News : MINI wins Sunday Times award

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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The MINI Hatch has been named Best Supermini in The Sunday Times Top 100 Cars of 2016. Fending off stiff competition in its category, the MINI Hatch was commended by The Sunday Times judges for its hi-tech engines coupled with its refined ride, road noise and comfort. 

MINI Hatch’s build quality was also praised, with the judges commenting: ‘MINI has not lost its touch when it comes to creating a cabin that’s distinctive, luxurious and stylish.’ AROnline’s readership aren’t quite so excited by the new car’s visuals, although the technology that underpins it is rather impressive. First-for-class features such as LED headlamps and Emergency Calling (E-Call), as well as a suite of advanced three and four-cylinder engines ensures that it will stay ahead of its rivals for years to come.

Its larger sibling, the MINI five-door, joined the range in September 2014 and has been a runaway success since launch. As well as sporting two extra rear doors, the MINI five-door has improved legroom, a practical third rear seat and larger boot. MINI three-door Hatch starts from £13,935 and, with more space than ever before, has been finished to an even higher standard.

For further information on the MINI Hatch, please see www.mini.co.uk.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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14 Comments

  1. The silence in the comments section is deafening – ARonline really doesn’t like the Mini!

    Nice enough car, but I can’t help thinking the (mainly) old crowd buying these will soon die off or shuffle into a small crossover in the next few years. Good job Mini has the Countryman.

  2. Well, it’s not a Mini, it’s not a car with any connection at all with AR ( except the ground underneath the factory ) and it’s a piece of appalling design with no space inside coupled with appalling obesity, weighing nearly as much as a Jaguar Mark 2 did in the 1960s. Perhaps those are just 3 reasons why not much attention is paid to it on this site?

  3. MINI (as opposed to Mini) haters really need to get over themselves! I mean, really, what is their problem! AR is long dead, and deservedly so given its mismanagement and often terrible product quality. The BMW era MINIs are distinctive, well engineered and commercially very successful, supporting thousands of UK manufacturing jobs, both at MINI and their component suppliers. All modern cars are, of course, much larger and heavier than those of the 1960’s, mainly because of the need to protect their occupants and other road users in the event of an accident. Given the choice between a MINI and a Jaguar Mk2, I know in which one I’d prefer to be if involved in a crash! As to space efficiency, have you actually sat in an F56? Masses of space up front, which is where it’s actually needed for 95% of the time, and adequate space in the back and boot, especially as the dropping the seat backs takes literally a second. If space efficiency is paramount, then buy an MPV or a van! Yes, I own a (F56) MINI and no, I’m not a coffin-dodger! It’s a Cooper and it’s very nearly as much fun to drive as my Boxster. Of course, I know I’m wasting my time writing this: MINI haters are so fixed in their views, so visceral and irrational, nothing will persuade them otherwise!

  4. I’m on the pro- side of the argument, too. Although I ducked out of buying an F56 (I had an R56 for four years, which was totally reliable), I support the marque, as it’s still a huge investor in the UK, and brings lots of employment to the Oxford area in direct manufacturing.

    People should move on – AROnline will continue reporting on MINI, MG, Jaguar Land Rover, the lot, despite overseas ownership.

    K

  5. Well, being 70 I suppose I am a coffin-dodger, but there is nothing irrational about my view of the MINI . Its packaging is lamentable for what pretends to be a “supermini” and no , I do not have a van, nor do I want one . However, for a car for family type use, the MINI is completely useless . Furthermore, I stand by my view that it is grossly overweight for its very limited size . Of course, I know I’m wasting my time writing this: MINI lovers are so fixed in their views, so visceral and irrational, nothing will persuade them otherwise!

  6. Keith, I couldn’t put it better myself.

    I feel that people who don’t like the car never ever miss the chance to criticise it.

    It seems a pity we haven’t moved on on this argument, but frankly leave them to it.

    Life is far too short.

    A

  7. “…for a car for family type use, the MINI is completely useless…”. Absolutely agree, but so what? It doesn’t pretend to be a family car. My Boxster is even more useless in this regard, but it doesn’t make it hateful! “…it is grossly overweight for its very limited size.” The F56 Mini Cooper kerb weight is 1,182kg. The Fiesta ST2 kerb weight is 1,163kg. I have nothing further to say on this matter!

  8. I used to be a detractor. Then my now-wife took a notion to test driving one, and I was hooked. New mindset, it isn’t a small economy car, it is a sports hatchback and a hoot to drive.

    Looking at MINI as a modern day Austin, the 5 door hatchback and estate, and even the Countryman all fit in.

    Yes, they aren’t the small packaging miracles that the original was, but the base hatchback could be thought of as a continuation of the Mini – Metro/100 – R3/25 – MINI mk1. Even small cars now are larger than they were in the 60s-80s as we demand, expect and should receive first class safety and equipment from all models.

