Now that the model range is once again fully filled out with Mini Clubman pseudo-estate, Mini Countryman crossover, Mini Convertible and five-door models, there is a Mini for many a differing owner and daily usage requirement; and yet none appealed more to our testing panel than the most authentic compact three-door hatchback.
But although this F56-generation car is a notably more accommodating than its direct forebear, it’s a far cry from being practical by wider supermini-class standards, with rear seats that are usable for small adults and children only, and probably only occasionally at that (and only if you’re prepared to sacrifice some front-row leg room), and a smaller-than-average boot.
So the three-door Mini remains that bit less usable than most superminis.
Even so, there’s generous space for occupants in the front. You sit lower and more recumbent than you might be in most small hatchbacks, with your legs fully outstretched if you want. Uniquely in the class, the Mini will even allow a 6ft 3in driver enough space to adopt a straight-legged position with good support under your thighs, while leaving your knees and shins well clear of the surrounding door and centre console mouldings – with a good 3in of head room to spare, too.
There are no changes to report to the Cooper S’s interior elsewhere. You find a familiar list of features to like as a result: cabin mouldings, fittings and trim materials that almost all confirm to a high standard on perceived quality; a good-sized, good-looking and feature-rich (optional) widescreen infotainment set-up; and plenty of useful cabin storage.