- Retro styling
- Impressive engines
- Fun to drive
- Not the most practical
- More expensive than rivals
- No 5-star NCAP rating
Sporty Cooper is fun and fast
The Mini Cooper is one of the most iconic British cars ever to have been produced. Named after motor racing legend John Cooper, the Mini Cooper is the Mini that focuses primarily on performance. Since its reintroduction to UK roads in 2001, under the stewardship of BMW, the latest Mini Cooper has become equally as iconic. Combining unique aesthetics, exceptional interior design, a great driving experience, and impressive engines, the Mini Cooper is still one of the best high-end superminis on sale today.
An update in 2014 featured a redesign of the Cooper’s exterior, as well as an upgrade to its interior, coupled with more efficient engines.
Beautifully designed interior is attractive, but not the most practical
One of the Mini Cooper’s strongest attributes is without doubt its interior design. There’s few cars that can match the uniqueness of the Mini, and whilst it’s far from being the most spacious in its class, it still has an awful lot to offer.
The dashboard of the Mini has always been one of its most striking characteristics. The big central-mounted speedometer has been ditched however, in favour of BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system. Materials used throughout the cabin are of a high quality, with soft-touch plastics and expensive-looking metal trims featuring heavily. It really is a stylish design, and there’s few cars that can match the uniqueness of the Mini.
Space wise, the Mini Cooper is far from being the biggest car in its class. With just 211 litres of boot space, it’s smaller than the Audi A1 (270 litres), the Citroen DS3 (285 litres), but it does offer more space than the Fiat 500 (185 litres). You really do pay for the One’s unique design with practicality, so it’s perhaps not the best supermini for family buyers.
Spec levels in the Cooper depend upon which model you go for, though you’re probably going to get less kit for the money than you might do in some rivals. The most basic Cooper’s come with air-con, electric windows, Bluetooth, alloy wheels, and foglights. There’s an awfully long options list that can become quite expensive, though the Salt, Pepper, and Chilli packs, which are common on most used Mini’s, offer reasonably good value.
Overall the interior of the Mini Cooper is pretty impressive. The design really is exceptional, and with good quality materials used throughout, there are few cars in its price range that match the Mini. Space however is not the Cooper’s forte, so if you’re looking for a practical, family-focused high-end supermini, it might be worth considering other options.
One of the best supermini driving experience
The Mini Cooper is a car that offers buyers a driving experience unparalleled in this class. The Mini is designed to be a fun car to drive in any situation, and it really excels. There’s lots of grip through the corners, and steering feedback is excellent. It’s also impressive when you get it on country roads as well- the Mini Cooper really does live up to its motorsport heritage.
Ride refinement in the Cooper is hampered by the stiff suspension and chassis. No doubt these systems create a fun driving experience, but you do suffer a little bit on the roughest surfaces. Road and wind noise can become an issue if you are doing long motorway drives, but it’s not excessive, and it’s a price worth paying when you consider how good the Cooper is to drive.
Gearbox options in the Cooper come in two guises. The standard option in the Cooper is a six-speed manual transmission that’s an absolute pleasure to use. It features a short throw, which makes changing gear snappy. The optional six speed automatic gearbox may be useful for those without a standard license, but it’s not as engaging as the manual.
Powerful, efficient engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Mini Cooper, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a range of power outputs throughout the range, offering buyers extreme performance, or impressive efficiency.
If it’s power that you want from your Mini Cooper, the best option to go for in the range is the petrol-powered 2.0 litre John Cooper Works S. This engine produces 231bhp, and will get you from 0-62mph in a blisteringly quick 6.1 seconds. It’s an exceptionally fast car, especially when you consider that fuel efficiency (49.6mpg), and C02 emissions (133g/km) are equally as impressive.
Eco-friendly buyers are also catered for in the Cooper range, with the standout option being the diesel-powered 1.5 Cooper D, which produces just 92g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s low enough to get you free road tax, as well as the peace of mind that you’re not harming the planet. This model is also the best option for money savers. It’s good value at purchase, as well as offering an astonishing 80.7mpg.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Mini Cooper, you’re going to get a fun, fast, and green car. The Mini Cooper’s motorsport heritage is lived up to, incorporating modern engine design, to make the Cooper as green and efficient, as it is exciting.
Not the safest car in its class, but good standard safety kit
Unlike a lot of cars in its class, the Mini Cooper failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. This may disappoint some buyers, especially those with huge safety concerns. Nevertheless, the Mini still managed to achieve 4 stars, with scores of 79% in adult safety, 73% in child safety, and 66% in pedestrian protection, which is at least respectable. There’s also plenty of standard safety kit. You’re going to get a pop-up bonnet, six airbags, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, and electronic stability control, no matter which model you choose to go for. It might not have scored perfectly at NCAP, but it’s still a safe car.
Excellent value for money, as long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Mini Cooper offers buyers exceptional value for money. This obviously varies from model to model, but generally speaking cars throughout the range have impressively low CO2 emissions, and surprisingly high fuel efficiency. For a car that focuses on performance, it’s good to see that you won’t be paying too much for all the fun you’re going to have.
Insurance costs in the Mini Cooper are a little more expensive than in some rivals, due to the car’s uniqueness, but it’s still good value. The cheapest model in the Cooper range is the 1.5 Cooper D, which is in group 15, whilst the most expensive is the 1.6 John Cooper Works in group 36. It’s not the cheapest car in its class, but it’s still reasonably priced.
Depreciation is a factor with the Mini Cooper, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Mini Cooper is one of the best premium hatchbacks currently on sale in the UK. The Cooper features exceptional engines, an engaging driving experience, and unique retro stylings. It’s not the safest, nor is it the most practical in its class, but the Mini Cooper really is up there with the best.
Buying a used Mini Cooper online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mini Cooper for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Cooper. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mini Cooper online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Mini? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Mini Cooper, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Cooper, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Mini to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.