Cooper for the cafe run
FINDING the next hip cafe to fulfil smashed avocado hunger pangs has become easier for Mini buyers.
The fashion-conscious, brand-savvy crew can tap into the latest technology to call Mini’s concierge service to get restaurant recommendations and directions. In the event of an accident, the tech will call emergency services via functionality adopted from its BMW brethren.
The swag of tech updates to the Mini three-door, fivedoor and convertible range come with price increases of $200 to $1900. A manual Mini three-door will now cost $29,900 before on-roads, with automatic transmission adding $2500.
Custom options include individualised doorsills and puddle lights that project a name, signature or logo on to the ground in the dark. Owners can go further bespoke with a customised dash cover or side ‘scuttles’ sending a personal message.
The designs are sent to Germany to be created and when fitted will cost between $80 for projection lighting and $460 for doorsills.
The brand aims for increased street presence, with Cooper S and John Cooper Works derivatives gaining LED lights and Union Jack-design taillights, also available in the Active pack on base models for $2500.
This midlife update aims to deliver more of what the Mini-set looks for: a statement ride that’s not from the more established premium brands.
There are five new colours on the palette, extra two-tone alloy wheel choices and, no surprise, contrasting colour roof and striping options. Engines get lighter internals but outputs are unchanged.
The Cooper gearboxes are six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto (the latter upgraded from a six-speed) and the Cooper S gets a seven-speed ‘sports tuned’ auto.
Performance matches the trademark sporty looks. The go-kart handling, engaging and delightful, maintains the fun factor.
Highway travel is relatively quiet and smooth but coarse bitumen turns up the volume on road noise.
Buyers have to part with $2500 for an Active pack to get the latest safety kit, with forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and city emergency braking. In a base model tested with extras, the price rocketed to $47,000-plus Ouch.