By Alexi Falson, 27 Sep, 2021
Review - 2021 MINI Hatch
AF By Alexi Falson July 14, 2021
The Mini Hatch is perhaps one of the most unique and identifiable cars on the road today, designed to reflect the iconic Mini Cooper that became a cult classic after its launch in 1959. It’s billed as a fun-loving, tech-filled and stylish compact hatch, but one burning question remains: does the Mini Hatch offer enough substance beneath its iconic styling to deserve your money?
Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $37,500 (plus on-road costs)
OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now
How Much Does It Cost?
Before we get into the price, it’s worth noting that Mini offers different variants of the Cooper lineup in three different trim levels: Classic, Classic Plus and Yours. The Mini Hatch kicks off at $37,500 for the entry-level Cooper with a manual gearbox; an automatic transmission adds around $2,500 to the price. Prices for the entry-level Cooper range between $37,500 and $46,000, depending on which of the three trim levels you opt for.
Stepping up to the Cooper S brings the price to $45,700 in base-model Classic trim, and stretches out to $53,200 for the Cooper S JCW Sport model. The sporty John Cooper Works variant is priced between $54,850 and $62,350, depending on the trim level, while the range-topping, pure electric Mini Hatch, the SE, is priced between $55,650 and $62,825.
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What Features Does the Mini Hatch Have?
As we’ve mentioned, Mini offers three trim levels (Classic, Classic Plus and Mini Yours) across each of the four models. In the name of keeping things simple, we’ll run through the four models, and touch on what is included in the Classic, and what the most expensive trim - Mini Yours - adds to the package.
First up, the entry-level Cooper in its cheapest ‘Classic’ form comes fitted with 16-inch alloys, an 8.8-inch touchscreen with wireless charging and Apple CarPlay, automatic LED head and tail lights, leather steering wheel, reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, 5.5-inch digital driver’s display and cloth interior upholstery. The Cooper Classic Plus adds 17-inch alloys, leather upholstery, heated seats, panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and a Harman Kardon sound system. The most expensive Mini Cooper Yours adds an upgraded leather interior package, ambient lighting, silver interior trim contrasts and a Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Stepping up to the Mini Cooper S Classic adds a more powerful engine, seven speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and 17-inch alloys, with the Classic Plus and Mini Yours variants adding the same luxuries as mentioned above.
The Mini John Cooper Works receives an even more powerful engine - producing 170kW and 320Nm - as well as an eight speed automatic transmission, launch control system, tailored 17-inch alloys, sports suspension, upgraded brakes and a set of JCW sport seats wrapped in suede and leather.
The all-electric Mini Cooper SE is available in Classic and Mini Yours trim levels, with the major upgrades in the form of a 135kW/270Nm electric motor with a range of 233km. Features of the Mini Cooper SE include 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch touchscreen unit with wireless charging and Apple CarPlay, 5.0-inch driver’s display, reversing camera with sensors, keyless entry, sport seats, nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Mini Yours trim level adds an upgraded leather interior, head-up display, panoramic sunroof and Harman Kardon sound system.
- 16-inch alloys
- 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wireless charging & Apple CarPlay
- Semi-autonomous parking
- LED head & tail lights
- 17-inch alloys (Classic Plus & above)
- Panoramic Sunroof (Classic Plus & above)
- Leather upholstery (Mini Yours)
- Ambient Lighting (Mini Yours)
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
Depending on which engine you’ve opted for, the performance of the Mini Hatch ranges from adequate to absolutely outstanding in the John Cooper Works’ variant. For most buyers, the Cooper and Cooper S will be the most likely option, which offers a modest amount of power, and a fairly refined, albeit firm ride quality on Australian roads. While it’s unlikely you’ll notice this in and around town, when you leave the smooth roads of the city behind you, country roads will remind you of this firm suspension.
Overall, though, the Mini is an outstanding partner in crime around the urban environment, and can make even the most boring errand that little bit more exciting. The short-throw manual transmission is engaging for drivers looking for that, while the dual-clutch automatic offers smooth, seamless shifts that you’ll barely notice.
While it’s not as small as the original, the Mini still offers impressive maneuverability in tight spots, is extremely easy to park, and very much lives up to the reputation of the original Mini Cooper as a fun-loving and engaging hatch when the mood strikes, while offering a relaxed, easy to drive dynamic when you’re simply commuting home.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
As the name probably suggests, the Mini Hatch doesn’t lead the pack when it comes to interior practicality, although space and headroom in the front of the cabin is absolutely fine for even the tallest of drivers and front passengers. Up front, the wireless phone charger is cleverly hidden away inside the central armrest, and there’s a set of cup holders and storage tray in the central console. The door sills can eat up a medium-sized water bottle, and that’s essentially it in terms of front passenger practicality. The design of the cockpit features the iconic circular 8.8-inch multimedia unit flanked by a relatively compact central console.
In the rear of the cabin, there’s enough space for children and smaller teenagers, but full-sized adults will struggle to get comfortable in the rear seats for even short journeys. This is definitely a car that prioritises the driver and front passenger above anything else, with practicality and rear passenger comfort merely an afterthought. In the boot, there is 211L of cargo storage on offer, which expands to 731L with the rear seats folded down; this is enough for a few backpacks or shopping bags, and shows that the Mini Hatch is lacking in terms of practicality.
Is it Safe?
The Mini Hatch lineup has been awarded a Four Star ANCAP Safety Rating, and comes fitted with a number of active safety technologies as standard. These include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors and traffic sign recognition. Overall, safety technologies are not a strong-point of the Mini Hatch lineup, which could raise eyebrows for a vehicle of this price.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of different engines on offer in the Mini Hatch lineup. The entry-level Cooper has a combined cycle rated at 5.6L per 100km, while the Cooper S is slightly thirstier at 5.8L per 100km and the John Cooper Works is rated at 6.3L per 100km. The Mini 5-Door is rated at 5.7L per 100km, while the Cooper S is rated at 5.8L per 100km.
Of course, the all-electric Cooper SE is no doubt the most environmentally-conscious Mini Hatch variant, with a claimed range of 233km between charges.
Our Verdict: Is the Mini Hatch Worth it?
The Mini Hatch is no doubt a quality car, although it might require you to make some sacrifices, namely the lack of practicality on offer. If your lifestyle fits, though, there’s few cars on the road that can match the Mini in terms of its overall character and driving dynamics.
One thing to keep in mind while looking at the Mini Hatch lineup, though, is the sheer number of variants on offer between trim levels and engine options. Do some homework and make a list of features that you’re looking for in your next car, and make sure you’re choosing the right variant and not paying too much for features you might not need.
Alternatively, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 and we’ll find the perfect Mini Hatch for you.
Five Specs You Need to Know
- 26 variants, four engines and three body styles to choose from
- 3 Year, Unlimited Kilometer Warranty
- Capped-Price Servicing On Offer for $1595
- All-Electric Variant Available: the Mini SE
- Each Model has Three Trim Levels: Classic, Classic Plus, Mini Yours
- Powerful and economical engine lineup
- Interior quality
- Tonnes of personalisation options
- Three-Year Warranty
- Lack of practicality and storage space
- Complicated, complex range of variants and options