The 2015 MINI has grown in dimensions and appeal, while the 5-door versions adds a hint of practicality to the iconic British small car while retaining the impeccable go-kart like driving dynamics.
Coming with a hint of practicality along with the iconic status, BMW has launched the 2015 MINI 3-door and 5-door models in India priced at Rs. 31.85 lakhs and Rs. 35.20 lakhs (ex-showroom, India) respectively. Competing in the premium compact hatchback space, the third generation MINI range is based on BMW’s new UKL platform and has evolved radically over the previous generation offering a more mature design, space and tech wizardry, while retaining the go-kart like handling that the car is known for.
Design – The 2015 MINI has certainly evolved in terms of styling. The curvaceous lines have been toned down for a more aggressive stance, while the front fascia still maintains the retro charm. In terms of dimensions though, the 2015 MINI 3-door has grown in size and now measures 3821 mm in length, 1727 mm in width and 1414 mm in height and has grown 98 mm longer, 44 mm wider and 7 mm taller than the outgoing version. The overall wheelbase length has increased by 28mm over the predecessor.
The MINI 5-door on the other hand comes with an expanded wheelbase of 72 mm, allowing more interior space rather drastically. While the model does not get any visible changes to the front fascia, the additional small rear doors at the sides are the biggest give away. A first for MINI, the 5-door version also offers improved headroom and comes with a boot capacity of 278-litres, which can be further increased courtesy of the 60:40 split rear seats.
Interiors – The interiors continue to pack the retro charm on the third generation MINI range, however, the automaker has added a new touch of practicality throughout the cabin which makes it even more appealing. The interiors have been more ergonomically designed with the speedometer shifted behind the steering wheel, while the toggle switches and circular retro design has been retained. The sports seats with contrast stitching also enhance the aesthetic value on the British hatchback.
The 2015 MINI now comes with a new 8.8-inch touchscreen display unit in the centre console that houses the infotainment system. Keeping up with the fun quotient, MINI is also offering certain additional interactive features including the new Driving Excitement Analyzer, web radio and also the MINI Controller for ease of access to the infotainment system. Social media enthusiasts will also like the option to tweet directly from the MINI. There is also ‘MINI Connected’ on offer to connect your phone or i-pod to the car’s system, while adaptive cruise control is new on the list. The MINI will be offered in two driving modes namely Green and Sport.
Engines – Powering the MINI Cooper range is a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol motor produces a healthy 136 HP and 220 Nm of torque, while the 1.5-litre diesel engine Cooper D trim makes 116 HP and 270 Nm of torque. If power still seems insufficient, there is also the range topping Cooper S and Cooper SD performance enhanced versions that are expected to launch later next year. The Cooper S uses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol motor producing 192 HP and 280 Nm of torque, while the diesel model uses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder motor producing 170 HP and 360 Nm of torque.
Competition – With the premium compact hatchback space booming, the new MINI can certainly do wonders in the country. The model will be rivaling the likes of Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1-Series, Volvo V40 Cross Country as well as the upcoming Abarth 500. However when compared to its rivals, the MINI range gets an iconic status courtesy of the old school charm.
Originally launched in India in 2012, this is the second generation MINI to be sold in the country. Being brought in as a CBU the MINI has been optimistically priced. BMW will be offering the new 2015 MINI range in the country with a host of customization options for the exteriors as well as the interiors, while a John Cooper Works (JCW) is also on the cards.
2015 MINI Prices (ex-showroom, India) –
* MINI Cooper D 3-door – Rs. 31.85 lakhs
* MINI Cooper D 5-door – Rs. 35.20 lakhs