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The five-door MINI One is now better looking and smoother to drive thanks to a facelift.

03 Jul 2018


Along with the Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works, as well as the Convertible variants, the MINI One has been facelifted - what MINI calls LCI or Life Cycle Impulse - for 2018.

The result of which is a MINI that's not just lighter on the wallet and ideal for small families but one that's also a little more stylish and notably more refined than before.

The car's 278-litre boot will comfortably see to a small family's day-to-day storage needs

How small of a small family are we talking about?

Retaining the dimensions of the model first introduced in 2015, seating five in the car you see here will admittedly be a stretch despite its five doors, with room in the back best for two. More of a four plus one, the space in the rear middle will accommodate a young child at best.

Still, with a larger 278-litre boot compared to its three-door sibling, it continues to be a worthy consideration for young parents who've longed for something funkier than a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.

With tail lamps glowing in Union Jack design, it'll be easy to spot the car at night

What about changes to the design?

On the outside, the MINI One receives new tail lamps that glow in the design of the Union Jack - a nod to the brand's British origins - and a new two-dimensional logo, which will mark all MINI models from hereon.

Three new colour options, Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic and Solaris Orange metallic, round up the exterior update.

A new touchscreen infotainment display and a new one-touch gearknob are some of the cabin's updates

And the interior looks a tad different. What's new?

For starters, there's a new standard 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and MINI Connected services. It's nice to look at and easy to use but it doesn't offer built-in navigation or a reverse camera.

At the same time, those familiar with the BMW brand will also notice the new one-touch gear lever, which springs back to the central position regardless of the gear you're in.

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission replaces the outgoing car's six-speed automatic

Sounds cool. I noticed it's listed as a 1.5, though.

At the heart of the car is a new turbocharged three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine (previously a 1.2-litre). It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that replaces the old six-speed automatic.

Although power output remains the same as before at 101bhp, torque figures have increased by 10Nm to 190Nm. Creaminess of the powertrain's operation, too, is significantly improved, thanks in large part to the impeccable gear changes carried out by the new transmission.

The engine of choice has been changed from a 1.2-litre to 1.5-litre, which makes 10Nm more torque

The car pulls smoothly from 1,500rpm and is equally silky smooth to rev out, with a pleasingly muted growl right to the redline. Over our three-day test drive, it also proves to be quite the sipper, achieving 14km/L.

You won't be winning much traffic light races although there's ample oomph for day-to-day driving, but the car will definitely put a smile on your face each time you take a corner, with very direct steering, an eager turn-in and minimal body roll.

In its class, it remains the undisputed winner in the handling department. Some may find the ride a little harsh but that's a neglectable trade-off for the fun it delivers.

The MINI One is an absolute joy to drive, come rain or shine

While rivals like the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf do space and comfort better, it's hard to ignore its uniqueness and dynamism. If you love driving, you'll love the MINI One.
Also read our comparison article on:
MINI One 5-Door 1.5 vs Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI DSG
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Car Information

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Price

: $107,088

Engine Type

:

3-cylinder in-line 12-valve

Engine Cap

:

1499cc

Horsepower

:

75kW (101 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

190 Nm / 3600 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

10.5sec

Top Speed

:

192km/h

Fuel consumption

:

18.5 km/L

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