    It isn’t an economy car. Trying to build a small economy car in the UK would make a loss, even Fiat is building the 500 in Poland. Yes, a base model can cost £10k – like the one Keith bought – but this is where the BMW sales model comes into play, as chilli packs are added, aircon, alloys, metallic paint etc. the price increases. It is a premium product, the UK excels at building premium/luxury products.

    Yes the parent company’s ruthless business acumen don’t give it a lot of moral high ground, but if – in a parallel universe – they still owned Rover, had axed the 75 (similar to Honda having recently axed the Accord, see Laguna, Legacy, Primera etc.) and replaced with the Countryman (see CRV, Qashcow, Kadjar etc. for saloon to SUV conversions), 25/45 replacements being the 3 and 5 door MINI hatchbacks and Clubman, the roadster and coupe being R8 style oddball derivatives, would the company have support?

    Love it or hate it (and I’ve been in both camps) it is a modern 21st hatchback that ticks most boxes, and a sales success for UK PLC.

    • ^^ Incidentally though, we didn’t buy one.

      The showroom was like a nightclub or a trendy fashion boutique, compared to the oily Citroen showrooms my dad used to take me to. By the time we’d specced a hatchback up, the price had crept up to VW Golf money.

      Second hand models weren’t much better, they really do keep their value. The older/cheaper models were found on backstreet car lots ran from a portakabin and manned by individuals who make Arthur Daley and Frank Butcher seem like boy scouts.

      The lack of a 5 door model at the time (barring the Countryman, we really don’t want nor need an SUV, and the Clubman asymmetrical estate) also counted against it for practicality and future proofing.

      We ended up with a Seat Leon, looks like a sportier Golf with the DeSilva Alfa styling, Teutonic componentry and hugely practical, the almost monobox shape is like a tardis – the interior feels bigger than the Saab!

  9. I’ve nothing against the MINI, a shame that the latest Clubman is now larger and less interesting than before.

    One thing I find amusing, is that whereas the Mini kept the A series engine for 40 years, each of the 3 generation of MINI have had completely different engines! A reflection of both the major technological challenges to complete nowadays, but also of BMW’s changing strategy
    1) JV with Chrysler to produce a cheap engine, when the product was a risk
    2) JV with Peugeot, but built at Hams Hall
    3) 100% BMW engines, but sharing the engines and platform with cheaper BMW products to spread the cost.

    • When we went to the BMW showroom to look at the MINI, the salesman was justifying the high prices that it was a “premium product, these aren’t Peugeots”, yet a look under the bonnet would’ve shown more lions than London Zoo.

      Just as Nissan drivers claim they wouldn’t touch French, yet the Qashqai was a Megane on stilts.

  10. Let’s be honest, Plant Oxford( Cowley) is producing a competent car that people want to buy and employs 5000 people in a factory that is light years ahead of the so called good old days. No strikes, a happy workforce, and none of the worrying about when the government will have to bail it out. My abiding memory of one of their state funded cars, a Montego that was so rubbish I had to scrap it before it was ten years old, yet I still see plenty of 51 plate Minis in immaculate condition.

  11. Like a few here I didn’t like the MINI. Mind you I have reservations about the original Mini. A brilliant concept in 1959 that was never really developed or allowed to evolve beyond that.

    Why no hatchback? Why no factory soft top? Why no five doors? The fact that the last Minis made weren’t really that much different from those made 40 years before shouldn’t be seen as something to celebrate. A bit like another BL car I like but which went 20-odd years without significant development – Range Rover.

    I’ve been looking again at the modern MINI recently, and I am now a convert. The car is spot on for so many people from so many walks of life, from 2 seat Roadsters through Supermini territory to small SUV. What BMW has done with the brand and the original Rover concept has been outstanding.

    What was said above about the brand being a new Austin or Morris is absolutely right,

    As for complaints the cars are huge these days. Get over it. A friend came over recently in his new Fiesta. It’s bigger – way bigger – than Fiestas of old. Just like most cars are compared to their predecessors.

    Comparing a MINI to a 60s Jag is just daft. 60 years apart. That’s like criticising a Typhoon jet for being heavier than a Hurricane. I should be quite worried is a modern MINI was built to the same standards as a Browns Lane product from the days when John Profumo was giving Christine Keeler the benefit of ministerial privilege.

    I love ARG BL MGR BMC or whatever acronym you choose cars. The good and the bad. Hell I even own one. But why hate a successful British made car because doesn’t Appeal to you? I don’t like Washington built Nissan’s much, but I’m glad they are built, glad to see vast car carriers exporting them by the thousand from the River Tyne.

    It’s not the last half of th 20th century anymore. Avro don’t built Vulcans, trains are made in the UK by Japanese TV manufacturers. Time to move on and support the UK automotive success story that is MINI.

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