Mini wins the Small Car Autovista Group Residual Value Award 2023

19 June 2023


The Mini has claimed the first of the new Autovista Group Residual Value Awards in the Small Car category. The iconic vehicle competed for recognition as a residual value (RV) champion in a densely-populated segment.

The pan-European RV awards emphasise real-world value retention, relying on the vast amounts of data available to Autovista Group. This data-defined approach make the awards particularly important for key automotive players such as carmakers, fleet managers and leasing companies.

Experts from across Autovista Group analysed RV data from up to 17 different European markets to identify the models with the greatest value retention. Countries included Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Densely populated segment

The Mini was the overall winner in the Autovista Group Residual Value Awards Small Car category for 2023. It was followed by the Audi Q2, Dacia Sandero, Volkswagen (VW) T-Roc and Mini’s own Countryman. The Mini was a wide-spread success, ranking in the top-five shortlisted models across Europe a total of eight times.

Small Car category contenders compete for price-sensitive buyers or those that do not need a large vehicle. In this heavily populated segment, 40 models made the top-five shortlists across the 17 countries examined by Autovista Group experts.

The Small Car category saw hatchbacks compete with SUVs within the A and B-segments. This meant smaller cars like Fiat 500 (approximate length 3.6m) went up against models like the Toyota Yaris Cross (approximate length 4.2m).

While battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) were entered into this category, they struggled when competing with internal-combustion engine (ICE) models. These vehicles have high list prices, particularly when compared with ICE variants, which made an electric win even more challenging. However, diesel looks to be rapidly disappearing from the segment, as only eight versions with the powertrain appeared in the top-five league table across the reviewed countries.

‘The Mini is an icon and a success story. Its strong used-car market performance is the evidence. It is proof that success can be achieved by authenticity, continuity, and a consistent brand strategy,’ said Dr Christof Engelskirchen, chief economist at Autovista Group.

‘Compare a Mini from 1960 with one from 2023 and the strong family identity is awe-inspiring. The addition of further variants and body types have not diluted this. Consumers can identify a Mini within milliseconds and it steals quite a bit of thunder from cars parked next to it,’ he added.

Big win for a small car

Speaking in an Autovista24 podcast, project leader Christian Schneider explained how Autovista Group experts identified the European residual value champions, such as the Mini.

Used-car market data from February to April 2023 was examined with forecast trade RVs of 36-month-old cars at 60,000km. Vehicles with exceptionally high or low horsepower and price points were excluded to ensure the awards concentrated on mainstream models.

Autovista Group analysts identified the version of each model with the highest RV, expressed as a percentage of retained list price (%RV). For each available market, models were indexed by dividing their %RV by the average %RV in that category.

The Autovista Group Residual Value Awards were given based on a category’s average index across selected countries. This was weighted against each market’s new-car sale volumes, so that extraordinary results from high-volume markets were represented in the final figures.

Examining the indexed %RV performance of the Mini across the available European markets, the car performed particularly well in Poland, Hungary and Italy. With the Small Car category’s average %RV presented as 100%, the Mini scored an indexed result of more than 120% in these three markets. Meanwhile, Germany, France and the UK were not far behind hitting between 115% and 120%.

Retro design and trade RVs

The Mini owes much to its retro styling, making it instantaneously recognisable on both the new and used-car market. This retro design has translated into continued popularity, positioning the car well within its segment. Considering forecast trade %RVs for the Mini across the reviewed European used-car markets, the vehicle's position as an RV champion is clear.

Phil Curry, special content editor at Autovista24, highlighted how the car’s design has echoed across every generation following its European market re-launch in 2001 by BMW Group.

‘The German-owned car company has continued to present the British connection across all European markets. It is an iconic car that has stood the test of time, with 64 years passing since the first model rolled off production lines. Today it still carries a place in the hearts and minds of many drivers,’ he said.

Inside, Mini continues the retro look. The original cars had a large speedometer in the centre of the dashboard, something that the new versions also launch with. Today, that circular feature remains, although it now houses a more convenient infotainment system. Now, the speed display appears in the traditional location behind the steering wheel, which is big, chunky and allows easy handling.

The carmaker is also embracing the new age of motoring with an electric option. The outside may only change slightly, enshrining the retro looks that appeal to buyers old and new. But the carmaker is constantly evolving, adapting and developing models to meet customer needs across its entire small-car range.

Autovista24 will reveal seven more RV champions in the coming weeks, from small BEVs to large SUVs. Each exclusive article will contain unique industry insights and data-driven results. To get the latest updates on the Autovista Group Residual Value Awards 2023, subscribe to the Autovista24 daily email and follow the Autovista24 page on LinkedIn.