IF THE ORIGINAL Mini One D had a flaw when it slipped into the market early in 2003, it was its leisurely performance.The car wasn’t actually slow, and in any case it was extremely frugal: the engine delivered average fuel consumption close to 60mpg, with a touring range well over 500 miles.
Nevertheless, its slightly stolid character didn’t compare too well with the built-in zing and zip of other Mini models.Now, the Toyota-sourced 1.4 litre diesel (from the Yaris) has been spruced up to offer around 20 per cent more power – 88bhp at 4000 rpm – with no reduction in fuel economy. Torque increases to 140 lb ft at 2000rpm, and the engine drives, as before, through the Mini Cooper S’s six-speed gearbox.
The performance difference isn’t instantly noticeable: the Mini One D has a firm accelerator pedal and you need to give it a decent prod for serious action. Do so, however, and it’s now nearly two seconds faster on a 0-62mph sprint (11.9sec) while the top speed creeps up a little, to 109mph.
The best thing about this car, however, remains the refinement and excellent integration of the quiet, smooth engine. That and the fuel consumption. Petrol-powered Minis aren’t noted for economy, but the One D is a terrific performer.