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MINI hatchback review - more tech, more efficient, but still fun - Performance

Fashionable supermini retains its sense of fun, with improved practicality and economy

Evo rating
Price
from £13,750
  • Fun to drive, punchy engines, more cabin space
  • Firm ride, questionable styling

Performance and 0-60 time

All Minis receive a welcome power boost over their predecessors, but it’s those at the lowest end of the range that benefit the most. The 1.2-litre turbocharged unit found in the Mini One might not stun with its 98bhp output or 9.9sec 0-62mph run but the free-revving three-pot feels quite sprightly on the road.

Mini has managed to shave an impressive 1.2 seconds off its predecessors' 0-62mph time. The new Mini Cooper manages a 7.9 seconds 0-62mph time, which puts the car right at the top end of the warm hatch segment. Unlike its rivals, the Cooper shows much more enthusiasm for hard use. Compared to small-capacity turbo boasting rivals it's also more flexible, offering clean and smooth performance throughout the rev range without any noticeable lag or flat spots. 

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In Cooper S trim the new 2-litre four-cylinder is slightly less impressive. Mini claims 189bhp and 206lb ft of torque, up 8bhp and 29lb ft on the previous generation car, but the new 2-litre turbo engine doesn’t feel like it has quite the eagerness and enthusiasm of the old 1.6 turbo, which often punched above its weight.

Naturally, there’s also a diesel option. Three in fact, though it’s the Cooper SD that’s most interesting. A new 2-litre engine provides 167bhp and 265lb ft, delivers a 7.3sec 0-62mph time (7.2s for the auto) and feels deceptively quick on the road thanks to its linear nature and impressive suppression of diesely grumbling.

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0-60mph (claimed)Top speed (claimed)Weight
One9.9sec121mph1165kg
One D11.0sec118mph1190kg
Cooper7.9sec130mph1160kg
Cooper D9.2sec127mph1210kg
Cooper S6.8sec146mph1235kg
Cooper SD7.3sec141mph1250kg
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