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Home > reviews > Choosing from the MINI range is now a sizeable decision

Choosing from the MINI range is now a sizeable decision

Posted on 14 Jan 2014

There used to be just one MINI to pick back in the good old days and it remains an icon to this day. The original MINI made driving affordable, stylish and more than just a little bit cool being the smallest car ever manufactured for the mainstream public. It's been quite a different story since BMW got their claws into the business though with a marque of offerings across numerous segments. The cars themselves are no longer MINI and purists would say that damages the brand, but the strong sales suggest the broadening of horizons has worked wonders. If you have your heart set on a MINI then they are still affordable on finance at Carbase, but deciding which one to buy is more difficult and here's how three options stack up against each other:

Clubman

BMW's stewardship has made the MINI hatchback a fun, exciting and beautifully-engineered car to drive, but it somewhat lacks what the original did - space. This lack of practicality did not go unnoticed by BMW and gave birth to the MINI Clubman. The Clubman breaks the mould and it should be applauded for that; it offers more practicality, but without losing out on the efficiency and great-driving credentials of the car on which it is based. The subtle differences are too small to make huge strides, but the Clubman does live up to some of the promise it displayed at launch.

One

Many motorists are fighting the urge to buy a MINI due to the steep price associated with the now highly-desirable range. If this is the case for you then stop right there and welcome in the MINI One, the entry-level MINI that claws back some of the affordability of the original. The One makes getting behind the wheel of a MINI a possibility for all, but it does lack some of the guts to get the best out of the finely-tuned and critically-acclaimed chassis; as well as a lot of the refinement. Still, it is a MINI none the less and for many that is more than enough to win hearts and minds alike.

Convertible

Yet another string to MINI's ever-growing bow is the ability to buy a MINI with a soft top. You can't help but admire BMW's push to bring MINI into every segment with ruthless efficiency. Again, the German car maker has come up trumps with a remarkably good convertible; who wouldn't like those cute looks? Everything is well executed from the styling to the roof-down drive, but it does rely on the MINI's enduring appeal to win buyers as it lacks the finesse of the hatch and the practical nature of some of its direct and more accomplished convertible rivals.

 
4 / 5 stars