Review: MINI One (2007 – 2013)

Rating:

Entry level MINI and enough for many buyers. Good fun to drive. Cheap to run. Very economical diesel version.

No standard air conditioning. Needs expensive spec upgrades to be desirable. 1.4 was overgeared so 2nd too low and 3rd too high for suburban corners.

Recently Added To This Review

24 March 2019

Report of engine of 2013 MINI One juddering at 22,600 miles. Estimate for a new engine £5,500. MINI UK offered to contribute to the parts of £3,300 leaving £2,300 for labour and VAT owner... Read more

25 June 2018

Report of ol leak from final drive output shaft seal on 2007 MINI One at 37,000 miles. Owner told needs to replace the drive shafts to stop future leaks of oil. Quoted about £550 + VAT = £700... Read more

15 January 2018

Front spring broke on 24,000 mile 2013 MINI One, tearing the front tyre. Read more

MINI One (2007 – 2013): At A Glance

Unlike the old MINI One, the new one is a 1.4 rather than a 1.6. So you can't simply programme out the throttle restrictor to get Cooper performance from it. You have to settle for the 95PS it comes with.

But, of course, the point of the One is to offer MINI looks for less money and a MINI that's insurable for kids at an affordable Group 5.

MINI One R56 2007 Road Test

What does a MINI One (2007 – 2013) cost?

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MINI One (2007 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3723–3758 mm
Width 1683 mm
Height 1407 mm
Wheelbase 2467 mm

Full specifications

Inside, unless you go for the Pepper pack, you get quite a nasty plastic steering wheel that is plainly there to encourage you to spend extra for leather. But the Pepper pack is expensive, so you may prefer to choose your own goodies from the long list.

Quality is exactly the same whatever MINI you buy. You still get a gas strutted bonnet, runflat tyres, big central speedo, rev counter (now standard on the One), electric windows and mirrors. Aircon is an extra, though. The headlights no longer go up with the bonnet and are the easiest I've recently seen to change a bulb on.

During my week with the car, one problem area became apparent, and that is reverse-parking. Unless you angle the passenger mirror down, it's almost impossible to work out where the rear nearside wheel is. Surely a problem for MINIs used by driving schools?

 

Child seats that fit a MINI One (2007 – 2013)

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.

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What's the MINI One (2007 – 2013) like to drive?

The One is obviously neither as fast nor as much fun as a Cooper or Cooper D. But on the same optional 195/55 x 16 Goodyear Excellence tyres handling is the same as the Cooper D. And, despite lower overall gearing of 25mph per 1,000rpm in 6th, road noise on the motorway seemed more subdued than in the Cooper D. Possibly due to a combination of the lighter engine and higher revs partly drowning out the tyre roar.

I compared it directly to ‘my' 207 GT THP 150 and though SWMBO prefers the ride of the 207 on its 17" wheels, I thought the 207 both more crashy over manhole covers and a looser drive. The opposite of how I felt about it originally compared to the Cooper S I drove last November. So I guess Herr Radibojevic really has got the new MINI handling the way the marketing said it would. I'm going to have to try another Cooper S, this time on 16" wheels.

And I'm not sure about the gearing. 25mph per 1,000rpm gives a nice relaxed cruise, but it's totally gutless. And this overgearing for the power output feeds its way back down the box making 3rd less usable than it should be. Maybe lowering the final drive just a little bit would help a lot, though that might also affect fuel economy and CO2 output.

Nevertheless I liked the MINI One. I enjoyed the fun feel of the direct way it drove. And while I had it I saw hundreds of MINIs on the road. New model. Old model. They seemed to be everywhere. BMW has built more than a million of them.

Even though they are much more expensive cars than the original 1959 Mini was, they seem to fit our much more affluent 21st century lifestyle in the same way. And at least BMW makes money out of them. Something that BMC never did.

 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
Cooper D Automatic 55 mpg 10.1 s 135 g/km
Cooper SD 66 mpg 8.1 s 114 g/km
Cooper SD Automatic 53 mpg 8.4 s 139 g/km
John Cooper Works Automatic 40 mpg 6.7 s 165 g/km
One 52 mpg 10.5 s 127 g/km
One Automatic 44 mpg 12.3 s 150 g/km
One D 74 mpg 11.4 s 99 g/km

Real MPG average for a MINI One (2007 – 2013)

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

83%

Real MPG

34–65 mpg

MPGs submitted

141

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 (2007 – 2013)?

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

Is there a known fault with the MINI One gearbox?

I bought a 2013 MINI One convertible a year ago, and the gearbox has always been notchy. The last couple of months I have had trouble getting it into first gear, and the gears are getting stiffer all the time. I took it back to the dealer to be fixed under the warranty but a mechanic took it for a test drive and said he couldn’t find anything wrong with it. I pointed out how notchy the gears were and he said that maybe it’s a ‘design fault’. I’m not happy about this – do you know of any problems with the 2013 MINI gearbox? Should I persist with my claim?
Yes. Failure of the 6-speed Getrag manual transmission in the R56/R57 MINI is a known fault. See the carbycar entries: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mini/
Answered by Honest John
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