From £11,350
Still expensive and not exactly rapid, but the bargain of the range. Huge improvements inside over the old model, too

Our Verdict

Mini Hatch 2006-2014
With a higher waistline and bonnet, new Mini doesn’t look quite as good as its predecessor

The Mini Hatchback is desirable and fun, and it has great re-sale values

  • First Drive

    Mini Cooper SD

    This is the most entertaining oil-burning Mini to join the range. That it’s so frugal is a bonus
  • First Drive

    Mini Cooper S first drive review

    Revised engine brings useful performance and economy gains
25 October 2006

What is it?

Cheaper normally aspirated version of the new Mini gets an all-new 1.6-litre engine as well as all the improvements in refinement and quality already seen in the new Cooper S.

What's it like?

The new engine is much smoother than that of the old Cooper and way better on economy and emissions, but power and torque are only marginally improved.

As before, the Cooper is no fireball – the engine needs to be revved hard and the slick new six-speed gearbox stirred frequently – but its feisty character makes up for any shortcomings in outright pace.

Even on the optional sports suspension the ride is far more compliant than before, yet the new electric steering has the Mini diving for apexes as eagerly as ever. The cabin is a huge improvement as well, with much improved materials, greater comfort and an even bigger array of colour and trim options.

The brilliant achievement is that they’ve managed to make the Mini much more comfortable and liveable than the old one while retaining all of the essential character.

Should I buy one?

Fifty per cent of old Mini sales were Coopers, so clearly you don’t need much encouragement. At £12,995 the new Cooper isn’t cheap, but it’s still the bargain of the range, provided you don’t need the Cooper S’s considerable extra performance. Impossible not to love.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run