Friday, January 12, 2018

Bucket Seat: New MINI (3 Door, 5 Door, Convertible) - First Impressions

As some of you know, MINI went through a small change late last year with their logo change, while subtle it did echo a progressive statement from the company that they are keeping up with trends. It's imperative that a car company such as MINI does this as their key target market is the youth and while current drivers of their cars might already know what it's like to experience driving one, to get the attention of prospective buyers, especially those who just look at the price and get put off, need something else to draw them in. In saying that, just a logo re-design wouldn't be enough, with the North American International Auto Show just around the corner, the German owned British motor company took this period to showcase the updates made to their 3 Door, 5 Door, and Convertible derivatives. 

The overall design of the cars remain the same with minor cosmetic changes, some engine enhancements, new LED lighting, new tech and alloy wheel choices. MINI while being in the small car segment definitely is at the premium end of the scale, with most of it's offerings coming straight from it's sister company BMW. From the engines with TwinPower Turbo technology to the user interface in the car, is sourced from its German engineers. The ride and feel is unmistakably MINI though, that go-kart feel, low center of gravity and great driver experience is something that you can replicate in any other car. 

Overview of the new features in the MINI 3 Door, 5 Door and Convertible:
  • LED headlights with Matrix function for the high beam. 
  • LED rear lights in Union Jack design.
  • New MINI logo, new body finishes, Piano Black exterior. 
  • New light allow wheels. 
  • Extended range of leather trim, interior surfaces and colour lines. 
  • Unique individualisation with MINI Yours Customised.
  • Further developed engines with enhanced efficiency as well as increased capacity and torque for MINI One and MINI One First.
  • 7-Speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch, 8-speed Steptronic transmission.
  • Mulitfunction steering wheel and radio with 6.5" colour screen, USB and Bluetooth interface as standard.
  • Optional radio and navigation systems with touchscreen monitor.
  • Telephony with wireless charging.
  • MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on drivers side.
  • MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL with new functions.

All in all there is quite a bit to digest on that list, personally I love the new LED lights, the rear Union Jack design just add's character to this already iconic car. I'm keen to test the engine enhancements on the cars, seeing that they claimed it increases driver efficiency. The list of trims and textiles as well as body finishes just means that you can make your MINI even more unique than before. I love that the brand gives the buyer such a wide variety of options to make their MINI theirs. This all rolls back to what I spoke about earlier, about them keeping up with trends, attacking their target market and with things like this, it will only expand their buyers. Once you get behind the wheel of a MINI, you will find it very hard to enjoy driving anything else.

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