What's the news?
Alongside BMW's announcement of price cuts across its range - and that in spite of the VRT increase announced in the Budget - MINI Ireland has similarly announced lower prices, and a change in specifications.
The price cuts average 3.9 per cent across the MINI range. A MINI Cooper 1.5 turbo, for instance, will now be €1,050 cheaper at €24,905, while the bigger Countryman SUV gets a €1,390 price cut. A Clubman estate gets a €1,270 price cut to €27,315 for the most affordable model, while the MINI Convertible is now €1,090 cheaper at its entry-level point, starting from €30,455.
Standard equipment has also been enhanced to include interior ambient lighting, MINI logo projection from the driver door, automatic headlights and rain sensors.
There's also a tweak to the way the models line up, which is supposed to simplify the way you go about speccing your MINI. Now, the idea is that you pick your body shape (three- or five-door hatch, Clubman estate, Convertible, or Countryman SUV), then pick your engine and then pick from three new trim lines.
Those are Classic, Sport and Exclusive. Classic includes a 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen, intelligent emergency call, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity as standard, on top of the extra ambient lighting, exterior MINI logo projection and automatic headlights with rain sensor.
Sport models come with John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit and spoiler, John Cooper Works alloy wheels, sports suspension, John Cooper Works bucket seats, John Cooper Works steering wheel and an anthracite interior headliner. You do need to pick a Cooper or Cooper S engine option to get a Sport pack, though.
Exclusive models get upgraded alloy wheels, chrome line exterior finish, MINI Yours Lounge leather upholstery, MINI Yours leather steering wheel, MINI Yours interior trim and interior chrome line finish. Again, you need to pick a Cooper or Cooper S engine to get an Exclusive pack.
On top of these trim lines, there are new bundled options packs, including a Comfort Pack, which comes with rear park distance control (PDC), dual-zone automatic air conditioning, seat heating and more. There's also a Comfort Plus pack, which comes with a rear view camera, folding and dimming exterior and interior mirrors and front park distance control.
There's also a MINI Navigation Pack, standard on Countryman and Clubman models, which adds satellite navigation functionality, a touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay functionality. Or you can go for the Navigation Plus pack, which contains a raft of equipment, including MINI's 8.8-inch touchscreen display, wireless charging, MINI Connected Services including real time traffic information, natural language voice control MINI Concierge Service, online services and Apple CarPlay.