To many, Mini is as quintessentially British as Sir Michael Caine wearing a trilby and monocle while sipping a cup of tea. Purists might see it as a shame, then, that the brand’s later success has been down to Germany’s BMW, which masterminded a rebirth in 2000 that has led to the small hatchback becoming one of the best-selling cars in Britain.
BMW has proved that buyers are willing to pay for classy small cars with a prestige badge, and the Mini 3dr hatchback follows the same successful template.
The third-generation model’s styling harks back to the original Mini of 1959, but it’s much bigger than its miniature ancestor and so competes against the likes of the Audi A1, Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza.
There are a range of petrol and diesel options available to cater for all tastes, from the everyday city-goer with the entry-level One engine, to those who crave more oomph with the Cooper S, or the fully juiced-up John Cooper Works for a hot hatch driving experience. A multitude of trim levels also give you an endless list of personalisation, all in a dinky and desirable package. Read on over the next few pages to get our in-depth impressions, along with our recommendations for which trim level and engine to pick.