This makes it 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28mm, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42mm and at the rear by 34mm.
Behind the changes, the new car has classic MINI proportions and an instantly familiar design that’s packed with character. Traditional cues such as the hexagonal contour of the radiator grille, circular headlights, ‘side scuttle’ indicator surrounds, upright rear light clusters and black lower body edging have all been subtly reinterpreted.
In profile, the tapering line of the glasshouse creates a dynamic wedge shape. Below, a visual link between the front and rear wheel arches comes via a striking lower sill line and upper character line, which feature downward curves at both ends.
The new MINI is the first car in its segment to offer the option of LED headlamps for both dipped and main beam. They are surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the lower section of which reaches down to the white turn indicators. The rear light clusters also feature an all-LED design.
Five new exterior colours have been added to MINI’s already extensive palette, while the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting colour, black or white, as a no-cost option. Roof rails are available for the new MINI for the first time. Other ways of adding a touch of individual style include black or white bonnet stripes.
The new MINI’s exterior dimensions mean greater room for up to four occupants and their luggage, including enhanced shoulder space and larger footwells. The front seats have been given a wider adjustment range, and the base has been lengthened by 23mm for additional comfort and support. A choice of fabric or leather finishes, or a combination of both, is available. It’s also easier than ever for rear seat passengers to gain access to the back.
The rear bench seat back can be split 60:40. For even greater practicality, the optional storage package includes a luggage compartment floor which can be locked into place at various points and the rear seat backrest features tilt-angle adjustment. Boot volume has been increased by more than 30 per cent to 211 litres. Numerous cup holders and storage facilities make life easier for occupants.
With an instantly recognisable design, state-of-the-art functionality and premium colour/material combinations, there’s no mistaking the dashboard of the new MINI Hatch. The horizontal structure of the cockpit, linked to circular and elliptical details, remains, but has evolved to take on a more sophisticated form.
At the heart of the design changes is a new display and operating concept, illustrated by the instrument cluster on the steering column. Speed, revs and fuel level are displayed on vertically arranged circular dials. The speedometer scale includes a colour panel for messages and vehicle status displays.
The iconic central instrument now has extended functionality. Depending on the optional equipment chosen, it can serve as a four-line TFT display as standard or optional colour screen up to 8.8-inches showing vehicle functions, infotainment, navigation and MINI Connected services. Selection of these functions is performed via a choice of two new controllers, the MINI Controller or MINI Touch Controller, fitted in the centre console which come in conjunction with MINI Visual Boost Radio or the MINI Navigation System.
Groundbreaking LED lighting around the new MINI Hatch’s central instrument provides visual feedback to the current situation on the road and to specific operational steps, according to the driver’s preference. For example, when Park Distance Control is activated, the remaining distance to obstacles is shown by means of a ring of light which is illuminated in green, yellow or red - supplementing the graphic display. A change in the car’s driving mode confirmed by LED units which light up in green, orange or red. Route guidance information provided by the MINI Navigation System is also visually supported by the illuminated ring: the closer the car gets to the turn-off point, the smaller the lit-up area around the edge of the central instrument.
Keyless-go is now standard across the MINI Hatch range. The start/stop toggle switch located in the middle of the centre console features a heartbeat illumination which pulses before the engine is started. A number of switches have been relocated for improved usability, including those for the electric windows, which are now integrated into the door trim.
The new MINI Hatch features a range of three entirely new engines, each featuring MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology to increase driving fun and improve environmental efficiency. The trio all offer improved performance figures, with maximum power across all three variants produced lower down the rev range, while fuel consumption and emission levels have been reduced by as much as 27 per cent when compared to their predecessor models. All meet the stringent EU6 exhaust emissions criteria.
The new MINI Cooper Hatch has a three-cylinder petrol engine with a peak output of 136hp. The new MINI Cooper S Hatch is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine which develops 192hp. The new MINI Cooper D Hatch comes with a three-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 116hp. For fuel efficiency this latter model is the undoubted star performer, with average combined economy of 80.7mpg using the EU test cycle.
The new MINI Cooper Hatch starts at £15,300 OTR. This represents only a 2.61 per cent increase compared against the outgoing model and customers benefit from a host of additional equipment including adjustable exterior mirrors, air-conditioning, front fog lamps, onboard computer, MINI Radio including aux-in, USB interface and Bluetooth all as standard. The MINI Cooper D Hatch’s OTR price of £16,450 represents only a 1.64 per cent increase verses the outgoing model. Completing the range is the MINI Cooper S Hatch starting from £18,650.