The Mini has been a leading member of the super mini category for years and the new model released earlier this year will make sure it remains at the top. They have kept the distinctive style and retro feel of the old Mini that so many have come to love whilst improving on a lot of aspects such as technology, efficiency and quality. The updated Mini still provides one of the best and most enjoyable driving experiences you can get for the money.
The new Mini has inherited many of its predecessors styling features, as you would expect from such an iconic car. That being said it has tweaked some aspects, like the hexagonal grille which, instead of being split in two like the older models, now comes as a whole. This gives the car a far more muscular looking front end which is in line with many of the tweaked design features. The windscreen is now less upright, set at a lower angle which makes the car look more streamlined and blends nicely into the side windows. The rear lights on the new model have increased in size and now cut into the boot lid, although they are not too intrusive.
The changes continue on the interior and they are all for the better. Gone are the lower grade materials and now the quality of the inside rivals that of the larger German saloons. The interior and dashboard have been redesigned too, a far more sensible arrangement of buttons, switches and dials compared to the previous model which was somewhat unintuitive to use.
The new Mini comes in a few different iterations, although all of them still offer the fantastic drive that the previous model was so famous for. If you opt for the Cooper S model you will get quite a significant speed upgrade on the standard Cooper but you will find the ride slightly less comfortable. The standard Cooper offers the best middle ground, offering a super fun driving experience whilst still being very comfortable and easy to live with day in, day out. You won’t find yourself lacking grunt on any of the models although of course the Cooper S will give you that maximum overtaking power.
The new lighter engine at the front means that you can attack those corners and have a bit of fun without the fear of any under steer. Wider tracking gives you the feeling of being very planted on the road, inspiring confidence in the bends. All of the models are grippy in the corners and improved steering means you can change directions very quickly.
The improved quality of the interior certainly makes the new Mini a very pleasant place to be. The overall finish of the car is vastly superior to the previous one. The general size increase of the car means there is now more room inside and it will happily seat four adults as long as the back seat passengers aren’t extra tall. The seats are mounted very low to the floor so require a bit of getting used to but still very comfortable make the car seem very sporty by being so close to the road. Larger doors make the car nice and easy to get in and out of, even with the two door models, although you will need to be a tiny bit flexible to get in the back.
The fuel economy you receive will of course depend on which specification you go for. The faster Cooper S is going to drink more fuel that the Mini One, which is the least powerful version you can get. The Mini One will net you 61 mpg with its 1.2l petrol engine where as the diesel will get 83mpg. The Cooper with its 1.5l petrol will actually get you 63mpg , two more than the smaller petrol. The Cooper 1.5 diesel will do an impressive 83mpg. The sporty Cooper S 2.0 litre petrol will still get 50mpg which is really rather good and its diesel variant will get 71mpg. You can see that they have really refined this engine to achieve such fantastic economy.
The new Mini Cooper received four out of a possible five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings, where as the previous model received five. You should however not be too critical of this, the new tests to decide rating are more complex and contain tests that were not present when the last model was tested. Euro NCAP themselves state that direct comparisons should not be made between models tested on different years. The reality of the situation is that BMW, who own Mini, will be using a lot of the processes and features in this Mini in a lot of their upcoming, more expensive vehicles and as such would not release an unsafe vehicle.
The old Mini used to suffer from reliability issues but now that BMW own them the cars have become much more reliable. They were of course only released this year so it is difficult to make a judgement on long term reliability but BMW, who have a reputation to uphold, would not release something they did not believe to be fully reliable.
The Mini comes with front, side and window air bags and a stability control system that helps you stay on the road. There are some other nice safety features although you will have to add these as optional extras. The Heads Up Display (HUD) for example, is a transparent panel at the base of the windscreen that has your speed and other useful information projected onto it, meaning you don’t have to take your eyes away from the road. Other safety extras include a collision avoidance system that will apply the brakes for you if it senses an impending accident.
The new Mini Cooper is a great all round car and one that has already found popularity with new owners all over the country. If you want to become one of those happy owners we can find, fund and deliver your vehicle right to your door step!
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If you were looking for cars similar to the new Mini then why not take a look at some of our reviews of other leading super minis: