Following the recent launch of Audi's A1, the premium supermini segment is becoming increasingly competitive; the car that started it all, BMW's MINI, has undergone a mid-life nip and tuck.
While the petrol engine range saw extensive revisions earlier this year, two new BMW-developed diesels have now joined the range. Power comes in either 90hp (MINI One) or 112hp (Cooper) trim, while a diesel is to be offered in the MINI Convertible for the first time. Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox, the MINI's new diesel achieves 0-100km/h in 9.7 seconds for the Cooper D hatch, or 10.3 seconds in its Convertible cousin. Automatic stop-start, gear shift indicator and brake energy regeneration are retained, helping the MINI make the most of its fuel. The new diesels return a combined 74.3mpg (3.8 litres/100km) for the hatch or 72.4mpg (3.9 litres/100km) for the Clubman. Emissions of CO2 for the hatchback - in either One D or Cooper D guise - is just 99g/km.
A revised lower front bumper freshens up the car's face, with reshaped air intakes. The redesigned bumper offers improved pedestrian impact too. Round the back, new LED lamps with pressure sensitivity (the harder you push the middle pedal, the brighter the brake lights) are combined with a restyled rear bumper distinguishing it from the previous model, while five fresh body colours and five new alloy wheel designs add further scope for individuality and complete the exterior revisions.
Inside, six new upholstery choices and three fascia options add to the mix, while all versions of the updated MINI - bar the base model - now feature a DAB radio as standard, with revised steering wheel and centre console controls. The improved MINI Connected system allows owners of Apple's iPhone access to online news feeds, web-radio and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The revised MINI range, together with the new five-door Countryman, will be available from September.