The interior layout, fit and finish
In many respects, it’s a standard Mini affair here. That means plenty of retro charm throughout but, thankfully, without too much compromise in usability. The air conditioning controls are logical, for example, and the standard 6.5in colour infotainment system is easy to get the hang of. A DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a USB socket are all standard, along with a multi-function steering wheel.
Sat-nav is an option you gain by adding the Navigation pack or, if you can find the extra cash, the more feature-rich Navigation Plus pack. This isn’t cheap, but bestows the Mini with an infotainment and navigation system borrowed from more expensive BMW cars. Both systems have an easy-to-use rotary dial between the front seats; you twist it to scroll through the menus and press it down to make a selection. However, the more advanced system has an enlarged 8.8in screen that can also be operated by touch, and you can even write post codes or search for contacts via a handy handwriting pad.
You won’t have any complaints about interior quality, because, compared with the vast majority of small cars (even the Audi A1), the Mini feels seriously premium inside. There are soft-touch materials in all the important places, while the buttons, switches and dials feel nicely damped. It looks great, too, with a cheerful design that’s made to feel special by touches that include extensive ambient lighting.
The driving position is spoilt a little by pedals that are offset to the right of the steering wheel, so you’re forced to sit at a slight angle most of the time. Shorter folk may also find the seat doesn’t go quite forward enough, making the clutch pedal a bit of a stretch. Still, the seats are supportive and apart from limited forward movement, there’s plenty of adjustability to help set everything up just how you want it.