MINI Hatch (2014) Review

MINI Hatch (2014) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The latest MINI is a premium hatchback ideally suited for singles or couples without children.

+More refined and better steering feel, much more fun to drive than previous MINI, excellent engines.

-Still really a two-plus-two, poorer visibility than predecessor, lower driving position might not suit all.

New prices start from £17,090
Insurance Groups are between 11–29
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The three-door hatch is the cornerstone of the MINI range and this third-generation model introduced in 2014 carries on in the same vein as its predecessors. That means it offers all the attractions of a supermini but in a car with a great big helping of style and panache that very few of its rivals come even close to rivalling. A good deal of this is down to the looks of the MINI hatch, but a lot is also due to the way the car drives with such verve. The only downside is the MINI is not as practical as many of its competitors.

MINI may have launched numerous versions of its style-driven small car, but it’s the three-door hatch that remains at the core of all it does. Launched in 2014 and revised in 2018, it’s the standard bearer in the supermini class for fun driving, cabin appeal and a spread of options that leaves its rival floundering by comparison.

Of course, all of this is for nothing if the MINI three-door hatch isn’t able to tick off the basics demanded by a supermini driver. So, despite those who still bemoan the fact this new interpretation of the MINI is far bigger than the 1950s original, it’s compact enough to cope with jam-packed city streets.

The MINI is also just about big enough inside now to deal with four passengers, whereas the first BMW-led MINI was really a 2+2 at best. Granted, the current car is still not going to win in a straight fight with key competitors for outright space, but the British-built hatch is just about good enough on this score.

Like some others in this class, MINI has now dropped its diesel engine offerings, so if you want to fill up from this pump you’ll need to look to the used market where there’s a vast choice of MINI hatches available. The present line-up is powered by a pair of Twinpower turbo petrol motors, each offered in different power outputs depending on which model you go for.

The One and Cooper share a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with 102PS for the base model and a sprightlier 136PS in the Cooper.

We’d take the Cooper every time unless you are on a strict budget. Move up to the Cooper S and it has a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor with 192PS to put it into the heart of compact hot hatch territory. For those who want to see off the MINI’s performance rivals, the 231PS John Cooper Works model has the firepower and pace to do so.

You could also go another way with power for the MINI in the shape of the aptly named Electric. It comes with a 184PS electric motor that gives it similar performance to the petrol Cooper model but with zero tailpipe emissions. However, its 145-mile range between charges and hefty price tag, even by MINI standards, will put off as many as it attracts.

With any MINI, the appeal is as much about creating your own version of the car as it is about the more mundane practicalities of life. In this respect, the current MINI is much the same as those that went before it thanks to a raft of optional extras and upgrade packs for everything from the styling to the infotainment and even the way it handles.

This might not sell the MINI to those who simply want the most useful car for their needs, but there are lots of drivers out there who aspire to the MINI. Its premium image, fun drive and strong residual values see that it maintains this.

Ask Honest John

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
Is it possible to fit an aftermarket roof box to my MINI Cooper?
"When I purchased my MINI Cooper new in June 2014 I asked if it was possible to fit roof bars to the vehicle. I was informed that it was possible, but cutting sections from the plastic guttering would be necessary. It's now necessary that I fit a roof box, but the principle dealer says the information I was given applies to the older MINI Cooper. He informs me that it isn't possible to fit a roof box to my model. Are you aware of a suitable aftermarket roof box that would fit my car?"
You should be able to mount Thule roof bars and boxes to your car. Thule's website says it provides suitable mounts, which in theory will fit into the door shut, rather than into the guttering, like those tested here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/products/product-reviews/2017-09/review-thule-touring-s-roof-box/
Answered by John Slavin
Will a worn clutch be covered by an approved used warranty?
"I bought an approved used MINI Cooper D 10 months ago with 53k miles on it. The dealer did not provide a service book at the time but promised to send me a service book, fully stamped, shortly. After 8 months of calls / emails I finally got a book with 1 stamp in it and a printout from the BMW system showing the some service dates (without details). I've put 3K miles on it since purchase and at the vehicle health check 2 weeks ago, the dealer said the clutch/flywheel needed replacing. And finally this last weekend, the car started having issues on hills with a burning smell from the engine and loss of power. So we had to call MINI emergency services and get the car recovered. Will I be expected to pay 100% of the bills or can I expect some goodwill from MINI given that the used car warranty hasn't run out yet?"
A centrally recorded service history is more relevant than stamps in a service book that can easily be faked and can be meaningless. So I don't think you have a legitimate worry there. But a clutch and DMF would not usually be covered beyond 6 months because of the ease with which a driver can potentially destroy them (it's possible to burn out a clutch in 15 minutes). So it's obviously worth approaching the dealer, but no guarantee of how much he will help. The smell is probably the clutch.
Answered by Honest John
Should I buy a new Toyota or used MINI with 20,000 miles?
"Which car is the better buy, in terms of reliability and resale value - a new Toyota Aygo or a MINI One with 20,000 miles on the clock? "
The Aygo, because it's a Toyota and because it comes with a 5 year warranty. Not as much fun to drive, though.
Answered by Honest John

What does a MINI Hatch (2014) cost?