Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Mini is very competitively priced across the range, but it isn’t available with the sort of discounts you’ll get on rivals such as the Audi A1. It is a premium product and therefore priced as such, so it looks a bit more expensive when you compare it with more mainstream rivals such as the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza.
That said, the Mini can still make financial sense; few cars in this class hold their value as well (only the A1 manages that), while contract hire and company car tax bills are all extremely competitive, as are finance packages.
In our True MPG tests, the Cooper 1.5-litre petrol returned 41.3mpg, which isn’t far off Mini’s claimed economy figure. Unsurprisingly, the Cooper S returned a lower 37.2mpg, which is disappointing, because the official (WLTP) figure is 43.5mpg. The JCW is claimed to return 40.4mpg.
Equipment, options and extras
You’ve a choice of three trim levels for the regular models; Classic, Sport and Exclusive. There’s also the limited-edition Mini 60 Years Edition plus the JCW. The Classic is the base trim, but still gets plenty of equipment as standard, including heated wing mirrors, ambient lighting, multi-control steering wheel and keyless start.
Sport adds a racy bodykit, 17in wheels, sports seats and cruise control. Exclusive is more luxurious with different 17in wheels, leather seats and more chrome. Both are available with only the Cooper or Cooper S engine, though. The JCW adds plenty of JCW-branded styling additions, such as door sills, leather upholstery with embroidered stitching and even brake calipers emblazoned with the logo.
Whichever version you go for, we’d advise forking out a bit extra on one of the optional packs, which round up desirable extras for less money than you'd pay to add all of these things individually. The vast majority of Mini buyers add at least one pack, so not doing so is likely to make your car harder to sell on in the future.
The Comfort pack is well worth considering. It’s not too pricey and adds rear parking sensors, climate control, heated front seats and a central armrest. The Navigation Plus pack is also well worth considering for its upgraded infotainment touchscreen and 24/7 on-call concierge service. You can, of course, add individual options if you’d prefer, and there are countless ways to make your Mini stand out from the crowd visually, too.
Mini finished a disappointing 22nd place out of 31 manufacturers in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, with the hatchback itself only scoring three stars in the small car class.
All Mini hatchbacks come with a three-year warranty and breakdown assistance, and both can be extended with a variety of cover levels and price plans.
Safety and security
There’s lots of kit to help you avoid an accident, including stability control and tyre pressure monitoring, but you have to go to the options list for more advanced functions such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and a rear-end collision-warning system.
The Mini performed slightly disappointingly in Euro NCAP’s crash tests, scoring four stars out of five back in 2014; the A1, Ibiza and Polo all have five-star ratings. It has six airbags to protect everyone on board. An alarm and immobiliser are fitted to all models.
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