Review: MINI Hatch (2014)

Rating:

New engines including 1.2 and 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0 litre. More refined and better steering feel plus much more fun to drive than previous MINI.

Still really a two-plus-two. Poorer visibility than predecessor. Lower driving position might not suit all.

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MINI Hatch (2014): At A Glance

The new MINI may look similar to the old model, but it's very different underneath. In fact, it's an improvement in all areas. Not only is it more tightly screwed together, but it has higher quality materials inside and is more refined, and comfortable.

Yet it drives as a MINI should, albeit with some of the old model's rough edges ironed out, and feels hugely well-engineered for the money. Refinement in particular is astounding.

It is available with all-new engines too including a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and a similar size diesel. The entry-level Cooper model develops 136PS from its new three-cylinder petrol, while the Cooper S is powered by a 192PS four-cylinder. The new Cooper D is now a 116PS three-cylinder and all models feature a six-speed manual transmission, with optional six-speed automatic.

The new car carries over many of the outgoing car's styling features, such as its floating roof and hexagonal radiator grille (no longer split in two horizontally). The front overhang has been increased in length and the windscreen is set a shallower angle, blending in to narrower side windows. At the rear, larger tail lights have grown to cut into the tailgate, Paceman style.

It's still a premium hatchback ideally suited for singles or couples without children - if you want practicality, there's the five-door MINI Hatch or the larger Countryman. But for many, this MINI has plenty of appeal thanks to its distinctive style and trademark handling.

MINI Cooper D F56 2014 Road Test

MINI Cooper S F56 2014 Road Test

MINI Cooper F56 2018 Road Test

What does a MINI Hatch (2014) cost?

List Price from £14,690
Buy new from £13,227
Contract hire from £174.25 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

MINI Hatch (2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3821–4029 mm
Width 1932 mm
Height 1414–1425 mm
Wheelbase 2495–2567 mm

Full specifications

The interior of the MINI been overhauled, with what amounts to an all-new ground-up effort. We searched in vain for any carry-over parts, which for anyone unimpressed with the quality and design of the old MINI can only be good news.

The overall design remains very familiar, if more premium, but everything has been given a lick of polish, bringing it more in line with BMW's thinking.

So, the centre-speedometer has gone and where that once resided is a very large (optional) infotainment screen. The new heating and ventilation controls are more conventional, and all the better for it, while the electric window controls have - like the Countryman - moved to the doors. The speedo and rev counter are mounted on the steering column directly in the driver's line of sight.

Practicality has been improved - the boot being the biggest upgrade. It needed to be. It's now 30 per cent larger, and comes with 60/40 split, rather than 50/50 as before. There's also a false floor, which means you can set the height to one of two positions - and you can stow it vertically to release the full 211 litres (backrests up) of space. It's still not big, and you can't specify it with a spare wheel, which is an annoyance.

The biggest change for existing MINI owners will be the lower and more BMW-like driving position. This combined with thicker windscreen pillars and less all-round visibility, might take the edge off driving the car confidently in town. The mirrors are bigger and more useful, while the new controls for the driving mode selector (Green, Mid and Sport) and improved iDrive-style interface in the centre console are all mastered in seconds.

As before, the MINI's baseline price can be seriously bumped up by plundering the options list. You can specify a BMW-style 8.8-inch screen infotainment system and get it working with all manner of apps via the MINI Connect and Connect XL systems.

You can also add head-up display, upgrade the stereo, specify auto-braking, auto parking and variable damping, which reduces body roll in corners. These all come at a cost, of course and you need to ask yourself whether you'll need all of it - especially considering the return on them at sale time.

Child seats that fit a MINI Hatch (2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the MINI Hatch (2014) like to drive?

All new MINI models get brand new BMW TwinPower engines. In Cooper D  form, it's powered by a 1.5-litre engine with 116PS and a thumping 280Nm of torque (which matches the 2.0-litre Cooper S).

The on-paper figures point to a very efficient little power unit that also performs very well indered.
The claimed 0-62mph time is 9.2 seconds, while fuel economy is 80.7mpg (the first MINI to better 80mpg) and the 92g/km CO2 figure is astounding when those performance figures are taken into account.

But the big question that needs answering is what it the new MINI like to drive? The first impression is of its astonishing refinement.

At idle, there's a little diesel chatter but when it's running along A-roads and motorways - unless you're really listening for it - you'll not be able to tell it's a diesel. But for those who like to have fun, it pulls very strongly from little more than 1000rpm in any gear.  If you hang on to the revs, it has an appealing and slightly off-beat sound that works for us, right up the red line.

