Review: MINI One D (2003 – 2007)

Rating:

MINI with a Toyota Yaris chain cam diesel engine and 6-speed gearbox.

Bit slow. No standard a/c. Needs expensive spec upgrades to make desirable.

Recently Added To This Review

3 June 2014

Injection pump failed in 2005 MINI 1 D. Reader charged £1577 to replac it, including 'diagnostics'. Read more

12 August 2007

Michelin has launched a new size of its run-flat Primacy HP ZP (Zero Pressure) tyre which is suitable for fitment to the MINI. The 195/55 R 16 87H size is available with immediate effect and a V rated... Read more

11 September 2005

Significant power increase to 88bhp from September 2005, using EU4 engine from the Toyota Corolla. 2 seconds quicker to 60. 58.9mpg combined. Torque increased 190Nm between 1800 and 3000 rpm. Top speed... Read more

MINI One D (2003 – 2007): At A Glance

It was two years since I'd driven a MINI. That long ago. Yet I could still remember the fun I'd had.

Every control sharp and immediate. Steering, clutch, gearshift all feel like extensions of yourself. No slop at all. The engineers tried very hard to make it feel like a go-kart. And they succeeded.

In that respect the MINI D is the same. The slightest twitch on the wheel and something happens. Just like a modified MINI van I owned in the distant past. Sometimes, on standard tyres, on long, fast bends, it can feel just a little bit too twitchy at the back. But that's the price of really responsive steering.

MINI One Diesel R50 2004 Road Test

What does a MINI One D (2003 – 2007) cost?

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What's the MINI One D (2003 – 2007) like to drive?

It's how the car goes that has caused a very mixed reaction. Despite a six-speed gearbox, 75bhp isn't a lot even though it's backed by 133lb ft torque at 2,000 rpm. 0-60 takes a leisurely 13.6 seconds. And top speed is just over 100. Slower than the lighter Toyota Yaris from which the smooth chain-cam 1.4 diesel engine comes.

With six-gears to play with rather than the Toyota's five you can row it along on the torque between 2,000 and 4,000rpm. Just don't get stuck in third at under 1,000rpm or you're going to hold up the milk float behind. It really does bog down and when it does second is just a bit too short.

So you can't really buzz about in it in quite the same way as a MINI Cooper or even a MINI One petrol. However, what you can do is drive from London to Scotland. At around 30mph per 1,000 rpm in 6th (compared to 21mph in other MINIs), this is the most relaxed and pleasant MINI to drive on a motorway.

Some of the bits and pieces inside aren't how I remember them from Motor Shows. Like the column stalks that look like something out of an Airfix ‘Starship Enterprise' kit. As bad as the horrible Steptronic buttons on the steering wheel of an MGF. And the styled structure in front of the gearlever that could contain cubbyholes yet doesn't.

Yet curiously I have now started to like yellow. I used to think a MINI in yellow looked like a hopeless hotch-potch of mismatched panels. Yet the all-yellow MINI D I had grew on me like a host of golden daffodils.

I got 44.4mpg, approximately, and including sitting in a lot of traffic jams, so 50mpg + should be the norm which compares very favourably with the 32 from the MINI Cooper.

With its £1,685 worth of options, my MINI D worked out at £13,075 on the road, £425 less than the MINI Cooper I drove two years ago. That's a hell of a lot of money for an economy car. But if you want MINI looks and handling, with better mpg and decent motorway gearing then the MINI D is the MINI for you.

 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
One D 59 mpg 11.9 s 129 g/km

Real MPG average for a MINI One D (2003 – 2007)

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

90%

Real MPG

40–64 mpg

MPGs submitted

15

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 One D (2003 – 2007)?

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

Why doesn't my Mini One D return its quoted mpg figures?

I have recently bought a Mini One D Baker Street, quoted as capable of 74.3mpg. I struggle to get 52 even on a long run and so does my dealership. This is a 30 per cent shortfall from the quoted figures in all the Mini documentation and website. Clearly I cannot drive the car in a wind tunnel as Mini seems to think I should. This is clearly misrepresentation in order to sell cars, which is a great shame as it is a fantastic little car. Mini does not need to lie about the mpg. Tell me how to kick up a storm of trouble to get my voice heard?
You are (understandably) missing the point. About 15 years ago, the EC originally legislated that the only fuel economy figures that could be mentioned by manufacturers were those from the official EC lab tests. At first, these were reasonably realistic. Then the EC started turning the screws down on CO2 emissions, which are extrapolated from the fuel economy figures. So the only way car manufacturers could achieve increasingly lower CO2 was to tune their engines very specifically for the ECDC lab tests. The result is low CO2 for taxation purposes. But completely unrealistic fuel economy figures. For real figures, go to honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg These are supplied by real drivers driving real cars in real UK road conditions. Obviously these conditions will vary, as does the means by which the drivers judge their fuel economy, which might be by dashboard indicator, by brim-to-brim calculation, or even by odometer corrected brim-to-brim calculation. But they all go into the same pot and collectively give an average of an average of an average. And this is the only figure you can take to be truly representative.
Answered by Honest John
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