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MINI hatchback review - Reliability and safety

MINI benefits from BMW engineering, but misses out a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

3.8 out of 5

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The newest MINI scored four stars in a 2014 round of Euro NCAP crash tests, which is mildly disappointing when most new cars these days so often achieve a full five-star rating. A 79 percent score for adult occupants and 73 percent for child occupants are perhaps what you’d expect of a small car – but way behind the 84 percent and 85 percent ratings respectively for the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer that’s based on the same chassis (and was tested at the same time).

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The MINI’s worst Euro NCAP score was 56 percent for safety assistance systems, largely because newer technology like lane departure warning isn’t available at all, while low speed autonomous braking (city braking assistant) is optional, as is a head-up display and automatic cruise control. The MINI does have two Isofix points as standard, however.

For impact protection it features high-strength steel in the body, impact absorbers and a pop-up bonnet to help improve a pedestrian’s chance of survival if struck. Electronic stability control (which can be switched off), anti-lock brakes and tyre pressure monitoring are all standard.

The MINI hatch finished in an impressive 11th place (out of 75 cars) in the 2022 Driver Power survey, while MINI itself achieved 9th spot (out of 29 brands) in the manufacturer poll.

Warranty

The MINI comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, covering the usual gamut of mechanical and electrical parts – not including those subject to normal wear and tear. Beyond that, MINI offers a very similar service to BMW (unsurprisingly), called MINI Insured Warranty, available to any car under 100,000 miles. It can be purchased as either an extension to the standard warranty, or for specific components, like the clutch, engine or gearbox. 

Servicing

MINI offers its Service Inclusive scheme which, for a fixed price, will cover scheduled maintenance for petrol and PHEV models for up to five years (four years for the MINI Electric). Alternatively, monthly payment plans are also available from around £18 per month for petrol models and £10 per month for the Electric hatch.

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