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MINI hatchback review - more tech, more efficient, but still fun - Engine and transmission

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

Engine and Transmission

Mini motoring kicks off with a 1.2-litre turbocharged three cylinder with 100bhp and 132lb ft from 1400-4000rpm. That’s 6bhp and a not insignificant 29lb ft more than before (the latter developed at lower revs), contributing to the car’s improved performance.

The Cooper gets a new 1.5-litre turbocharged three cylinder which sees equally big steps over its predecessor. Power output rises to 134bhp – a figure it maintains from 4500-6000rpm – and there’s a 162lb ft torque peak at 1250rpm. Compared to the old car’s 118lb ft at 4250rpm, the new car’s 1.2-second 0-62mph acceleration improvement comes as little surprise. Both three-pot petrol units share the same flexible feel and pleasing thrum when extended, with none of the extra vibrations you might expect given their relative lack of cylinders.

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The Cooper S retains its previous cylinder count but capacity is up by 0.4 litres. On-paper improvements aren’t spectacular given the larger engine – 189bhp and 206lb ft of torque equate to 8bhp and 29lb ft improvements – but the Cooper S remains a very quick little car.

Alongside the diesel engines – think strong torque, impressive performance and little of the character of their petrol equivalents – the new Mini range offers a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The manual is a joy to use: it’s quick and precise, and offers a clever rev-matching system that replicates the effects of a heel-and-toe downchange with none of the effort. The automatic isn’t quite as appealing - it’s slow to respond to manual over-rides and defaults to changing up as soon as possible in ‘Drive’, and tries to buzz the engine if switched to ‘Sport’.

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EnginePowerTorqueGearboxDrive
One3-cyl, 1198cc, turbocharged petrol100bhp132lb ftSix-speed manual/six-speed autoFront
One D4-cyl, 1496cc, turbocharged diesel93bhp162lb ftSix-speed manualFront
Cooper3-cyl, 1499cc, turbocharged petrol134bhp162lb ftSix-speed manual/six-speed autoFront
Cooper D4-cyl, 1496cc, turbocharged diesel114bhp199lb ftSix-speed manual/six-speed autoFront
Cooper S4-cyl, 1998cc, turbocharged petrol189bhp206lb ftSix-speed manual/six-speed autoFront
Cooper SD4-cyl, 1995cc, turbocharged diesel168bhp266lb ftSix-speed manual/six-speed autoFront
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