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Mini Cooper D: fun and affordable

It may look the same as what came before, says expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel, but this Mini has been updated and improved in more ways than one

Mini Cooper D

This model from £16,450

While the new Mini may look like a mildly updated version of its predecessor, in fact it is an entirely new car with new engines, a new interior and some much needed additional room in the back. It’s going to be a fortunate first-time buyer who finds themselves in a position to buy one, but for the lucky few the new Cooper D, with its tuneful, powerful and quite exceptionally economical diesel engine, is clearly the one to have.

Being engineered by BMW, it’s exceptionally well built and safe, comes with all the personal tailoring options for which Minis have become renowned over the years and on the right road will still prove a hoot to drive. And don’t fret too much about the purchase price, for so good are Mini residuals right now that it might end up costing less to own than a car that’s far cheaper on paper. Insurance is steep because of that Cooper badge, but can be reduced considerably by going for the Mini One version instead.


  • Engine: 1496cc, 116bhp
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Top speed: 127mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 9.2sec


  • Claimed economy: 80.1mpg
  • Insurance Group: 20 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

4 / 5
1 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5