MINI hatchback review - more tech, more efficient, but still fun - Ride and handling

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

Ride and Handling

If you’re worried the Mini might lose its nippy nature given its increased girth, you needn’t – as the car’s Sport mode advertises, the car retains its ‘go-kart feel’.

The optional (£375) variable dampers seem like an option worth speccing. Sometimes the differences between variable damper settings can be fairly minimal, but the Cooper S’s demeanour changes markedly. In its standard setting the car feels much more supple, particularly in its secondary ride, and as a result copes far better with bumpy UK B-roads (and general everyday driving).

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

On smoother terrain you get a little extra precision from the steering in Sport mode, but the car feels happier as a whole in its more relaxed setting because it breathes with the road rather than fighting it. The standard 16in wheels (17s are a £450 option) might be the better choice for ride and handling, unfashionable though that might be.

The Mini has always had sharp, darty steering but the new car takes that to a new level. It's quicker to react than before and front-end grip has improved. Importantly, it still feels like a Mini and has that appealing chuckable nature that its predecessors have always possessed. Find a wide corner and turn the stability control off and the Mini can still be persuaded to tighten its line aggressively on a lifted throttle, but it won't intimidate the more casual driver either.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/review/202972/aston-martin-dbx-review-the-first-performance-suv-to-deliver-on-its-promise
Reviews

Aston Martin DBX review - the first performance SUV to deliver on its promise

Aston Martin's first SUV is more than a good SUV, the DBX is the best car the British firm makes
10 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/maserati/ghibli/202975/maserati-ghibli-trofeo-revealed-sober-dressed-bmw-m5-rival-finally-arrives
Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Trofeo revealed – sober-dressed BMW M5 rival finally arrives

Some seven years after the launch of its executive saloon, Maserati has given it a V8 – with 572bhp
10 Aug 2020
Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020