What's the used Mini Hatchback hatchback like?
The Mini range has expanded at quite a rate since the first BMW Mini appeared in 2001. Take a peek at the used car classifieds and you’ll find convertibles and coupés and Countryman SUVs and Clubman estates and the odd roadster too.
But it’s the simple Hatchback that’s still the bread-and-butter model in its flourishing range, whether in three- or five-door trim, and when this third-generation version appeared it continued the tradition of being longer, wider and taller than the car it replaced. Indeed, it’s fair to say that in its modern form, the Mini isn’t very mini at all, but then you’d have to say nor is anything else these days, and that certainly hasn’t stopped this car from being one of the most popular hatchbacks in its class.
The One uses an underpowered 101bhp 1.2 petrol unit, while the One D use a 94bhp 1.5-litre diesel. The Cooper gets a 136bhp 1.5-litre petrol, a 115bhp 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel, while the Cooper S has a 197bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and the Cooper SD has a 168bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel. The top-of-the-line JCW hot hatch has a more powerful 231bhp version of the engine used in the Cooper S.
Part of that appeal has been its on-road agility and its fun factor, as well as a huge range of personalisation options via a great many add-on equipment packs. Just like the original Mini of 1959, it’s cheeky and cute to look at, even if the overall impression it gives is of being twice the size of the older car.
Underneath is a more rigid platform shared with some of BMW’s new front-wheel-drive cars, and it helps to preserve the tight handling characteristics the brand is associated with, while adding a degree of sophistication to the ride that makes this version the most comfortable and refined Mini yet.
The ballooning outside proportions mean that this is the biggest Mini Hatchback yet, with more room front and rear than previous versions and some good-looking soft-touch plastics. Peer too closely, though, and there are a few rough edges, with lower-grade materials, but it still has the familiar Mini driving position and dashboard, along with the clever BMW iDrive-based infotainment system utilising a handy rotary controller that's really easy to use.
It should prove a cheap car to run, too, and its strong performance makes it look like a very compelling used car purchase indeed.
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