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Mini Cooper – cinch Weekend Wheels

This sporty, UK-made hatchback proves you needn’t spend much to access cheery weekend fun

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Believe it or not, when BMW bought the Mini brand back in the nineties, people were worried its new car would be a flop. The original Mini lineage, which launched in 1959 and ran all the way through to the turn of the century, had earned itself a cult following of fans the world over. It was a British icon. So, when BMW set out to create a Mini for the 21st Century, eyebrows were raised – and not in an good way.

As we now know though, BMW’s efforts weren’t just respectful of the original car’s status, they were tremendous. The company’s designers and engineers alike understood the importance of maintaining the Britishness of their all-new hatchback, adding just the perfect sprinkling of German-build quality and 21st Century technology. The new millennium Mini, built in Oxford, was a roaring success – and the generations of Mini to follow it have maintained its form.

Our latest choice of Weekend Wheels is the perfect demonstration, because it’s a back-to-basics Mini Cooper, dressed in a colour scheme that harks back to the ‘original-original’ car’s most fashionable look. This red Cooper has white wheels, white door mirrors,a white roof and white bonnet stripes, which perfectly suit its plucky character. With a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine producing a peppy 136hp and a manual six-speed gearbox between you and that performance, it’s about as honest as fun cars come these days.

The Mini is one of the best handling cars out there from any price bracket, and its relatively small (we say relatively because today's cars dwarf the original) footprint means it’s a doddle to drive around town and easy to park. These were also traits that made the 1959 Mini so impressive.

Despite being one of the most fashionable cars out there, this Mini – complete with its up-to-date mod cons, like a digital infotainment system, climate control and auto stop-start – is available for a relatively mini sum. It’s on cinch for £12,450, or the equivalent monthly rate, yet it only has 17,385 miles on the clock. Certainly, it looks ripe and ready for many weekends of fun in 2022, and immediately so. Order on cinch and this Cooper could be outside your front door in as little as one week. Lovely jubbly.

All information correct at time of publishing. Subject to availability.

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