- Good looking
- Efficient engines
- Fun to drive
- Not the most practical
- More expensive than rivals
- No 5-star NCAP rating
Entry-level Mini is good looking and fun to drive
The Mini One is the entry point into the hugely successful Mini range. Since the Mini’s rebirth in 2001, the Mini has been built by German manufacturer BMW. The Mini has gone on to be one of the UK’s best-selling small cars, gaining huge popularity with those want something a little bit different. The Mini One might not be the most practical car in its class, but it’s stylish, fun to drive, and with high residual figures, good value to boot.
An update in 2014 made the Mini One bigger, increasing the size of its interior, as well as featuring a minor facelift.
Improved interior is easier to use
Before the update in 2014, the Mini One’s interior featured controls that were a little difficult to use. Since the update this has been much improved, without losing the Mini’s retro charm. It’s not the most practical supermini, but it’s one of the most stylish.
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 One 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 Volkswagen Polo (280 litres), and way behind the spacious Honda Jazz (399 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 One are decent, without really excelling. The One comes as standard with air conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, and electric windows. There’s a huge number of options available on the One, allowing buyers to add luxurious such as leather seats and sat-nav. The infotainment system is excellent throughout the range, with BMW’s iDrive system controlling whichever goodies your One comes with.
The interior of the One really is a stylish affair. It’s far from practical, so a lot of family buyers may be put off. But there’s decent levels of kit, and if you really want to stand out, there’s few cars that are as unique as the Mini.
Fun to drive, but not the most refined
The Mini One is a car that offers buyers a driving experience unparalleled in this class. The Mini is designed to be a fun car to drive around town, and it really excels. It might not be as versatile as a Ford Fiesta, but there’s still lots of grip through the corners, and steering feedback is excellent. It’s also decent when you get it on country roads as well- the Mini One really is a great car to drive.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement in the Mini One 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. It’s far from the worst in the class, but it might be advisable to stick to smaller wheels. Road and wind noise can become an issue if you are doing long motorway drives, but it’s not excessive.
Gearbox options in the Mini One come in two guises. The standard option in the One 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 automatic gearbox may be useful for those without a standard license, though it can sometimes miss gears, especially if you push it.
Sharp, efficient engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Mini One, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The petrol on offer produces enough grunt to put a smile on your face, whilst the diesel is super efficient.
If power is your primary concern, the best engine in the One range is the 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine. It produces 101bhp, and will get you from 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds. That’s obviously not the quickest, but when you consider that this engine is the entry-level to the Mini range, it’s pretty impressive, and is enough to please most buyers.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased to find out that there’s a great option in the Mini One range. The diesel-powered 1.5 litre One D produces just 89g/km of C02 emissions. That’s class-leading, and falls well below the 100g/km free road tax band. This makes the One D a great option for money savers, especially when you consider that it’s also the most efficient. With up to 83.1mpg on offer, you can save yourself a lot of money at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Mini One, you’re going to get an efficient, punchy, and green car. BMW’s influence is clear to see, as the Mini uses engines that are a shining example of the German manufacturer’s engineering expertise.
Not the safest car in its class, but good standard safety kit
Unlike a lot of cars in its class, the Mini One 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.
Good value for money, as long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Mini One offers drivers excellent value for money. This obviously depends upon which spec you choose to go for, but generally speaking, fuel efficiency is high, and C02 emissions are relatively low. The diesel-powered One D offers the best value in the range, with exceptionally low C02 emissions, and impressively high fuel economy.
Insurance costs in the Mini One are a little more expensive than in some rivals, due to the car’s unique looks, but it’s still good value. The cheapest model in the One range is the 1.5 One D, which is in group 11, whilst the most expensive (but not by much) is the 1.2 One in group 12. It’s not the cheapest car in its class, but it’s still relatively cheap to insure.
Depreciation is a factor with the Mini One, 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 One is one of the best superminis currently on sale in the UK. It may be more expensive than some rivals, but you get unique aesthetics, both inside and out, and impressively efficient engines. It’s not the most practical, nor the safest, but it is a great car to drive.
Buying a used Mini One online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Mini One 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 One. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Mini One 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 One, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used One, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring 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%.