BMW extends and improves Mini range

BMW has made a number of improvements to most versions of the Mini and added a new, cheaper variant of the open-topped Mini, the Mini One Convertible.

The cheapest Mini, the First, gets a larger 1.6 litre petrol engine, although this produces the same 75 horsepower as the previous 1.4 litre. Torque, though, is increased by 17 per cent to 140Nm, which means that drivers will have to work the gearbox less frequently than in the 1.4, which while smooth, was sometimes criticised for lacking urgency.

The One, which represents the next rung of the Mini ladder, also gets a 1.6 litre engine in place of a 1.4, in this case with 98 rather than 95 horsepower. The One was previously available only with the basic hatchback body shell but this was joined by a Clubman estate version last year. Now there will also be a Mini One Convertible, which will be very keenly priced at £14,995.

The sporty Cooper and Cooper S Minis also receive small power boosts, but their list prices remain the same – the same is true of the other improved models.

The cumulative effect of these and past tweaks has been to make the Mini relatively much more affordable over the years, but without really giving up any of its “premium” feel. Despite this filling out of the Mini range, one obvious gap remains; there is still no diesel option for the cheaper First and One models.

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