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

When the new Mini arrived in 2001, there were a few mutterings from certain quarters, notably diehard Mini enthusiasts. They bemoaned the betrayal of the original’s true values, wondering where the innovation, the genre-busting packaging, the dedication to supplying economical, efficient transportation to the masses had gone.

However, Mini parent BMW was savvy and pitched the new Mini into a market of the noughties that placed great value on style, brand prestige and fun – a recipe that the reborn car brewed together with genuine panache. Its replacement - the Mini hatchback - aims to fix the faults and quirks while keeping the winning formula very much intact.

Load area is slightly bigger than old car’s, but it’s still pretty feeble compared with the best superminis

Mirroring BMW’s expansion of the Mini into as many different bodystyles as it can think of, the staple Mini hatchback range is now wider than ever, spanning the entry-level, back-to-basics First to the range-topping John Cooper Works model. In between, you’ll find One, Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper SD models. There’s even an all-electric version, the Mini E, on trial.

There were only subtle styling changes to the second-generation BMW Mini but, inside and under the skin, things were much improved. Many asked that if the Mk2 Mini had become more grown-up more than ever, how much – if any – of the charm of the original remained?

Mini Hatch 2006-2013 news

The Mini Roadster was not a sales success; production ends in 2015
Mini Coupe and Roadster unlikely to be replaced
First five-door Mini hatchback built in Oxford
The first five-door Mini has rolled off the production line in Cowley
First five-door Mini hatchback built in Oxford
Autocar magazine 4 June preview
The latest edition of Autocar, dated 4 June, is on sale now
Autocar magazine 4 June preview
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Mini Hatch 2006-2013 First drives