Spot the Difference: Mini Unveils Tweaked 2019 Cooper Line

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
spot the difference mini unveils tweaked 2019 cooper line

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]

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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.

  • MaintenanceCosts I saw my first IS500 out in the wild today (a dark-grey-on-black example) and it struck me that it was much more AMG-like than this product. (Great-looking and -sounding car.)
  • ToolGuy
  • Art Vandelay Props for trying something different. EVs should work well in this sort of race. The similar series running ICE run short distances like that
  • ToolGuy Well they wet the track down using sea water - from the South Pacific Ocean. Oceans may have a large amount of water, but it isn't infinite, is it? No, it isn't. So if this sport really takes off, what will happen when the ocean is drained? (And once you put the water on the dirt, how does it ever get back to the ocean?)
  • Bobbysirhan Some friends of mine were dazzled by a CUE demo that circulated on YouTube before this car reached the market. I was bewildered why anyone wanted a car as durable and dependable as their cellphones, but to each their own. One of them did actually show up with an XTS V-sport when the car first came out. He showed people CUE in my driveway, but I don't recall him offering demonstration rides to the assembled imported luxury car drivers. In the months that followed, I never saw or heard about the Cadillac again. He went back to driving his Yukon Denali until I moved away a year or two later.