The new Mini Cooper, Cooper S and Mini 5-door have been launched in India today. While we are already familiar with the Cooper and Cooper S, the Mini 5-door is making its first foray into the Indian automotive scene.
This car has been totally redesigned with its new front grille, new headlamp clusters with semi circular LED daytime running lights and so on. But the car still retains all the design quirks that made it so popular like the floating roof, taut front end, almost cubical shape and its overall retro look. The Mini 5-door on the other hand, is huge at over 4 metres in length and in excess of 1.7 metres in width. Although this might make some Mini purists frown, the 5-door is far more spacious and comfortable than the Cooper.
The biggest change on the inside is the speedometer, which used to be housed in a large circular unit in the centre console, has now been moved to its rightful place just behind the steering wheel. The overall quality, fit and finish have seen a marked improvement as well. With the previous model, we felt that Minis were built very well but contained a few bits and bobs which were cheap but now, the company seems to have addressed that. Seat comfort is high both at the front and rear and they support the occupants very well even during fast cornering.
The centre console, which earlier held the speedometer with its floating needle, now houses an 8.8 inch screen (which, by the way, is an optional extra). On this display, passengers can control the infotainment system which looks and works similar to the iDrive system of BMWs. Apart from this, customers get climate control, an audio system, multiple driving modes and so on. But a lot of features like the steering mounted audio controls, sunroof and more are not part of standard equipment.
The Mini Cooper will be powered either by a 1.5 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine that develops 135 bhp or a new 3 cylinder diesel engine that develops 114 bhp. The Mini Cooper S will have a larger 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that pumps out 190 bhp. The Mini 5-door will have either the same 2.0 litre, 190 bhp engine as the Mini Cooper S or a 2.0 litre, 168 bhp diesel motor sourced from BMW. No matter what engine you choose though, there is no way that you will not have spades of fun driving a Mini.
Prices for the Mini Cooper 3-door diesel start at INR 31.85 lakhs and that of the Mini 5-door diesel is pegged at INR 35.20 lakhs (all prices are ex-showroom, India). The Mini has never tried to boast of an affordable price tag. These cars are style statements that also happen to provide bucket-loads of fun while driving and these new cars can surely be expected to do more of the same.