Facelifted Mini hatchbacks arrive in Singapore



Mini One (from $115k w/COE) in three- and five-door hatchback form, with the rest of the range to follow suit soon

 

Photos: Mini

SINGAPORE

Four years after its initial launch, the third-generation of the reincarnated Mini has made its local debut, but with a caveat: the only engine variant currently on sale is the least powerful but cheapest One, available as a three or five-door hatchback, priced at $114,088 and $117,088 with Certificate of Entitlement (COE) respectively.

CarBuyer understands that the rest of the range, namely the Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works variants, as well as the Convertible body style, are currently going through the Land Transport Authority’s homologation process, so their launch shouldn’t be too far away.

The biggest changes for the One siblings are a new engine/gearbox combo. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine remains, but its displacement has been bumped up to 1.5-litres.


Despite this, power output is the same at 102hp, although there’s a 10Nm increase in torque, to 190Nm. More noteworthy is a change in gearbox, with a seven-speed dual clutch unit replacing the old six-speed automatic.

Performance (0-100 in 10.2 seconds, 192km/h top speed) and fuel economy (5.4L/100km) figures are pretty much identical to the outgoing car, so it’s highly unlikely buyers will notice the mechanical difference, save for the operation of the new gearlever.



It now springs back to a central position no matter what gear is selected, just like in all of today’s BMWs.

Apart from the gearlever, the only other significant change inside the new Mini is the addition of a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, with Bluetooth connectivity and Mini Connected services.

The exterior is similarly unchanged, apart from a new Union Jack motif for the tail lights, which will be common to the rest of the range as well. New paint colours, interior trims and wheel designs round out the changes.

Though the revisions are minor, the Mini One still has loads going for it. Cute looks and eager handling are perennial Mini traits, and the five-door option makes it a viable small family car. In any case, isn’t the Mini’s core appeal down to the fact that it’s hardly changed over the years?

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.