The MINI brand has been operating in the UK (and selling them like hotcakes) since the turn of the millennium. Right now, the MINI model lineup is at the greatest it has ever been. The old excuse of ‘it’s not big enough’ just doesn’t float anymore. So whether you’re after a petrol or a diesel, a hatchback or an estate, there’s something that should fit the bill - even a hybrid. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
3 Door Hatchback from £16,190
The Classic. The signature dish. The 3 door MINI Hatchback needs no introduction here. It’s a timeless, stylish icon that handles like a go-kart and offers exceptional driver satisfaction as well as reasonable running costs. Standard kit includes full-LED front and rear lights, a big colourful 6.5 inch infotainment screen, DAB, Bluetooth and MINI’s own emergency aid service, just in case the worst were to happen. The Cooper D (D is for Diesel) is the most economical of the 3-door hatches and it will return a pleasant 78.5 mpg. The most popular and most affordable MINI One model is also pretty good on fuel. The 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine will achieve a solid 52 mpg on a motorway run if you treat it nicely. Not bad at all. The only downside of the 3-door MINI is that it is pretty small in the rear seats and the boot isn’t exactly massive. If only there was a model with extra back doors...
5 Door Hatchback from £16,890
Ah, the 5 door hatch. Much like the 3-door, only with 2 doors and a longer wheelbase - 72 millimetres longer, to be precise. It just makes sense. The 5 door drives just as well as the 3-door and it is equally excitable in the bends but it offers notably more practicality benefits, albeit at the expense of the sleek looks. People seem to like it though because around 40% of models that leave MINI’s showrooms are five-door models now. The 5 door uses the same engine lineup as the 3 door and performance figures are as good as identical. The only significant difference for prospective buyers is the price difference. £700 separates the 3-door and the 5-door, which is negligible when you consider that most models will be bought on finance deals.
Clubman from £19,995
The Clubman has been given a thorough going over for 2018. Those asymmetrical ‘Clubdoors’ have been done away with and instead, there are two regular doors on each side, so that’s one quirk gone. The new Clubman is now 270mm longer and 30mm wider than the old model, so it really has put on some timber, but happily, we can report that it’s not lost its old charm. Driving the Clubman still feels like an occasion and the interior certainly helps add to the atmosphere. The Clubman is the first MINI to have a proper solid centre console, which now houses cubby in the armrest and means that the iDrive controls are elevated and easy to use. It’s worth mentioning that all Clubman models get the smart BMW Sat Nav included as standard. The ‘One D’ is the most economical of the Clubman models, but the 1.5-litre ‘One’ model still serves an agreeable 48.7 mpg and is likely to be the best seller.
Countryman from £23,385
And last but certainly not least is the Countryman. First of all, it’s the biggest MINI ever and it is now undoubtedly in the ‘crossover’ segment of cars. It’s 20 cm longer than the old model was and is now big enough to seat 5 adults with no problems, then there is a nice big boot in the back too. Interestingly, the Countryman is also available as a plug-in hybrid model with All Wheel Drive and, in theory, it is capable of a massive 134.5 mpg! That hybrid model does start from more than £30,000 though and more realistically, the 1.5 litre Cooper is £10,000 more affordable and will still get you as good as 50 mpg, which isn’t bad at all for a crossover!
Whichever MINI model suits you, we can all agree that they’re all particularly desirable and they’re also all available at competitive price points. So if you’ve seen anything that takes your fancy, get in touch with your local MINI dealership who will be happy to arrange a 24-hour test drive in a brand new MINI, letting you live and breathe the MINI lifestyle. It’s intoxicating. I’d know, I’ve just bought one!