Car trim reviews

MINI One

The MINI One captures the spirit of Sir Alec Issigonis’s 1959 original, even though it’s a lot bigger and heavier to meet modern safety demands.

The current MINI does a remarkably good job of retaining the style and character of the old car that was a fashion icon in the Sixties. MINI claims the current model has the go-kart feel of the original. That’s not strictly true, since it is much bigger and heavier. But within those restrictions it is huge fun, with direct handling and responsive steering. The MINI One is available with 102bhp 1.2-litre TwinPower petrol and 95bhp 1.2-litre TwinPower turbo diesel engines. Both engine variants are available with engine stop-start in an effort to reduce emissions and save fuel.

The hardest part about buying a MINI One is deciding how to spec it. MINI is all about personalisation, and there are literally thousands of permutations of colour, trim, wheels and option packs. Standard safety features are comprehensive, and you also get air conditioning, a DAB digital radio and electric windows and mirrors.

Good points

MINI must be doing something right. It is one of the most desirable brands on the market, which keeps resale values high. The fashionable retro look – inside and outside – helps.But much of the car’s popularity is down to the way it drives. With sharp cornering, direct steering and two lively yet economical engines, it feels more sprightly than almost any other small car.The retro-inspired interior, with its dinner plate-sized central instruments and toggle switches for minor functions, won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but there’s no denying it is interesting and characterful.The huge range of personalisation allows you to spec the car just how you want it, too.

Bad points

The personalisation process means discounts are hard to come by, since nearly every MINI is built to individual order. And you’ll need to add a fair few options to bring the car up to an ideal spec, so the final price can quickly creep up.A MINI is far from the most practical small car. Rear seat space is either tight or virtually non-existent, depending on the height of the people in front, and the boot is small. The 1959 MINI, although much smaller overall, offered more room for rear passengers. The instruments and switchgear are not easy to read and use, either.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Alarm
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • DAB Radio
  • Stop/Start
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Alloy wheels
  • Bluetooth
  • TLC servicing package

Our choice

There’s a baffling range of trim and equipment packages, but only two engines – 1.2-litre petrol and diesel units. We’d go for the diesel option super low running costs.

Recommended

Facelifted 2020 MINI Countryman: John Cooper Works launched
2020 MINI Countryman John Cooper Works cornering
MINI Countryman
22 Jul 2020

Facelifted 2020 MINI Countryman: John Cooper Works launched

Last petrol MINI to be launched in 2025
Yellow MINI driving - side view
MINI Countryman
17 Mar 2021

Last petrol MINI to be launched in 2025

MINI Countryman and Clubman get new Shadow Edition models
MINI Countryman and Clubman Shadow Edition
MINI
10 Feb 2021

MINI Countryman and Clubman get new Shadow Edition models

Best automatic cars
Blue BMW 3 Series driving
Best cars
28 Jan 2021

Best automatic cars

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
8 Apr 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained

New 2021 Porsche Macan nearing production
2021 Porsche Macan SUV front 3/4 static
Porsche Macan
7 Apr 2021

New 2021 Porsche Macan nearing production

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
28 Dec 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks