusive trades the aggressive look for a more upmarket theme, with a unique style of alloy wheels and subtle chrome trim outside, and a lavish leather interior within.

Resolute examples come with a ‘Rebel green’ paint scheme with gold touches to exterior trim in a homage to MINI’s racing heritage. Most of the exterior and interior differences with Resolute models are merely cosmetic, though.

MINI has recently added MINI Teleservices and MINI eCall to the range as standard. MINI Teleservices monitors the car's condition throughout its life, and can detect if there's an issue with the car. If an issue is detected, it's able to contact your preferred MINI dealer to arrange an appointment to get it checked.

MINI eCall is a safety system that alerts the emergency services if the car is involved in an accident, and can report on the speed of the car at impact and how many airbags were deployed.

Options

In order to simplify production during the current global manufacturing crisis, MINI has simplified the range and instead of offering individual options a single ‘Premium Plus’ pack is available to buyers. For around £2,500 (depending on which trim you’re adding it to) this adds features like sat-nav, heated seats, a panoramic glass sunroof, wireless phone charging, extended ambient lighting and a reversing camera.

There's also a wide range of paint colours and visual customisation options, which are easy to get carried away with. You can choose things like coloured accents to brighten up the interior and it's genuinely worth doing if you don’t mind paying a little more per month – this car is all about style, after all.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024
The UK's best-selling cars hero
Best cars
5 Jun 2024

The UK's top 10 best-selling cars 2024

Top 10 best city cars 2024
best city cars
Best cars
25 Apr 2024

Top 10 best city cars 2024

The best cheap fun cars from under £5k to over £10k
Best cheap fun cars
Best cars
23 Apr 2024

The best cheap fun cars from under £5k to over £10k

10 smallest cars on sale 2024
smallest cars on sale
Best cars
28 Feb 2024

10 smallest cars on sale 2024

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Dacia Duster crowned UK’s best car to own in Driver Power survey
Dacia Duster front quarter
News
12 Jun 2024

Dacia Duster crowned UK’s best car to own in Driver Power survey

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024