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In-depth reviews

MINI hatchback review - Interior, design and technology

The five-door adds significantly more room and practicality, there’s some interesting tech and no loss of typical MINI charm

Given the huge sales success of the first two generations of MINI, it’s no surprise that designers have played it safe with the latest car. In fact, at a glance it looks identical to the last one. But dedicated fans of the brand will notice the slightly more bulbous proportions and the larger front and rear lights.

The five-door model gets rear side doors with frames, rather than the three-door’s frameless ones, plus an extra 72mm between the front and rear wheels, and 89mm more at the very back to boost the boot. It’s not as pretty as the three-door – and, frankly, looks a bit of a mess if you take in the details for too long – but somehow it still works as a whole.

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MINI has been bold as usual with the new car’s interior, and the eye-catching design still features plenty of retro touches. But there’s nothing retro about the driving position – as per the preceding two BMW-era MINIs, this one comes with a highly adjustable chair and steering wheel combo that ensures anyone can find a near perfect setup. 

Much of the switchgear has been relocated as compared to the outgoing model – the familiar line-up of toggle switches is still on the centre console, but the window buttons are now on the doors, while a BMW-style iDrive controller sits between the front seats, replacing the old car’s joystick.

As with every MINI there’s huge scope for personalisation and myriad cost options, ensuring that you can at least feel like your MINI is unique – but it all soon adds up to one expensive MINI. The One comes with 15-inch wheels as standard but you can upgrade to alloys up to 18 inches, while fripperies like contrasting roof colours, mirror caps and various vinyl stripes and patterns can all be specified.

Most owners will opt for Sport or Exclusive ‘Style’ options, which both add 17-inch alloys, cruise control, sports seats and various unique styling upgrades over the standard Classic models.

Sat-nav, stero and infotainment

Dominating the dash is a large, circular display for the infotainment and optional sat-nav. In characteristic MINI style, its theatrical outer ring is illuminated and acts as an additional multi-colour display, mimicking various things including the speedometer, stereo volume, or flashing when the driver’s attention is required.

Based on BMW’s iDrive setup, the MINI’s infotainment is good. All cars come with at least a 6.5-inch infotainment display, which can be upgraded to a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen unit, with the latter offering particularly good image quality, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Android Auto is not supported, however.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 One Classic II 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £15,445

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 One Classic II 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £15,445

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 John Cooper Works GP II 3dr Auto [8 Speed]
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £33,895
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