The drivetrain makes this Mini feel every bit the baby BMW, but sporty it is not. Yes, the performance is impressive, but the urgency and turn of pace from the Cooper S model is lacking.
The dynamics also take a hit from having a bigger, heavier engine providing power. The ride and handling balance is still tidy, but the sharpness and poise from the petrol powered-Minis is left behind.
Should I buy one?
Don’t be taken in by that badge. This is a Mini that’s more GT than GTI. If you’re sold on the way the new Mini looks and undertake a serious amount of miles, making refinement and motorway performance the overriding factor, then Mini has made the model for you.
But that of course is going to be an incredibly small amount of people and at odds with the Mini’s mission statement. It is not a bad car – far from it, in fact – but it is a very niche product, and a very expensive one at that.
With every new Mini we drive, our original verdict that this is a car where less most definitely is more is reinforced, the sweet spot of the range being right back with the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol-powered One model.
Mini Cooper SD auto
Price £21,070; 0-62mph 7.2sec; Top speed 140mph; Economy 70.6mpg; CO2 104g/km; Kerb weight 1265kg; Engine 1995cc, 4cyls, turbodiesel; Power 168bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 266lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox 6-speed automatic