MINI Cooper 1.5i 3dr

Mini Cooper, front
Mini Cooper, front
Mini Cooper, front
Mini Cooper, front
Mini Cooper, rear
Mini Cooper, rear
Mini Cooper, rear
Mini Cooper, rear
Mini Cooper, rear
MINI Cooper, dashboard

AS well as being one of the automotive success stories for the modern age BMW's MINI has also proved a masterclass in design evolution.

The distinctive design with a big nod to the past has stayed pretty true to its basic blueprint, though the cars have changed considerably over the years.

The range has diversified too, arguably another masterclass in the art of strategic spin-offs.

The MINI hatchback was initially available in three-door form there are now three and five-door variants.

The third incarnation of it was launched in 2014 and this year it was given a fairly extensive mid-life makeover.

The MINI convertible has also benefitted from the revisions.

Quite a few of the exterior design changes relate to lights but one of the most noticeable is a new logo which appears on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel and instrument display.

New front and rear LED lights now come as standard and there are new adaptive headlights with Matrix high beam, On the inside the changes are all about infotainment and connectivity.

There's a 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen along with multi-function steering wheel, new touchscreen with MINI navigation, Apple CarPlay and wireless smartphone charging, connected services with real time traffic and weather updates plus a concierge service.

Things work in a similar way to BMW's iDrive system which has evolved to be an excellent system all round - both intuitive and easy to use.

There are more colour options, a new seven-speed Steptronic transmission, more leather trim, plus piano black exterior and alloy wheel designs.

A new thing for 2018 is the option to have personalised parts 3D printed.

These include the dashboard, side scuttles and door sills.

They can be highly individual with your own name, or there's a range of designs to choose from.

Given that personalisation has always been a strong MINI feature it really does take it all to a new level.

Although it has always been a stylish and sought-after car another MINI strong point has always been the fact it's a great driver's car.

Crucially, it is still as much fun and just as engaging to drive.

You can also opt for different driving modes that cover Green, Mid and Sport, with the character of the car changing considerably in each.

Fit and finish and build quality are as exemplary as we've come to expect.

FAST FACTS

MINI Cooper 1.5i 3dr

Price: £17,345

Mechanical: 136bhp, 1,499cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 114g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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