Car Review - Mini One

Motoring correspondent Syd Taylor is highly impressed by the Mini One

The new generation Minis have been a familiar sight on our roads for so long they are in danger of becoming one of the first retro classics. Their success has never been down to pure nostalgia but to solid engineering coupled with designer flair. Currently, with so many variants on the market, one is almost spoiled for choice. So we decided to check the virtues the ‘basic’ model.

It is one of those pleasant looking cars that always induces a smile and promises a warm welcome. If anything, the years have improved its appearance. We know it’s not really a ‘mini’. With its wide wheelbase and ample accommodation it achieves things that would otherwise be impossible if one was restricted to the ‘old’ dimensions. What remains,

though, is the joie de vivre forever associated with the name.I love the look but also it’s reassuring, comforting and altogether satisfying, to acknowledge that underpinning the style is an utter dependability and precision of manufacture.

I was testing the diesel alternative and even those who don’t go dewy-eyed over diesel will drool in delight at this 90bhp 1.6 litre model’s economy, at the same time as they jump with joy at the 115mph performance that even this basic Mini One delivers. Your correspondent never achieved the claimed 74.3 mpg overall but 66 mpg was easy.

Whizzing about is such a breeze. It handles brilliantly, rides comfortably and has a slick six-speed gearbox that encourages enthusiastic use. All this performance is delivered in such a smooth and sophisticated way that the argument that diesels are noisier is now dead. It’s a quiet and relaxing car at high speeds.

I was staggered at how good this Mini is - zippy as a sandfly and with the torque equivalent of twenty elephants packed away under the bonnet. The Mini is a car for all types, all seasons and all weathers. My advice is to buy one and save up for another one for your grandchildren!

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