The gearchange is light and accurate, if not quite as good as before, but the steering is everything a MINI should be - light, accurate and quick. The handling is predictably brilliant, with bags of grip, and you can throw it into corners pretty much as before.

The improved levels of refinement don't take any of the fun element away from the driver.  In Sport mode, the steering has more weight and there's more throttle response, with an automatic blip of the throttle as you change down. For traditionalists, the retention of an old school handbrake will be good news.

But while it's great for play, the other good news is that the new MINI is also excellent on the motorway. Improved refinement and stability all round make this an excellent long-distance car. Ride quality is up a notch or two, with tyre and suspension noise markedly reduced.

Combine this with the bigger, more supportive driver's seat, and you'll step out after a motorway run no more stressed than if you had been driving a much larger car. To combine this long distance refinement with fun handling in the corners really is quite an achievement.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
Challenge Edition 49 mpg 6.8 s 155 g/km
Challenge Edition Automatic 52 mpg 6.7 s 133 g/km
Cooper 51–61 mpg 7.9–8.3 s 105–125 g/km
Cooper 2018 52 mpg 7.9 s 114 g/km
Cooper Automatic 59 mpg 7.8 s 109–112 g/km
Cooper D 72–79 mpg 9.2 s 92–95 g/km
Cooper D 2018 72 mpg 9.2 s 102 g/km
Cooper D Automatic 74 mpg 9.2 s 98–99 g/km
Cooper D Steptronic 2018 72–74 mpg 9.2–9.3 s 99 g/km
Cooper S 43–50 mpg 6.8–6.9 s 133–150 g/km
Cooper S 2018 44 mpg 6.8 s 138 g/km
Cooper S Automatic 52–53 mpg 6.7 s 125–126 g/km
Cooper S Steptronic 50–50 mpg 6.7–6.8 s 127–129 g/km
Cooper S Steptronic 2018 50 mpg 6.7 s 119 g/km
Cooper SD 69–71 mpg 7.3 s 107–109 g/km
Cooper SD Automatic 69 mpg 7.2 s 105–109 g/km
Cooper Steptronic 52–55 mpg 8.0–8.3 s 117–122 g/km
Cooper Steptronic 2018 55 mpg 7.8 s 109 g/km
GT 57 mpg 10.1 s 111 g/km
GT Automatic 58 mpg 10.2 s 112 g/km
John Cooper Works 43–49 mpg 6.3–6.8 s 136–155 g/km
John Cooper Works 2018 43 mpg 6.3 s 150 g/km
John Cooper Works Automatic 50–52 mpg 6.1–6.7 s 126–133 g/km
John Cooper Works Automatic 2018 50 mpg 6.1 s 130 g/km
One 52–61 mpg 9.9–10.6 s 108–122 g/km
One 1.2 61 mpg 9.9 s 108 g/km
One 1.2 Automatic 59 mpg 10.2 s 112 g/km
One 1.5 2018 52 mpg 10.1 s 111 g/km
One 1.5 Steptronic 2018 55 mpg 10.2 s 109 g/km
One Automatic 59 mpg 10.2 s 112 g/km
One D 76 mpg 11.0 s 89 g/km
One Steptronic 54–55 mpg 10.3–10.6 s 117–119 g/km

Real MPG average for a MINI Hatch (2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

76%

Real MPG

29–72 mpg

MPGs submitted

506

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the MINI Hatch (2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

MY five year old MINI Cooper just failed the MoT, needing a total rear brake replacement - is this a common fault?

My MINI Cooper kist failed its MoT because it needs a total rear brake replacement. I was told it had warped rear callipers, worn rear disks, pads and sensors - which were required at 29,000 miles. The car is five years old and I don't abuse the handbrake. The main dealer wants £1200 for the repair, inc VAT. My MINI Cooper is under extended warranty but these things aren't covered. Is this a common fault? Do I have to have it repaired where the test was done?
Warped brakes are traditionally caused by the driver holding the brakes for long periods when descending a hill. This causes part of the brake disc to be clamped by the pads and cool more slowly than the rest of the disc. This can also happen when braking heavily from speed on the motorway. I'd recommend having the car inspected by an independent specialist, as the repair costs will be lower than that of the main dealer: https://good-garage-guide.honestjohn.co.uk
Answered by Dan Powell
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