Few cars can draw stares and smiles everywhere they go quite like a Mini Cooper. The diminutive hatchback isn’t just a small car, it’s a style statement. Small cars from other brands typically feature bargain basement parts, barely any features, and few things to crow about other than being easy to park and economical with fuel. With a Mini, it’s the exact opposite. It offers so much in such a compact package that you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with large cars in the first place.
We go through a few of the cool features of the latest Mini Cooper 5-door hatch and show you why big things come in small packages.
As if a Mini needed any help standing out, this model ups the ante with its brand new daytime running lights (DRL). Standard in all models are new ellipse-shaped DRLs that are on all the time. They also act as signal lights, illuminating in amber when indicating a turn. Behind, they are complemented by brand new taillights that proudly show their country of origin: Britain via the Union Jack pattern. Finally, when parking in dark areas, you can be sure of where you step thanks to the an illuminated logo that shines on the floor.
More fun with friends
For some time now, Mini has been offering its famous hatchback as a five-door. This means there’s no more need to fold forward the front seat and squeezing in and out of the car for the rear passengers. It’s now easier to take your friends on a road trip as they can hop in and out of the car easily.
Thumbing through the menus of a car’s entertainment system is typically confusing and boring. That’s never been the case with the Mini. Now equipped with a full color LCD screen with touch, you can either flick through menus with the dial in the center console or simply press the options you desire. In addition, LEDs around the screen change color according to the task at hand, making it easy and fun to remember how to change settings.
Propelling the Mini Cooper is a 1.5-liter inline three-cylinder turbo engine producing 100-hp and 220-Nm of torque. It might not sound like much, but this little powerhouse packs a punch, feeling much more than just 1.5-liters. It can simply cruise along the city or quickly rocket the car up to highway speeds. Best of all, there’s no penalty when it comes to consumption as it will easily average 9 km/L in the city in heavy traffic, and up to 14 km/L on the highway.
Dual clutch 7-speed
Parts of its secret to being so quick yet so efficient lies in the car’s new transmission: a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. This transmission is designed to shift quickly, efficiently, and smoothly in a wide variety of situations. It’s why the car can suddenly sprint to 120 km/h from a steady cruise of 80 km/h, or keep engine revs low, and consequently, the fuel consumption too even in heavy traffic.
Feel like a fighter pilot
The Mini Cooper may be land a vehicle, but it goes to great lengths to make you feel like a pilot. This is thanks to subtle tricks in the cabin like the toggles that control everything from the engine ignition to even the color of the interior lights.
Besides the cool switches, the Mini also twists and turns like a fighter jet. The steering wheel makes you feel telepathically connected to the car as little inputs there translate to sharp turns at the wheel. It’s amazingly responsive and continues to be so whether on the race track or mountain twisties.
It’s easy to make a cool or cute-looking car, but few other carmakers keep the fun factor consistent all throughout the driving experience the way a Mini Cooper does.
The 2019 Mini Cooper 5-door hatch is now available in all Mini showrooms. Contact your dealer for the price and specifications.
Text and photos by Iñigo S. Roces