MINI hatchback review - Reliability and safety
MINI benefits from BMW engineering, but safety levels could be better
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).
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 59th in the top 100 cars in the 2021 Driver Power survey, which is an improvement on its earlier ranking.
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.
MINI was one of the first to offer all-inclusive service packages for the life of the car. Called TLC, it’s available from £299 and covers servicing for three years or 36,000 miles.
In this review
- 1VerdictIn the face of stiff competition, the latest MINI stands out by offering the quality and driver appeal of a baby BMW
- 2Engines, performance and driveA brilliant range of engines and one of the best small car driving experiences there is – but comfort suffers
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe MINI offers strong economy and, if chosen wisely, a very sound buy that will hold its value well
- 4Interior, design and technologyMINI offers an array of personalisation options, but the costs can soon add up
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe five-door model adds useful extra space, but this is not a car bought for practicality
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingMINI benefits from BMW engineering, but safety levels could be better