Competes with: Volkswagen Golf/Golf GTI, BMW 2 Series, Fiat 500 Abarth
Looks like: Current Mini hardtops and convertible with some upgraded and fun details (and more Union Jacks)
Drivetrain: No changes to current choices
Hits dealerships: Late March to early April
Mini is giving a light once-over to 2019 models of its hardtops (two-door and the new four-door) and convertible that will be displayed next week at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Related: More 2018 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
The new Minis get new details that add some fresh fun, as well as design accents, technology upgrades and a couple of more Union Jacks to remind folks of the BMW-owned brand's British heritage. The cars are competing in an ever more SUV-centric marketplace where their bigger new Countryman brother gets a lot of the attention.
Heritage details: The LED taillights light up in a Union Jack pattern, and the British flag pattern is available on the roof of the convertible, too.
Other updates start with a new, simplified look to the Mini logo, and now you can have the car project the new logo on the ground, as well. The signature round headlights remain, but with a new black-accent look for the standard halogen lights and a lighted ring around the optional LED lights. There also are three new paint colors and new optional alloy wheel designs. A new piano-black trim package replaces chrome trim with shiny black.
Mini's extensive personalization choices now include one that can literally make it all about you. The Mini Yours Customised (yes, Mini uses the British spelling) program lets owners order trim pieces — including front fender trim, interior trim, LED door sills and LED door projectors — in a choice of colors and patterns in icons, as well as with their own name or other text. The pieces are produced with various 3-D printing methods and laser engraving.
There's also a piano-black package for the interior that includes a backlit black panel on the passenger side of the dash that lights up in the various ambient lighting colors with (you guessed it!) a stylized version of the British Union Jack. Black also trims the doors and console.
The hardtops also add a new brown leather option to the selection of interior coverings and colors.
The standard display is a new 6.5-inch screen, and a new 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation and a new user interface and features is optional. Also newly optional will be wireless phone charging integrated into the center console; a second USB port has been added to the front of the console with wireless charging. The latest Mini Connected services using a SIM card in the car include 4G connectivity, remote services, and real-time traffic and emergency notification. There's also support for Apple CarPlay.
A novel new service called Mini Find Mate is also available, allowing users to attach tags to personal objects such as keys, backpacks or luggage, and their location can be displayed on the car screen or in the Mini Connected app on a smartphone.
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