The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

A classic British icon, fabulous and fun!

Starting price: £18,105

Pros

5 door, small car

Can park in small spaces

1x ISOFIX point in the front

2 boosters in the rear, but 3 seats in rear

Cupholders perfectly positioned

Flat boot entrance

Cons

The essentials are all extra, putting the cost up quite substantially

Can’t fit an umbrella fold pushchair in the boot

Intro

It is clear to see why there are so many Minis on the road.  A classic British icon, that is perfect for everyday family needs.  The Mini is so much fun to drive and with a 2-litre turbo engine it can really move when you want it to.  Even more so when you shift it into “sport mode.”  We drove the automatic 5 -door Mini Cooper Sport.  It also comes in a 3-door. The quality of the finish both inside and out is exceptionally high and it feels solid and stable on the road.

Interior

No expense has been spared on the interior of the Mini Cooper S.  They are definitely targeting us females, by adding quirky little touches such as colourful neon lights surrounding the central touchscreen and matching lights on the door handles.  The lights have 2 modes; mode 1 – you select the colour (depending on your mood) or mode 2 – the colours constantly change independently; it’s like having your own car disco!

When choosing a Mini, you must first select your engine size, then your “trim” (classic, sport or exclusive) and finally you need to add your specs.  This is when the price really starts to go up.  Luxuries and essentials such as parking sensors, rear view cameras, smartphone integration, touchscreen, tinted rear windows (privacy glass) and heated seats are all extras.  They are incorporated into various packages; Comfort Package, Comfort Plus Package, Nav Package, each with its own substantial price tag.  Tinted windows for example will cost you £250, whilst a rear camera, rear parking sensors, dual climate control, heated seats, retractable mirrors and park assist will set you back a further £1600.  If a touchscreen is on your wish list, you need to budget an additional £900!

The 6.5 inch screen whilst smaller than many other cars in this class, is simple and easy to manipulate, but we think it’s definitely worth upgrading to the Nav pack which gives you the ease of a touchscreen and includes that all important smartphone integration.  Dual climate control and heated seats are also an optional extra.

When parking the Mini Cooper S, we found the parking sensors and rear-view camera an essential luxury.  The wing mirrors are sufficient in size, but the rear window is small as you would expect for the Mini.  The car frame obscures some of the view, so upgrading to the “Comfort Plus” will help with parking.

Seats & Passenger Space

The seats come in fabric as standard, but if leather is a must (especially with children) you are going to have to upgrade to the Sport or Exclusive trim.  There is plenty of space in the front, for a small car, for both the driver and passenger. 

There are 2 ISOFIX points in the back and although 3 adults will find it rather snug, 3 children will find it perfectly adequate.  Having said that, you will only get 2 child seats on the rear bench, a third child will have to squeeze in the middle without a booster.

Cups & Cubby

Amazingly, we have finally found a small car with cupholders in the perfect position! It is amazing how many manufacturers get this wrong.  They may be central like most cars, but they are underneath the air con controls, therefore further forward and not in between the front 2 seats. You won’t have that awkward arm manoeuvre to grab your coffee.  It is in your eye line and you merely have to stretch your hand forward. Here you’ll also find a small tray for keys and a phone.  The glove box is a good size too. Sadly, there is only 1 central cupholder in the rear, so good luck with who gets to put their water bottle in there!  However, the door bins are perfectly adequate for a small car. 

Boot Space

The boot although a good size, sadly will not fit an umbrella folding pushchair in.  Hard to believe when cars such as the Fiat 500 and the Toyota Aygo, which have smaller boot capacities, will accommodate the Maclaren Turbo smaller wheeled stroller.  However, a small pram will just about fit provided the pram seat is removed from the frame and wheels. You can op to add on one of the “Comforter” packages and get the “storage pack;” a versatile boot shelf that can be manipulated in several ways, providing extra storage if needed, sadly not enough for a pushchair.  It can also be used to create a flat boot entrance, so no lifting things up and over the boot entrance.  

Summary

All in all, we absolutely loved the Mini Cooper S.  It is a great, everyday car with a real sporty feel.  However, remember that you will not be able to fit your stroller in (if you need to) and you are going to have to budget a large amount for most of those essential extras.

Car seats used in this review – 1 x Graco Booster Basic (width 40cm) 1 x Babystart Topo Booster (width 38cm)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

278 Litres

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

3982 mm (L) x 1932 mm (W) x 1425 mm (H)

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

42.8 – 47.9

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

N/A

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60mph in 6.9 secs