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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best small car interior

Despite the fashion for SUVs, the traditional small car remains the most popular type on the road, with the best brilliant all-rounders that offer excellent value for money...

Best small car interior

Mini 3dr Cooper Exclusive Comfort/Nav

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

Although this generation of Mini hatchback is one of the oldest cars in this class, it’s still unequalled when it comes to interior quality. Indeed, many so-called ‘premium’ cars from the class above could learn from the BMW-owned British brand.

True, the Audi A1 – the only rival in this class that wears a premium badge and price tag – is a better all-rounder, but that car’s interior feels distinctly underwhelming. The Mini’s is filled with plush, upmarket materials – especially if you go for an Exclusive version, because you get leather seats (in a choice of three colours) and some even posher interior trim.

Mini 3dr - interior

There’s a five-door model if you want rear doors and a bit more room for your rear passengers, but either way we’d recommend adding the Comfort Pack and one of the navigation packs to get yourself heated front seats, climate control and a class-leading infotainment system. The 134bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine in the Cooper is the pick of the range; the 2.0-litre in the Cooper S isn’t worth the considerable extra outlay.

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