Spot the Difference: Mini Unveils Tweaked 2019 Cooper Line

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Remember when TV shows used to replace a troublesome actor, only to keep the same character hanging around? Like Aunt Vivian from Fresh Prince, or Darren from Bewitched? This is not like that at all.

For its 2019 Mini Cooper lineup, the names stay the same, and so does the look. Even eagle-eyed observers will have to search high and low for design features not present on 2018 models, but trust us —they’re there. One such change is so British, it hurts.

Starting up front, the 2019 Coopers — two-door, four-door, and convertible — boast revamped headlamps modules. Both entry-level halogen units and upmarket LED clusters see tweaks, with the LED peepers now offering increased brightness. More noticeable is the LED light ring encircling the headlamps, which serves as a daytime running light. The strip now runs the full circumference of the lamp.

Shocking, we know, but Mini’s photographs don’t lie. Out back, the taillights now inform every following driver that This Is A British Car. Both taillights carry a Union Jack design, etched out in LEDs. As Mini explains, “The turn indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned, with the tail light additionally representing the diagonal lines of the British flag.”

Surely, the late Roger Moore would have approved. Connery, probably not so much.

We’ve already told you about Mini’s new badge, which appears in all the expected locales. Besides that, the only new external change is the addition of new 17-inch light alloy wheel designs to the options roster.

Inside, customization is the name of the game. If you’re already driving a Mini, chances are you’re something of an individualist — so why not demand a custom interior? Through the Mini Yours Customized program, buyers can do exactly that. Through Mini’s online customizer, and thanks to 3D printing and laser etching, customers “can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design,” the automaker claims.

Customizable items include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers, and LED door projectors. Yes, you read that right. The new Mini features an available light projector located in the side mirror that lets everyone nearby know you’re driving a Mini Cooper, and not, say, a Toyota Highlander.

If personalizing your Mini seems like a bridge too far, there’s still three new exterior paint colors to choose from, a blacked-out package for those who like their Minis menacing, a Piano Black interior option, and available Malt Brown Chesterfield upholstery, which sort of sounds like a beer.

All Minis gain a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, but there’s an 8.8-inch unit with navigation for those willing to shell out a few more pounds (euros?). In both cases, the user interface has undergone changes and added features. An expanded range of connectivity options is also available.

We’re assuming there’s zero changes under the hood, as Mini’s announcement leaves powertrains unmentioned. So, expect the return of the turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder in base models and the turbo 2.0-liter four in Cooper S trim.

[Images: BMW of North America]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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5 of 13 comments
  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jan 10, 2018

    Oh Mini. Let me know when you put pricing in line with your product.

    • See 2 previous
    • Russycle Russycle on Jan 11, 2018

      @stuki Customization. You can pretty much get any combo of options you want, and MINI dealers are happy to order your car optioned just how you want it. Then the enthusiasts here who claim they pine for that complain they're more expensive than the competition. Well, duh.

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Jan 10, 2018

    I want to like Minis. I like the idea of them, I like the way they drive. But the too cuteness, especially inside grates on me. I wish BMW would just sell a proper 1-series hatch here. The Mini fun in a grownup suit. For too cute and fun I find the Fiat 500 to be far more so than the Mini but in a more appealing way for WAAAAAY less money. Mini tries too hard and costs too much.

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  • Aja8888 That's such a horrible car and ad, I can't even post about it.
  • Jeff I don't believe sedans will completely disappear but manufacturers will offer less sedans. The trend to make sedans 4 door coupes with slopping roof lines, smaller mail slot trunks, rubber band tires, lower slung to where they bottom out over a speed bump, having to crawl down to get into them, having to bend your head in the rear in order not to hit your head on the rear glass, and less head and leg room. I blame coupe like sedans not just on aerodynamics but on car journalists that judge all cars on being sports cars and the ability to canyon carve. Its form over function resulting in more suv, cuv, and pickup truck sales. This would be a good time for Lincoln, Cadillac, and Buick to offer a full size 4 door sedan with a decent sized interior, good sized trunk, comfortable ride, with a V-8, and rear wheel drive. Could build a Lincoln Continental on a stretched Mustang platform and GM could stretch the former Camaro platform to make a Cadillac Deville and Buick Roadmaster or Electra. These would not sell in the number that F-150s or Silverados would but they could sell enough to be profitable. Don't make them canyon carvers just make them comfortable and smooth riding with decent handling. Car journalists might not like these but this is what many miss from the past and they would sell. Many not all car journalists are out of touch with what most consumers want in a vehicle.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys fat orange jesus best bud really loves murka, dont he?
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X What's next? Your EV hacked and shutdown until you pay a ransom?