Mini car models: What are the different types of Mini car?

Date Posted 21st May 2021
Read Time 10 min read

Launched on 26 August 1959, the Mini went on to become the most iconic car in British motoring industry, if not the world.

This tiny car, deceptively spacious inside, was created to cater for the masses and provide affordable motoring at a time when the cost of driving was simply too expensive for many.

It’s the car that everyone recognises and it continues to stay true to its roots even today. 

Granted, it’s no longer the budget model of the 60s anymore, but it remains much-loved, and much wanted all over the world.

Today, in the hands of German giants, BMW, the future looks incredibly bright for the small car with the big design.

The history of Mini

The Mini was commissioned by the BMC (British Motor Corporation) because of the fuel crisis caused by the Suez crisis of 1956. 

Prices had soared due to petrol rationing and sales of large British cars had started to suffer.

While elsewhere in Europe, bubble cars had started to become all the rage, BMC boss Leonard  Lord wasn’t so keen and commissioned designer Alec Issigonis (designed of the Morris Minor) to come up with something that could go head to head with the bubble car. 

The brief was to design a car to fit four, use an existing engine and to make it small.

The Morris Mini Minor and Austin Seven were launched a couple of years later and, although the British public wasn’t immediately sold, as soon as the Beatles and even the Queen were seen in them, the car took off. 

Quite literally, too – as a couple of years later the Mini Cooper was born and went on to become a Monte Carlo rally winner.

Shortly after the Mini went on to be manufactured in countries around the world. Another fuel crisis in 1973 only served to boost its sales more.

The 80s saw sales start to dwindle and numerous special editions were launched. When 1994 rolled around, BMW took control of the Rover Group and acquired Mini, continuing to build on the success of its heyday.

Now with upgraded engines, modern features and luxuries that Mini has never benefited from before, it seems as though this little car will continue to endure and remain an icon for many years to come.

Mini Countryman

Fuel Petrol & Hybrid
Drive Manual & Automatic

The Mini Countryman is the grown-up, more mature Mini. With a strong engine and a roomy cabin, it’s more practical than ever.

Still with Mini’s iconic look, the Countryman is quite large for a small SUV. Head and legroom are pretty generous and the car generally feels sturdy and capable.

Mini’s retro look doesn’t disappear when it comes to the interior either. The big circular display in the middle of the dash that once housed a speedometer is now an infotainment screen, featuring touchscreen technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Further up the trim levels, there are more luxuries; from heated seats to active driving assistance. There’s a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel-drive on the Cooper Countryman or Countryman S editions, while the hybrid and standalone John Cooper works come as standard with all-wheel-drive.

As per typical Mini, there’s also a huge opportunity to personalise your Countryman with various colours, hood shades, stripes and other upgrades.

There’s still a lot of Mini-esque fun when it comes to the driving experience too, with nimble steering and responsive acceleration. 

And in keeping with Mini’s love for options and personalisation, there’s also a lot of choice when it comes to engines – petrol, diesel and hybrid.

The Cooper is the entry-level Countryman with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine and six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

At the top of the range is the John Cooper Works ALL4, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The JWC can do 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 155mph.

And there’s the hybrid, the second-fastest of the range after the JCW. When fully charged, this model can travel up to 26 miles on electric power alone, producing 40-46g/km of CO2.


There are six model variants of the Mini Countryman.

Pros of Mini Countryman

  • Stong engine range
  • Roomy cabin
  • Great levels of tech
  • Model to suit all needs

Cons of Mini Countryman

  • Divisive styling
  • Premium price even at entry-level

Mini Clubman

Fuel Petrol
Drive Manual

The Mini Clubman has been around since 2007 and with its distinct looks is very much set apart from your average estate car.

At more than 4.2metres long, the Clubman is a spacious vehicle with a large boot and the classic Mini curved looks.

It comes with some punchy engines, too. The Cooper runs on a 1.5-litre petrol twin-power turbo engine producing 134bhp and can sprint from 0 to 62mph in 9.2 seconds.

The Cooper S and John Cooper Works are more powerful, with both receiving a 2.0-litre powertrain. In the Works, that equates to 302bhp. The top-of-the-range model also comes with special sport suspension, sports seats and an upgraded steering wheel.

But away from the John Cooper Works, there are still niceties to be had. Even in the entry-level Cooper Classic, there’s sat-nav and Apple CarPlay. 

Up one, in the Sport, there’s cruise control and a bundle of John Cooper Works extras, including aero pack, 18-inch alloys and sports seats. 

For the same money, you can also get the Exclusive, which comes with a a fibre alloy interior style, chrome-lined finishes and more sophisticated 18-inch wheels. 

A further benefit of the Clubman is it falls into a pretty reasonable insurance group, starting in group 20 for a Cooper Classic. 

Of course, the powerful John Cooper Works is considerably more expensive to insure, hitting group 40.  


There are three model variants of the Mini Clubman.

Pros of Mini Clubman

  • Lots of space
  • Good interior finish
  • Comfortable drive even with sports suspension

Cons of Mini Clubman

  • Divisive styling
  • High CO2 levels
  • Limited engine range

Mini Cooper 3-Door Hatch

Fuel Petrol
Drive Manual

The original, iconic Mini 3-Door Hatch has had a makeover for the modern age. It still embodies everything Mini stands for and – if you like that go-kart feel – is superb behind the wheel.

So what’s different? Well, the new Mini 3-Door Hatch is considerably bigger than the Mini of the 60s. 

It’s also far more comfortable with lots of legroom in both the front and rear. With a range of petrol engines covering everyone’s driving tastes, this Mini is a better drive. And if you want your Mini to be a little more ‘you’, there’s a raft of personalisation options to choose from.

