MINI Cooper auto - best small automatic cars
It's not as much fun, but the automatic MINI still stands out from the crowd
The MINI hatch has carved its own niche in the premium supermini sector that rivals can only hope to emulate. Its retro looks and range of personalisation hold plenty of appeal, and as it's the standard bearer of the BMW Group's front-wheel drive cars, it's been given entertaining handling that lives up to the reputation of both companies.
Our pick of the MINI range is the Cooper, as it delivers all the fun of the Cooper S, but is far better value. The auto box offered on the Cooper is a traditional torque converter auto - if you want a sportier option, you need to look at the rapid John Cooper Works version - but it doesn't harm the MINI's economy too badly (60.1mpg to 62.8mpg), and it's available in both three and five-door body styles.
The one area that does take a bit of a hit is the MINI's driving fun. Taking away control of changing gears removes some of the enjoyment from the Cooper. But if you're after a stylish supermini that you can call your own and takes the strain out of everyday driving, it's still well worth a look.