MINI Hatch Review 2022

MINI Hatch 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

Is a MINI Hatch One a good first car?
"My daughter has her heart set on a MINI Hatch One 1.4 as her first car. We've found some in her price range and affordable insurance but then I read some reviews saying don't touch MINIs with a barge pole and they are a BMW engine and constantly fail. I'd really appreciate your view on a MINI as a first car."
We had various reports of problems with the MINI that you can read about, here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/mini/hatch-f56-2014/good Its tight engine bay means labour costs can also be higher than with other small cars. A more reliable option that'll be cheaper to buy and maintain would be the Toyota Aygo. It's not as fun to drive or a stylish as the MINI, but it is more practical. Here's our review: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/aygo-2014/
Answered by Russell Campbell
Can you recommend a compact but spacious SUV?
"I’ve had my MINI Cooper four-door automatic since 2015 and have loved driving it. However, as my husband and I get older, with more aches and pains, we’re finding it more and more difficult to get in/out of it. I’m therefore thinking of buying a small crossover, as its extra height would suit us better. I really don’t want one much bigger than the MINI and also want to keep the automatic engine. Easy parking and good driver legroom are a priority. The car would be used for a mixture of short and long drives. What do you suggest I buy?"
The Volkswagen T-Cross is about 200mm longer than your MINI so it's not much bigger, but should be easier to get in and out of. It's available with an automatic gearbox and comes with a range of petrol engines that would suit the shorter drives you do. You can read our review, here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/t-cross-2018/ Another option is the Toyota CH-R, which is about the same size as the T-Cross but has sportier looks. It's petrol-electric engines get great fuel economy, but it has an SUV like body that means it's quite roomy inside and also easier to get in and out of. Toyota CH-R review: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/c-hr-2016/
Answered by Russell Campbell
Will a headlight fault result in my car failing its MoT?
"I have a 2014 MINI cooper with 12,000 miles on the clock. I have had two error messages which come on every time the lights are activated which states that basically none of the lights are working. However all lights and indicators do work, there just seems to be an issue with the error messages on the dash. I have asked my local MINI dealer to have a look at this and they claimed I had to replace the whole light unit costing £650 each. I declined to do this since the lights work perfectly but my MoT is due next month and I am wondering if these failure messages will result in an MOT failure? Your advice will be very much appreciated!!"
I do not think the car will fail the MoT, but this would probably be marked as a 'minor' defect as the headlamp ‘on’ switch is not operating correctly. I would suggest taking the car to an independent BMW MINI specialist who may be able to fix the problem at a much lower cost than the price the dealer is quoting.
Answered by Dan Powell
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
More Questions

What does a MINI Hatch cost?