On this page you can read everything you need to know about the legendary British compact car, including descriptions of classic Minis, links to buying guides, user reviews and prices comparisons; plus tips and recommendations.
The Mini is an iconic small car produced by BMC British Motoring Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original Mini is the most popular British car ever made. It was superseded by the New Mini or MINI launched in 2001. The original is a classic associated with the sixties, particularly in the UK, featuring in memorable films such as the Italian Job and driven by models, film and pop stars; including David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithful, Steve McQueen, George Harrison and Peter Sellers to name just a few. The original Mini design was very innovative, allowing its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout to generate 80 per cent of the area of the car's floorpan for passengers and luggage. From 1961 the sporty Mini Cooper was produced plus a more powerful version, the Mini Cooper S, in 1963 - enhancing the Minis status as a vehicle of cool. The car was such a success that it remained relatively unchanged stylistically over the years even until the modern Mini was launched in 2000 under the new ownership of BMW. The modern range are technically unrelated to the old cars although produced with much better performance and interior spec.; although, they do retain the classic transverse 4 cylinder, front-wheel-drive configuration. The Modern Cooper S, in particular has continued the style success of the original, helped with a major marketing campaign which included the 2003 film remake version of the Italian Job, which in turn was based on the 1969 original film starring Michael Caine. The Mini re-launch relied heavily on this history plus the combination of power and credibility which the new cars still retain, particularly for young drivers. In fact, the Mini re-launch has been one of the most successful product re-launches of all time. Notable awards for the Mini include the accolade of Car of the Century in 1995, from Autocar magazine.
Modern Minis have a superb reputation for reliability, and even the original Minis have good, reliable engines which give owners few troubles. The original Mini, built from 1959 to 2000, reached a production of 5.3 million, making it by far the most popular British car ever made. This is the longest production run of any mass produced British car at 41 years There is also a massive range of styles to chose from including saloons, estates, convertibles, vans, pick ups, Mokes, sports and luxury versions. Of the older models the later versions are vastly superior to the sixties era, with big improvements including multi-point fuel injection, airbags, front-mounted radiators and some great trim and option upgrades. The new MINI is almost completely re-designed from a technical point of view. It now has a new British built engine, new front and rear suspension and new six speed manual transmission. There are also a host of new innovations, and extra safety and security features as standard. In particular, the punchy engine, crisp transmission and responsive acceleration make the MINI Cooper S a popular choice with newcomers to the Mini phenenomen. And with cutting edge suspension, low ground clearance and go-kart handling, you are offered as much as handling fun as you can imagine. The joy of these vehicles is the pleasure they provide as a drive, especially on winding roads. They are also ideal urban runabouts and a delight to park. MINI has introduced a new version of the car for the 2007 model year which is proving popular. From 2008, all MINI models will also be equipped with BMW Efficient Dynamics technology. This includes a start-stop feature shutting off the engine when the car is stationary.