New Mini gets a nip/tuck just in time for summer
The last few weeks Cape Town has been blessed with torrential rain, but now that the dams are filling, and the mountains are snowcapped, it’s nice to have some respite from the continues cold and downpour. As the sun peaked out behind some puffy clouds the new Mini made its appearance in down south. Here’s what’s new.
The most interesting addition to the Mini range is the fact that owners can now customize the mini to a ridiculous degree. Imagine your date opening his/her the doors and the puddle lights have a Table Mountain motif on full display, or better yet, the words “Aweh!”? The indicator covers on the side can be customized too and while most would put there name there, I personally would let mine say something like “V12 Bi-turbo”, or even more cheekily, “BMW”. Either way, owners can now have even more fun with the car that won the Fun car award for 2017 in last years CarsAwards by doing a raft of interior and exterior customization that is unique to the Mini brand.
Whats new on the inside
Inside Mini steering wheel looks and feels as chunky and well sized as the older one but with more functions such as audio and cruise control. In “Green” mode its light and easy to use and in Sport mode some weight is added, but not too much. The seats are, in my mind a tad too supportive in the standard Cooper but work in the Cooper S for those that want that firm sporty ride. Mini also now boasts more connectivity options such as wireless charging and a concierge service from inside the car. Want to book a restaurant? Do it from the car. Personally, I wouldn’t bother, I’d just call them, but, I’m old(er)…so there’s that…
A new 7-Speed gearbox
The new 7-speed Steptronic transmission is great. In Sport mode in the Cooper S the gears are positive and quick and through the twisty Red Hill pass, always available to gear up or down at a moments notice. All Minis now have the option for paddles behind the wheel and when things get sedate slot it into Green mode and let the gearbox do the work, seamlessly.
And the engines?
New Mini has a slightly revised engine range with the entry level 3 cylinder 1.5-litre engine sporting 10Nm than before at 150Nm. But other than that all engine power remains the same as.
Mini appeals to a variety of audiences, from the very young first-time car buyers to older owners of the original mini who enjoy the nostalgia. For the older crowd, I think the seats are too firm but other than that new Mini, as always bridges the gap nicely once you get used to the interior quirkiness Mini remains proud of. With 2020 rushing towards us, Mini are promising the electric Mini which to me lines up perfectly with the brand ethos. Either way Mini remains a great car for those wanting to be different and drive a BMW quality product from as little as R302 000.