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2019 MINI Cooper Overview
The modern MINI Cooper debuted in 2002 as a modern take on the original MINI of the 60s. Two major redesigns have occurred in 2007 and 2015, bringing technology, performance, and fuel economy gains. Moving into 2019, MINI has released a comprehensive update for its bread-and-butter model.
The Cooper comes in a nice assortment of body styles. There’s a 2-door hatchback, a 4-door hatchback, and a convertible. Each one preserves the brand’s heritage design cues: round headlamps, a prominent grille, black pillars, and a flat roof. MINI recently simplified its logo, and that new emblem decorates the front and rear ends of the 2019 Cooper. The standard halogen headlamps have been redesigned, and there are new LED units as an option, replacing the HID option from previous years. The rear lamps get love, too. Each now features one side of the iconic Union Jack. In addition, the MINI Cooper offers three new metallic paint finishes, which are Emerald Grey, Starlight Blue, and Solaris Orange.
Inside, MINI has added interior themes and colors, such as the Malt Brown Chesterfield available for hardtop models, and a new 6.5-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth comes standard. Buyers can upgrade to an 8.8-inch touchscreen unit with navigation. The MINI Cooper also features a wireless charging option integrated into the center console, which includes a second USB port. The SIM-card enabled MINI Connected service can now provide advanced real-time traffic information as well as emergency calls, and it supports Apple CarPlay - although not Android Auto. The MINI Yours Customized program, which allows owners to order cars and truly personify them, has been expanded for 2019. One neat Yours Customized option is a set of projectors that beam the MINI logo onto the pavement when the car is first unlocked.
All three of the Cooper’s body-styles continue to come in Base, S, and John Cooper Works trims. Base gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic transmission. In the 2-door hardtop, the lightest variant, this powertrain gets the car up to speed in just 7.4 seconds for the manual and 7.5 seconds for the automatic.
S bumps the engine up to a higher-output, turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, and it comes with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic with optional paddle shifters. 60 mph comes up in just 6.5 seconds for the manual and 6.4 for the automatic. In addition, the S benefits from more-aggressive front and rear bumpers, standard fog lights, MINI’s Performance Control system for improved cornering, and heavier bolstering on the seats.
Lastly, there’s John Cooper Works, named after an important influence to the MINI brand. It has the same 2.0-liter engine as the S, which is ramped up to 228 hp and 236 lb-ft. Buyers also have the same 6-speed manual and automatic transmission choices, but paddle shifters are standard. This variant zooms to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds with the manual and 5.9 seconds for the manual. John Cooper Works, too, has unique interior and exterior styling.
The same safety options as before return in this new model, bringing a full complement of airbags and a standard reversing camera along with optional rear parking sensors. However, advanced driving aids like blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and forward collision warning are absent here.
The MINI Cooper is a delightful contrast to the more serious, appliance-like cars one generally sees on the road. For 2019, MINI’s decisions to up the quirkiness factor and add new options make this cheeky little model even better than it was before.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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