Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Mini has the most front leg room of any premium small car we’ve tested because the front seats slide back a long way. There’s plenty of head room up front for most drivers to get comfortable, too, although you’ll find more in the VW Polo and even more in the Honda Jazz.
Unfortunately, useful cubbies are few and far between – the door pockets are quite narrow and the glovebox is square but shallow. However, beneath the USB and charging sockets there's a space for your phone to sit without sliding about on the move, and there are two good-sized cupholders in front of the gearlever. A small net pocket in the passenger footwell will hold pens and other small items.
You can add a central armrest that doubles up as a phone-docking port by opting for one of the Comfort packs.
The three-door Mini is tighter than the Audi A1 for rear head and leg room and its bench is restricted to a maximum two passengers. That does mean there’s more shoulder room for each of them so they’ll be fairly comfortable (assuming they're quite short). They'll find access a bit of a pain, though, as they'll have to duck under the low roof and past front seats that leave a narrower access gap when tilted forward than in some three-door rivals.
Once they're inside, rear-seat passengers will find the seats comfortable thanks to the angle of its backrests. There are three cupholders in the back that will take a standard 500ml bottle or a large takeaway coffee cup.
As you might imagine, the five-door Mini gives much easier access and a third seat in the back, but the Honda Jazz is far roomier in the back and would be a wiser choice if you regularly carry rear-seat passengers.
Seat folding and flexibility
Pulling a lever on the shoulder of the front seats allows the seatback to fold forwards and the whole seat to slide if you give it a bit of a shove, providing access to the back. The seatback returns to its original position but the base doesn't – you have to slide it using the fore/aft lever, which is frustrating if you regularly carry passengers. Front passenger seat-height adjustment is standard in all models.
The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split, which includes the cushioned divider between them. When you pull the toggles on the shoulders of the seats they topple forward easily.
The boot in the Mini isn’t as big as that of the Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza or Skoda Fabia but it’s still just about large enough for a big weekly shop. It's square and you don’t have to lift items too far off the floor to get them over the load lip.
To maximise the available space and accommodate boxier items, you can lock the rear seatbacks at a right angle. When they're folded down, there’s a considerable step up to them from the boot floor.
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