A CAR FOR ALL SEASONS
Wow! I don’t even have to slip behind the steering wheel to be hugely impressed with the new MINI Cooper 5 Door Hatch. Even at first glance, it looks incredibly beautiful.
I’m not the only one that feels this way about this wonderfully dapper, compact car. I take it for a spin, and heads are turning as I whiz around the city (and no, it’s not just me!).
The MINI originally hit the streets during the 1960s, and from the outset it was special, capturing the collective imagination. The design was revolutionary then. What is extraordinary is that, without departing hugely from that fab initial blueprint, it still feels totally cutting edge.
I’ve been given a MINI Cooper 5 door Hatch to test drive (it also comes as a Convertible). This one is in a brand new colour, Emerald Grey metallic – a stunning mushroom shade that looks particularly amazing in the sunlight. It is beautifully set off by the ‘Piano Black Exterior pack’ – meaning that the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are all finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome.
The MINI has always been known as a safe, secure car and this year’s model will burnish that reputation even further. The wheels on the Cooper sit slightly wider than the body of the car, making it feel particularly grounded and solid on the road.
As motors go, the MINI Cooper 5 door
Hatch offers real value for money, but what’s really sweet is that it has the look of a vastly more expensive car.
To add to the visual fun, there’s a wider than ever choice of alloy wheels, with 17-inch ‘Roulette’ and ‘Propeller’ designs available for all body variants. There’s also a new ‘Rail’ twotone wheel. Inside, there’s leather trim, as well as innovative interior surfaces and colour lines.
None of that would make it a must-buy if it didn’t drive well, but it does – and then some. It’s great for city streets, parking in tight spaces and zipping around generally. But this latest model handles longer trips like never before. Take it onto the open road and there’s an impressive surge of power from the 1.5 litre engine: this is the new MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology kicking into effect, making for a beautifully smooth, sporty driving experience.
The technology throughout is state-of-theart. There are now MINI connected concierge services; wireless smartphone charging; and first-in-class options like the new anti-dazzle adaptive headlights with Matric high beam.
The new three-spoke steering wheel comes in three different looks: sports leather; a John Cooper Works leather; or a MINI Yours sports leather. It also features multi-function buttons: on the left, the Speed Limit Device allows you to set a maximum speed; meanwhile, the audio and communication controls, on the right, ensure that you can easily and comfortably change song, volume, channel etc. The standard trim also includes a superb audio system, with great speakers, a 6.5-inch colour screen in the central instrument panel and mobile phone integration via Bluetooth.
Finally, there’s a 7-speed Steptronic transmission, with double clutch fit and an electronic selector lever. The gear-stick doesn’t move: you simply press a lever on the side to shift between the various gears. It all looks very sporty, sexy and tech savvy. And guess what? That’s because it is...
The brand new 2018 MINI still embodies what made the MINI such a legend, as a great, compact, ultra-stylish British car. But this new MINI turns a fine vehicle, into a truly slick and powerful machine, which delivers the most advanced technology with fresh pizazz. It’s a car for all seasons, with a roomy feel and loads of space in the front, the back and the boot. Better still, its added power and performance makes it a car for long journeys, travelling to festivals or taking you wherever the road leads. A winner all the way.