Mini Car Reviews
Upon its release in 1959, the Mini was sold by two of the British Motor Corporation brands, Austin and Morris, and was named the Seven and Mini-Minor respectively. Due to the popularity of these cars, which were thought of as a fashion or lifestyle statement, Mini became an established brand of its own by 1967
Through the years the Mini has undergone many changes in design as well as several owners. The 1980s were particularly rough on the brand and it struggled for survival. They began to design special anniversary editions that were able to sustain the company until 2000.
In 1994 BMW purchased the Rover Group, which incorporated the Mini brand. They planned to develop a new mini to reinvigorate the brand, but required it to feature the distinctive BMW characteristics, to uphold their standards. The first of the new generation of minis was released in 2001.
There a number of different models available in the Mini hatch range; the First, the One and the Cooper. Each of these models features a number of variations, with petrol or diesel variations. It was introduced as the first of the new generation of minis. Styling of each variation is slightly different with the Cooper S featuring a scoop cut into the bonnet and twin exhausts at the rear of the car. Now on the second of the new generation of models, launched in 2007, there is little change in terms of the overall look of the cars, but there are slight differences due to incoming safety requirements, resulting in car being slightly lengthened. The cheapest model offered is the First, whilst the Cooper S is the most expensive.
The second generation of convertible Minis was introduced in 2009. Similarly to the hatch model, this new convertible was also lengthened to comply with new safety requirements. As with the hatch, there are a number of different varieties of this model, the One and Cooper. The Cooper is available as either petrol or diesel, whilst the one is only offered with a petrol engine.
The Mini coupe was introduced in 2011, as the first two-seater mini. It also features a new design, where the engine, passengers and luggage compartments are all separated.
The Roadster is a convertible version of the MINI Coupe. Don't confuse this with the MINI Convertible which is a soft-top version of the MINI Hatch.
First released in 2008, the Clubman is the estate version of the Mini hatchback. The length of the Clubman is increased to provide both additional legroom and cargo space. There is a pair of bi-parting doors at the rear of the car to provide access to the boot, and bi-parting side doors on the right side of the car to provide access for rear passengers. This can be an issue in Britain as it means the passengers in the back are likely to have to enter from, and exit into, the road. It is available with a petrol or diesel engine in the One, Cooper and Cooper S ranges.
The Countryman is a small crossover 4x4. It is the first 4x4 launched under the Mini brand and was first made available as a 2011 model-year car. It is also the first 5-door vehicle offered by Mini, and has more space than the Clubman. Available as a One, Cooper, Cooper S; in both petrol and diesel version, it is able to cope with some rugged terrain that other Minis would struggle with. In addition it received a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2010.
John Cooper Works
The Hatch, Convertible, Clubman and Coupe models are all offered in John Cooper Works trim, which provides an upgraded engine and a host of extras.