MINI Cooper Best Models

A question from one our customers:
I am considering buying a new Mini. I was just wondering , In your view, which year and model to be the most desirable. I want a coupe and it must be a manual gearbox. I think I want an S but that is debatable. Thank You for your time.

Our Product Manager offered the following:

Hello Harry,
Thank you for your interest with Mini Mania and our products.
It is very difficult to say that any particular model / year might be better than others...  It depends a lot on what your priorities may be (handling, power, reliability, mpg, etc etc).
That said, as with any used car, I recommend you get the newest model that fits your budget.
The MINI, just like any other make, evolved over time - usually for the better.  Each generation makes improvements with shortcomings on the previous generation.  This is true with the MINI.
The first generation (2002-2006) impressed the market with its go-kart like handling.  The second generation (2007-2013-2014) improved on the ride quality while retaining most of the handling with improved fuel efficiency.  The third generation (2014 F56 + F55 4-door) makes further refinements using BMW powerplants (unlike previous generations).  Each new generation has power plants that produce better power delivery while improving fuel efficiency thru more complex technologies. 
Whatever you choose, I recommend you find a vehicle with documented regular maintenance and no visual signs of abuse.  Always have the car inspected for a pre-purchase inspection by a shop that is familiar with MINIs.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
Ken