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In-depth reviews

MINI Cooper - Boot space, comfort & practicality

The MINI Cooper is strictly a four-seater, and its boot is just as disappointingly small as it’s always been

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Boot space, comfort & practicality Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£23,110 to £42,500
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Dimensions

Length

3,858mm

Width

1,756mm

Height

1,460mm

Number of seats

4

Boot space 

200 litres (seats up), 800 litres (seats down)

The MINI Cooper will continue as the traditional three-door hatchback in the MINI range, with the forthcoming MINI Aceman, which will sit between the Cooper and the bigger MINI Countryman, fulfilling the role of the more practical five-door offering.

Certain details about the driving position remain familiar to anyone who’s driven the previous three-door hatch, such as the steeply raked windscreen that sits far forward of the driver, a low header rail, and thick A-pillars that can obstruct your view at roundabouts or when exiting junctions. The seats are wider to help with comfort, though, and the armrest is now mounted to the seat. 

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All versions come with LED headlights, with the option to upgrade to adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beam assistance that light up corners better at night, and take care of dipping the headlights for you to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. To help out with parking, every Cooper comes with parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Dimensions and size

At 3,855mm long and 1,756mm wide, the MINI Cooper is significantly longer and wider than the Fiat 500 electric. It is shorter than that car (1,460mm vs 1,488mm, respectively) owing to the Cooper’s sportier bent. It is a fair deal smaller than the GWM Ora 03, but that rival does at least come with space for passengers in the back.

Seats, leg room, head room & passenger space

The MINI Cooper’s cabin is probably a bit closer to being a genuine four seater than you might expect; you can fit four adults in there. There’s quite a bit of pitch in the rear seats, admittedly, so your knees are higher and your backside lower than you’d like, but this in turn means that there’s enough headroom for six-footers. 

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Getting in and out is not a graceful activity, mind you – and we can see why MINI has made front passenger-seat ISOFIX points standard across the range, since it’d be a pain to extract a child from back seat berths.

Boot space

Luggage capacity has been a running joke for generations of MINI customers and the latest Cooper isn’t going to rip up the rule book in that regard. The load bay measures 210 litres when the rear seats are in place – a bigger volume, admittedly, than a 500 electric, but comfortably smaller than what you’ll get in most electric superminis, such as the Vauxhall Corsa Electric and Peugeot E-208

Fold down the second row, and your space expands to 800 litres; it’s a special type of car that can’t manage 1,000 litres in a two-seat layout, but this is one such vehicle. It’s odd, in fact, that MINI has decided to engineer in a movable boot floor, since the gain is so marginal. A curry hook or two would have been a better addition.

Most owners will continue to hurl shopping into the rear seats anyway, of course, and if you want a more practical MINI, your dealer will no doubt point you towards the Aceman, which does have a seats-down capacity (just) in excess of 1,000 litres.

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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