Step inside and it’s like stepping back to the swinging sixties, except with much more tech. 

Once again, the large speedometer in the centre now houses the infotainment system which is packed full of easy-to-use tech and driver aids. 

The interior, in general, is as customisable as the exterior design, with options on lighting, seat upholstery, colour scheme and much more. 

Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 1.5-litre petrol engine in the standard Cooper and a larger 2.0-litre producing 189bhp in the harder Cooper S.  

The 228bhp John Cooper Works comes in as the fastest Mini Cooper, with a top speed of 153mph. 


There are three model variants of the Mini 3-Door Hatch.

Pros of Mini 3-Door Hatch

  • Iconic styling
  • Go-kart handling
  • Good fuel economy
  • Roomy despite size
  • Fun to drive

Cons of Mini 3-Door Hatch

  • Divisive interior styling
  • Limited engine range

Mini Cooper 5-Door Hatch

Fuel Petrol
Drive Manual & Automatic

The Mini 5-Door Hatch is, unsurprisingly, not too different from the 3-Door (bar the number of doors, obviously). 

Still looking unmistakably Mini-esque with big circular lights and the silhouette, the difference really lies in the length. 

The 3-door design is more compact, while the 5-door is elongated, giving it a more family car feel.

Of course, there’s also more space afforded in the 5-door, including an extra 60-litres of room in the boot. 

And although the 3-door is far from uncomfortable, if you really enjoy stretching out – the 5-door is a better option.

Features also stay the same – with the Infotainment system taking pride of place in the centre dash. The cars are also powered by the same turbocharged engines, making them both very fuel-efficient to run.


There are three model variants of the Mini 5-Door Hatch.

Pros of Mini 5-Door Hatch

  • Great styling
  • Roomy cabin
  • Comfortable space for five

Cons of Mini 5-Door Hatch

  • Divisive interior styling
  • Limited engine range

Mini Convertible

Fuel Petrol
Drive Manual & Auto

BMW has, on the whole, stayed true to the Mini brand since its acquisition in 1994, not swerving too far off the past of tried-and-tested. That is until the Mini Convertible.

This award-winning model is still aligned with Mini’s timeless style, but with updates that make it one of the best-selling convertibles in the country.

With an electrically-powered soft top that folds down in 18 seconds, even while driving, full front and rear LED lights and a whole host of personalisation options, including colours and alloy wheel designs.

There are also optional safety features, too, including camera-based driving assistance systems and rear parking distance control.

Staying in line with the other Mini models, the convertible comes as a Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works; however, it only offers petrol power. 

You can choose between the 1.5-litre Cooper with 134bhp or the 2.0-litre Cooper S which comes with 189bhp. The Cooper S also has a top speed of 143mph and can zip from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. 

But if you’re looking for even more power, there’s the John Cooper Works option, which uses the same engine as the Cooper S but produces a hair-raising 228bhp.

With a low, yet wide driving seat, this is a comfortable car. However, even though Mini states it can seat four adults, it would be a tight squeeze in the back, albeit new models come with increased rear headroom when the roof is up. 

The boot, as you would imagine, is fairly small – offering just 215-litres. But if you need more space, you can collapse the rear seats, and the easy-load function helps with larger items. 


There are three model variants of the Mini Convertible.

Pros of Mini Convertible

  • Can lower roof while driving
  • Fun to drive
  • Access to thousands of miles of blue sky

Cons of Mini Convertible

  • Low boot space
  • Tight squeeze for four adults with roof up

Mini Electric

Fuel Electric
Drive Automatic

The Mini Electric is the company’s first dive into the all-electric market. Based on the 3-Door Hatch, it shares much of its styling with the fossil-fuelled alternative, but there are unique elements which help you differentiate. 

The upgraded wheels, for one, are a big difference. Specially designed to reduce drag – therefore save electricity – the either 16-or-17-inch two-tone alloys feature a plus design – a noticeable change to the standard eight-spoke wheels you find on the petrol 3-Door. 

There are other hints that this isn’t a standard Mini dotted around the rest of the car, too. Plug-styled badging and an enclosed front grille emphasise the Mini’s all-electric powertrain. 

Inside, though, much is the same. You still get loads of great tech – including the addition of a fully digital display – and a comfortable drive. In fact, maybe even more so due to the lack of engine noise. 

The Mini Electric comes in three forms; Level 1, 2 and 3. Not a lot changes under the bonnet through the trim levels – but there’s a whole host of extra niceties, including plush leather heated seats, climate control and a panoramic sunroof. 

At the rear, the Mini Electric comes with 211 litres of boot space – which isn’t huge. But if you need to move bulkier items, the back two seats split 50/50, opening up an impressive 711 litres. 

On a full charge, the Mini Electric will last around 145 miles. Again, not industry-leading, but enough for a week-long commute for most. 

To charge, it can take up to 12 hours to hit 80% from a three-prong plug socket. If you have a home wallbox charger, that time is lowered to a little over three hours. And if you use a fast charger, it takes just 36 minutes to pack in 80% of juice. 

You can find out more about the Mini Electric by watching out week-long test drive below. 

Mini Electric Video


There are three model variants of the Mini Electric.

Pros of Mini Electric

  • Great fun to drive
  • Stunning interior finish
  • Zero carbon emissions

Cons of Mini Electric

  • Low range compared to some competitors
  • Pricey

If you are looking to lease your very own Mini, we have a large range of new and used models available, just take a look below.

And if you already have a model in mind and your want to fast track the process, hit the ‘Apply Now’ button to fill in our short application form, and receive a decision in minutes.

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