Mini Hatchback Review

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Mini Hatchback Quick Review

7.3
This is the score given by Car & Driving
  • 8 Depreciation
  • 8 Build
  • 8 Styling
  • 7 Insurance
  • 7 Economy
  • 7 Equipment
  • 7 Value
  • 7 Space
  • 7 Comfort
  • 7 Handling
  • 7 Performance

Short Review

We're now starting to get used to the idea of a MINI Hatch with five doors. With this bodystyle, you get a longer wheelbase, quite a lot more luggage space and potentially room for three people in the back. On top of this, there's the third generation MINI model's sophisticated design with underpinnings better suited to longer journeys. Oh and a range of punchy but economical engines. You wanted more MINI? Well you've certainly got it now. Here, we're looking at the improved model in perky 136hp petrol Cooper form.

Mini Hatchback LeaseFetcher Review

Verdict

You'll be hard pressed to spot any differences between the 2018 MINI Hatch and last year’s version. The new Union Jack taillights are probably the biggest and change, which says a lot about the trust MINI has in their winning formula.

So if you're looking for a fun car with superb styling and an engaging drive, the MINI Hatch could be exactly what you're looking for.

Style

The MINI Hatch more or less maintains its external design and style from the previous version. Notable changes include a slight change in the MINI emblem, the Union Jack on the rear tail lights and ring shaped front LED lights. (Optional headlights with latest matrix lighting technology help with cornering by lighting up sections of the road.)

As with all MINIs, there's a bunch of customisation options, which let you tweak everything from the roof spoiler and body colour to the wheel design and interior trim.

Heck, even the side view mirror covers are available in different colours!

Interior

MINIs always have a good quality interior and the current version is no different. The materials are all high quality, the design is inventive and the build quality is top notch.

At the centre of everything is the infotainment system, which is housed in a big circular panel. The 6.5-inch is hooked up to MINI Connected Service, a modified version of BMW iDrive.

The screen features a circular LED light that changes colour with use. While the centre screen might look dainty and cute, it’s very practical and borrows all the best bits of BMW's iDrive system.

Standard equipment is also good with both a DAB radio and Bluetooth fitted as standard, allowing you to take calls and play music directly from your phone. Spotify has its own interface in the centre dash which can be used rather than the app on your phone.

If you love gadgets, you’ll be pleased to learn that there’s also an option of an 8.8-inch touchscreen with split screen function. It comes with Apple CarPlay, real-time traffic info, concierge service and much more.

The MINI Connected service integrates pretty seamlessly into the infotainment system and if, like me, you’re always losing your keys, the MINI FindMate service lets you tag items using Bluetooth and track them.

In terms of colour schemes and overall design features, you’ve got a surprising amount of choice. There are a lot of finishes to choose from and the decorative rings around the gear selector lever, air ducts and loudspeakers can be livened up with a chrome coating. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an optional, back-lit Union Jack display on the passenger side dash.

Driving

The MINI Hatch now comes with an option of a 1.3-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel.

The tuning of the engines is different in various models leading to a range of power capacities. The greenest option is the 1.5-litre diesel which, MINI claims, will manage 72 mpg. The petrols should return around 50 mpg. All engines are available with manual or automatic transmissions.

For the fuel-conscious among you, you’ll be pleased to hear the dash provides a switch to select between Sport and Green modes which modify the drive performance between fast acceleration and fuel economy priorities.

The MINI has always been a fun to drive car and the hatchback more than lives up to that. The suspension is firm, which gives the small car a more planted and secure feel on the roads. It can be a little bumpy if you're driving over unsealed or rough roads but it's fine on smooth tarmac.

As with all MINIs, road and wind noise is a bit of a problem.

Practicality

Unfortunately, interior storage space like door bins and the glove box are a bit disappointing but that’s always going to be the case in a car that is called a MINI.

The centre console has a tray to hold phones which you can power up there with USB charging. There are two cup holders and a small space under the centre console for additional items.

While front seating is adequate, getting into the rear seats of the three door hatch could be quite a task for the tall and well built.

Once seated, there is adequate head and shoulder room but leg room is not impressive at all. As far as rear seating goes, the five-door version is probably your best bet.

If I'm being blunt, boot space is poor. With just 211 litres on offer, the MINI's boot is substantially smaller than a Ford Fiesta (292 litres) or a Volkswagen Polo (351 litres). It's even smaller than some city cars like the Volkswagen Up! (251 litres).

Specification

There are quite a few different combinations of models and design that you can try when it comes to the MINI Hatchback.

First off, this hatch is offered as either three door or five door variants. Within each variant you get to choose between the One, Cooper and Cooper S trims.

The 3 door hatch also offers the John Cooper Works, which MINI claims is more of a way of life than a trim.

Customisation options are good and include colour options for interiors, 3D printing of name badges at different points on the exterior or interior, wheel design, a Union Flag back-lit display and various interior colour schemes.

There's a bunch of optional extras, too, most of which are best bought through packs.

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Euro NCAP Safety Rating

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