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Cars & travel.

Updated: 13 Jan 2022

Should I buy a Mini?

Mini cars aren't so mini anymore, with a range encompassing hatchbacks, 4x4s and estate cars. Read on to find out whether a Mini is a car you can love.
Oliver Trebilcock

Mini is one of the most distinctive and iconic of all car brands. First launched in 1959, the original Mini car turned heads and has remained one of the most distinctive cars on our roads.

When BMW sold MG Rover, it made sure it kept the Mini brand for itself – and it has been a great sales success for the company. It's keen to preserve the British traditions of the brand.

With the rising popularity of SUVs, you can even get one in Mini guise with the Mini Countryman, the largest ever car to wear the Mini badge.

Keep reading to find out more about Mini cars, including how much they cost and how reliable they are.

Looking for a piece of that iconic style? Discover all our Mini car reviews.

How much do Mini cars cost?

Long gone are the days when Minis were budget cars. You’ll need around £15,000 even for the cheapest Mini hatchback, while a fully kitted-out top-spec John Cooper Works can set you back well over £30,000. 

There’s a huge list of optional extras, too, which are almost too tempting to avoid. This includes bonnet stripes, British racing green metallic paint and even sporty double clutch transmission.

Although prices may be high, Minis keep their value well and car finance deals can often prove attractive.

How reliable are Mini cars?

Mini is a premium brand, so you would hope that 'premium' also meant 'high quality' and 'reliable' - but does it really?

To find out, every year we run an annual car survey where tens of thousands of people tell us about their current car and how reliable it is. Based on feedback from current Mini owners, we have reliability data for new cars aged up to four years old, and also used cars aged between five and nine years old, and old cars aged 10-15 years. 

To see how reliable Mini cars are, head over to our most reliable car brands page.


Choosing the best Mini car

The familiar three-door Mini hatchback is joined by a longer Mini five-door model that offers extra practicality. 

Want the hatchback bit with the added thrill of top-down driving? Have a look at the Mini Convertible

If the hatchback doesn't offer enough space, there is also the Mini Clubman. The Clubman is the estate of the Mini world – but you'd be wiser not thinking of it as an actual estate. The boot is quite small compared with other estates, so it's more of a Mini with a dash of added practicality.

The tall-riding Mini Countryman SUV (see image above), now in its second generation, is the biggest Mini produced to date. Arguably, making it the most practical to date. The car comes in both front-wheel drive and Mini's ‘ALL4’ all-wheel-drive.


What's a Mini Cooper?

'Cooper' is actually a trim level available to buy on every Mini car model. It's most commonly associated with the Mini hatchback (see image above).

Hybrid and electric Minis

The Countryman is now also offered as an plug-in hybrid, which combines a turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor.

An electric Mini, based on the design of the classic Mini three-door hatchback and for production at the Mini factory in Oxford, has been unveiled as well. It's expected to be available from early 2020.

Second-hand Minis

If you're perusing the classifieds, the Mini Paceman is a three-door version of the of the previous generation Countryman. 

A two-seater, soft-top sports car the Mini Roadster is also available to buy used.

Now you know all about Mini, find out how its cars perform in our tough tests. See all of our Mini car reviews.