Introduced in 1959, the original Mini, designed by a team of engineers led by Alec Issigonis, remains one of a handful of revolutionary innovations still evident in today's modern automobile. From its transverse engine to its front-wheel drive layout, the intent was to create the maximum amount of usable inside room within a compact, easy-to-park footprint. It was also designed to be economical to manufacture, offering Brits an affordable step-up from their motorbikes and 3-wheelers. And the manufacturers of Mini, Austin and Morris, succeeded brilliantly, albeit not in the U.S., where intermittent importation in the early '60s was dealt a death blow by U.S. safety and emission regs, beginning in 1968.

Fast forward to BMW's reintroduction of the brand in 2001. While still produced in England, today's lineup owes almost nothing to the Austin-based original beyond its profile. While the original was almost elfin in size and character, the current Mini comes closer to the physical size of a Chevy Sonic or Ford's Fiesta, and is larger still if you consider the Countryman crossover. With a heavy emphasis on personalization, along with a bias toward 'cute' that for some can seem almost too cute, the Mini hardtop is the brand's least expensive and most popular, while any John Cooper Works derivative is easily the most fun. And like its BMW sibling, Mini's can get significantly more expensive when you start to check the option boxes. A JCW convertible or Countryman can easily run upwards of $35K; big money for a small footprint.


2018 MINI Countryman
2018 MINI Countryman
MSRP:
$26,600
Engine:
1.5L I-3
MPG:
24 City / 33 HWY
2018 MINI Hardtop
2018 MINI Hardtop
MSRP:
$21,600
Engine:
1.5L I-3
MPG:
28 City / 38 HWY
2018 MINI Clubman
2018 MINI Clubman
MSRP:
$24,800
Engine:
1.5L I-3
MPG:
25 City / 34 HWY
2018 MINI E Countryman
2018 MINI E Countryman
MSRP:
$36,800
Engine:
I-3
MPG:
N/A
2018 MINI Convertible
2018 MINI Convertible
MSRP:
$26,700
Engine:
2.0L I-4
MPG:
28 City / 37 HWY
2017 MINI Hardtop
2017 MINI Hardtop
MSRP:
$20,950
Engine:
1.5L I-3
MPG:
28 City / 38 HWY
Mini may not build electric cars in England due to Brexit

Oxford has competition from the Netherlands and Germany.

The car industry in England is concerned about the effect any loss of unfettered access to the EU, its largest export market, could have on plants after Brexit.
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For Sale

2017 Mini Cooper Clubman
$35,750 / 6,349 miles / CA
2015 Mini Cooper Countryman
$23,975 / 30,502 miles / CA
2017 Mini Cooper Countryman
$36,300 / unknown miles / CA
2016 Mini Cooper Convertible First Drive
Conventional gearhead wisdom says to go for the biggest, most powerful engine. The Cooper Convertible isn't a conventional car.
2016 Mini Clubman First Drive [w/video] [UPDATE]
The Mini Clubman may be more versatility and comfortable in its second-generation, but it still features the kind of endearing traits driving fans love.
2015 Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop Video Review
Join us as we drive Mini's newest hot hatch around hilly Connecticut and New York state.
NHTSA slaps BMW with $40M fine for slow Mini recall

The civil penalty concerns 2014 and 2015 Minis that were not recalled soon enough after failing to meet U.S. side-impact crash protection standards.
Mini recalls 86,000 hatchbacks, convertibles from 2002 to 2005

Mini is recalling 86,000 early models over concerns that the power steering can fail, and this isn't the first time the automaker has had problems with the steering gear on first-gen Coopers.
BMW recalls 6,073 units of i3 and Minis to replace airbag

BMW is recalling 6,073 examples of the i3 and Mini Hardtops because of a manufacturing error with their passenger's side airbag modules. The parts need to be replaced.