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2018 Mini facelift brings entry-level price bump

By David Bonnici, 05 Jun 2018 Car News

2018 Mini facelift brings entry-level price bump

The Mini 3-door, 5-door and Convertible sport a fresh look, cutting-edge infotainment and new transmissions, but still lack auto braking as standard.

The facelifted Mini range will arrive in Aussie showrooms on July 1 this year with a trimmed-down range and higher starting price of $29,900 for three-door Mini Cooper hatch.

A restyled range has dropped the entry-level Mini Ray and diesel-powered Cooper D, with the Copper, Cooper S and sprightly John Cooper Works (JCW) hatch and convertible variants making up the revised range.

A big part of the facelift is the new LED lighting that’s standard on the Copper S and JCW variants, and optional on the Cooper over its standard halogen and incandescent lamps.

Read next: 2017 Mini Countryman Cooper SD All4 long-term review, part four

Up front the new LED headlights have increased low- and high-beam range, and stand out with daytime running lights and LED turn indicators around main headlight fitting to create a unique lighting signature.

An optional Adaptive LED system is also available, featuring a ‘matrix’ high beam function that adapts to the road ahead.

The Cooper S and JCW versions have distinctive Union Jack styled tail lights, which have been a popular feature ever since the updated Mini was first revealed last year.

The 2018 Mini range also stands out with new design elements on everything from the steering wheel to the key-fob, and an additional five colour options, including Solar Orange, Emerald Grey, Starlight Blue, Melting Silver and Chili Red, with contrasting roof and stripe options.

Customised ‘Mini Yours’ highlights are also available; including special Luxury Lapis Blue, or Rebel Green (JCW only) paint.

Read next: 2018 Mini Clubman pricing revealed

The Mini’s infotainment system has also been enhanced, with the introduction of Mini Connected that’s similar to parent company’s BMW Connected Drive and provides real-time traffic info, and an emergency eCall function that automatically contacts emergency services if you’re involved in an accident.

An accompanying Mini Connected phone app allows you to view your Mini’s location, and fuel level via your phone and even flash the lights or lock/unlock the doors. It also lets you share your calendar with the car so it can create a navigation route and text you departure times based on traffic information.

Apple CarPlay is included as standard across the range (sorry, Android users) and Cooper Convertible and all Cooper S and JCW variants come with wireless phone charging for suitable phones.

Engines carry over from the outgoing model. Trimming the Cooper D and Ray from the range means there’s no longer a diesel option and the smallest engine is now the Cooper’s 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo.

The Cooper S variants retain the 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, while the JCWs still get the punchy 170kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo four.

Read next: Mini Cooper John Cooper Works ALL4 quick review

Each hatchback variant comes standard with a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Cooper S Convertible comes with boosted sports version, while the JCW Convertible has an eight-speed sports (torque-converter) auto. Both are optional in their respective hatches.

Purists can also opt for a six-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option in any Mini variant.

Cooper standard features include auto stop/start, keyless start, 16-inch alloy wheels, 6.5-inch touchscreen, reversing camera with guidelines, rear-parking sensors, digital radio, cloth upholstery, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors with washer jets.

The notable exclusion is automatic emergency braking, that’s increasingly standard kit on more affordable small cars, but is still only available across the Mini range as part of a pricey option pack.

Cooper S adds the bigger four-pot engine plus 17-inch alloys, driving modes, cloth and leather combination trim, front sports seats, dual-zone climate control, dual central tailpipes, LED headlights, LED ‘Union Jack’ tail-lamps, interior ambient lighting, and Mini puddle light.

The JCW comes as three-door hatch and Convertible only and adds 18-inch alloys, adaptive suspension, run-flat tyres, 12-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system, head-up display, JCW interior and exterior embellishment, cloth/Dinamica upholstery, Anthracite headliner and park assist function.

2018 Mini pricing

  • Mini Cooper, 3-door hatch - $29,900
  • Mini Cooper, 5-door hatch - $31,150
  • Mini Cooper Convertible - $40,900
  • Mini Cooper S, 3-door hatch - $39,900
  • Mini Cooper S, 5-door hatch - $41,150
  • Mini Cooper S Convertible - $47,900
  • Mini JCW, 3-door hatch - $49,900
  • Mini JCW Convertible - $57,900