MINI ONE: Driven

Driving Impressions: MINI One

We finally got our hands on a MINI One, for a quick spin.

See our previous post for the technical bits.

Performance

With its detuned 1.6l motor “only” churning out 72kW (almost 100 bhp), we were not expecting too much. Maybe performance similar to a 1.4l…

We were pleasantly surprised. The motor feels lively and definitely has enough grunt for the baby MINI. You will note slight pauses here and there, if you happen to be in the wrong gear, but overall the motor feels quite torque-y above 2500rpm. Not necessarily a negative for those who like to interact with their gearbox.

 

Ride & Handling

It’s a MINI, all the way. Feels like a MINI, turns like a MINI, rides like a MINI. Not a rattle to be heard, with fit and finish on par with its more expensive siblings.

 

Equipment

Spec levels have been reduced, but it is still a quality hatch. A two-spoke steering wheel is supplied standard, and without cruise control. As your main interface with the car, we feel that we would definitely upgrade to the three-spoke steering wheel, and have cruise control added, as the standard item is not up to scratch (in our opinion – this is a personal choice in any case). The audio system is also more basic than that of its siblings and only offers a minijack line-in (no USB), but is totally adequate. Other bits and bobs are specced-down trim items: no chrome exhaust finisher, matt-black boot handle cover and mirror covers, black grille inserts (not chrome), and neat gunmetal wheel covers on steel wheels. Alloys are optional, and at five grand we’d give them a skip (steel wheels are better for potholes!).

 

Conclusion

We love it! We’d have one in a heartbeat. Considering it’s a thirty grand saving over a Cooper, with a much lower monthly installment (especially if you take advantage of the current MINI One Deal), there is almost no reason to be looking at a Cooper! Granted the Cooper comes with more power, more mod-cons and nice-to-haves, the feeling you get from driving the MINI One is the same as that of the MINI Cooper. With the current economic climate the MINI One is a winner. We want ONE!

 

 

Thank you Lyndhurst Auto MINI

 

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