The current Mini Hatch has been around for a few years now. In BMW Group logic, this means it’s time for a mid-life facelift; true to type, a series of enhancements have been revealed for the three- and five-door hatch, plus the related Mini Convertible.
It’s not headline-grabbing stuff. When even all-new Minis barely change over their predecessors, facelifts are always bound to be revisions rather than revelations. And so, at first glance, you may not notice much difference in the image set here. So let us walk you through what’s changed.
Perhaps the most striking new feature is a set of Union Jack-inspired rear LED tail lamps. Similar to the ones on Mini concept cars of the past few years, the brake functions have been transformed into a flag-style arrangement, with the direction indicator sitting horizontally in the middle. People will, seriously, upgrade to a new Mini for these alone.
At the front, the headlights have been tweaked as well. Based cars get extra black detailing within; now optional are LED headlights with adaptive matrix main beam functionality – it ‘magically’ shields oncoming cars from glare even when you have the lights on main beam.
There are also new body finishes, new alloy wheel options, three new colours (Emerald grey, Starlight blue, Solaris orange) and the first Mini ‘black pack’ which swaps the chrome surrounding the grille, headlights and tail lamps for, yes, black.
Mini’s rolled out its new logo as well, which we reported on last year. It’s ‘flatter’ than the old one, and thus (apparently) more modern. The Mini Yours Customised personalisation options we also recently reported on are introduced with the 2018 Mini Hatch and Convertible range too.
Inside, there’s a broader choice of optional leather colours (Malt Brown Chester leather sounds smart), a new three-spoke steering wheel with multi-function buttons, optional wireless smartphone charging and optional touchscreen functionality for the centre infotainment screen (all Minis have sat nav as standard).
The Mini Connected app now has extra functionality; you can set sat nav instructions at home and then send them to the car, for example, or hook the Mini app into your online diary so it can automatically set the sat nav ahead of every meeting.
It will even automatically buzz you if it detects traffic en route, meaning you need to leave earlier than planned…
Naturally, there’s much less change underneath. The biggest news is the basic 1.2-litre engine formally being ditched for a 102hp 1.5-litre in the Mini One, while all direct-injection turbo petrol cars have raised fuel injection pressure and new, more robust blades for their turbochargers. Mini reckons there’s a mild fuel economy boost and up to a 5 percent reduction in CO2.
There’s also a broader range of gearboxes: pick from a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch DCT or an eight-speed full automatic – those autos make the old six-speed auto seem decidedly old-hat.
Prices for the 2018 Mini Hatch and Mini Convertible line haven’t yet been released, but it’s likely they’ll raise slightly over the current model, although still slot in at under £15,000. Expect first deliveries to commence in the spring.
More Mini news:
- Fit automaker-approved mods with Mini Yours Customised
- Mini is getting a new logo for 2018
- Mini happy returns: 20 years of the new Mini
2018 Mini Hatch and Mini Convertible: in pictures