Originally named as Morris Mini Minor, the first original MINI was manufactured by the British Motor Corporation way back in 1959 and the original MINI is still considered as a British icon of 1960s. The first generation MINI Cooper was introduced as a budget hatchback car while in 2001; it was then introduced as a premium hatchback car. The third generation 2015 MINI Cooper D tries to keep the continuity of its performance, fun-to-drive nature and an emotional bonding with its driver. Extraordinary design, outstanding agility, functional flexibility, space-saving cleverness defines the 2015 MINI Cooper D 3-Door. Now it also offers more practicality and driving satisfaction at the same time.
2015 MINI Cooper D 3-Door Price – Rs. 32.65 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom, New Delhi)
Exterior Design: The third generation MINI still carries its iconic retro look which makes it more appealing and is also a many head-turner. There have been made a few cosmetic changes to the profile of this car from outside like the bigger headlights; integrated LED DRLs in the circular outline which look simply amazing, LED fog lamps with cornering lights, the three-slat hexagonal grille, clamshell bonnet, upright windscreen, LED tail lights, retro-styled circular rear view mirrors and a continuous band of chrome at the base of windows of the car. There are also chrome outlines at headlights, tail lights, door handles, and tailgate and also the chrome plated exhaust pipe makes the car look more striking and cool. The body of the new MINI 3-Door is 3821 millimetres long, 1727 millimetres wide and 1414 millimetres high. This makes it 98 millimetres longer, 44 millimetres wider and 7 millimetres higher than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28 millimetres to 2495 millimetres, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42 millimetres and at the rear by 34 millimetres to a total of 1501 millimetres in each case. The black peripheries around the bottom edge of the body are reinterpreted and look cool. Overall the third generation MINI Cooper D 3-Door looks cute and elegant.
Interior Design: The MINI 3-Door carries the same retro styled circular theme on the inside but now looks more beautiful as it’s improved with new materials. It also gets many new expensive customization options too. The new interiors make the cabin a place for every car enthusiast to be in as it’s unique and refreshing. The doors are big and let you in more easily and the seats are now mounted a little lower and have many adjustment settings for both front seats. There’s also adjustment settings for the steering wheel which adds to the comfort of the driver. The increased dimensions have increased the headroom and legroom in this MINI. The instrument cluster is now brilliantly relocated from centre console to behind the steering wheel which makes MINI more operative. The ergonomic enhancements make the cabin a success. The steering is multi-functional and feels good to hold and steer. There are toggle switches out of which one is the Start/Stop switch and is illuminated in a circular red light pattern. Just thumb it the engine Start/Stops. There appears a heads-up display on the dashboard behind the steering wheel which displays speed, radio/music track, calling info and also navigation information. The instrument cluster houses the RPM meter on the left, the middle shows the temperature, distance to empty, time, mileage etc. and the right meter shows the fuel level. The central console shows the unique innovative display. The outer LED lights look classy when they light up. When the reverse gear is engaged the display shows the car and its distance from the obstacles and it is indicated by rings of light which are shown by – green, yellow and red when the obstacle is too close. There are numerous cup holders and storage facilities in the car which makes travelling simpler. There is also a storage compartment behind the decorative black strip on the dashboard. The seats are very comfy and rear seats are foldable with 60:40 ratio. Their tilt angle can also be adjusted and this adds up in more storage space in the boot. The luggage compartment/boot volume has been increased by 51 litres which now makes it 211 litres.
Engine & Performance: The MINI Cooper D 3-Door is powered with a Twin Power Turbo 1.5L 3-cylinder diesel engine which produces 85 kW/114 BHP at 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 270 Nm at 1750 rpm. This power and torque figures are more suited to low-end performance. Thus, city driving is fun in this MINI. The low-end accelerates till mid-range without any fuss and go up till redline of 4700 rpm with ease. The engine runs smoothly and does not out sounds like the Cooper S as this one is the diesel engine but yes it is sweet and sporty. For me, this is the best sounding diesel engine in its segment. The power figures can achieve the top speed of 204 km/h and 0 – 100 km/h is done in 9.2 seconds.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which makes driving easy and interesting in city and on open roads like highways. In winding sections like ghats, MINI with its go-kart like handling and terrific performance was good all the way. It also has a 6-speed manual transmission, in which up-shifts and down-shifts happen smoothly. In real conditions, we managed to achieve a mileage of 18 km/l, thanks to its automatic transmission and reduced weight while the claimed average is 21.15 km/l which is quite impressive for a premium hatchback. Its level of CO2 emissions is 125 grams per kilometre.
Driving Modes & Driving Dynamics: The MINI for the first time comes with the option of electronically controlled damping that offers the choice between SPORT, MID and GREEN modes. When put in SPORT mode the throttle response felt was more alive while all the power came on instantly, whereas GREEN mode puts MINI in the relaxed mode off the line as it minimized revs and maximized shift intervals to get the most of fuel efficiency from its 1.5L diesel engine and 44 litres of tank. In GREEN mode when you stop the car, the engine automatically shuts down and starts up again as soon as you release the brake pedal. This helps in gaining more fuel economy.
The MINI is still young and retains its liveliness and with its razor sharp go-kart like handling is fun to drive around the town and on open roads. The suspension setup on the new generation MINI is the single-joint spring strut axle at front along with a multilink rear axle that is unique and is softer and settles more quickly over the bumps. The car is stable and also there is no body roll at sharp bends as its chassis has excellent balance and has limited understeer in-spite of being a front wheel drive hatch. The car has more rigidity and stability even when it is reduced in weight and increased in dimensions. The steering feedback is precise, as it is BMW engineered. The braking on this car is awesome and the car comes to standstill very quickly. We did the brake test of the car from 100 – 0 km/hr and the car came to standstill in just 2.5 seconds (VBOX Tested).
Safety and After Sales Service: The 2015 MINI Cooper D 3-Door scored 4/5 stars in Euro NCAP’s crash test while the predecessor scored 5/5. The safety on this car is not at all compromised. The car comes with the anti-lock system ABS, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and the brake assistant, the driving stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) in the new MINI also includes a drive-off assistant, a brake dry function, Fading Brake Support and DTC mode (Dynamic Traction Control), which permits controlled slip at the drive wheels so as to facilitate driving off on loose surface. When the driving stability system is deactivated (DSC Off mode), there is an electronic locking function for the front axle differential which selectively and appropriately brakes a spinning drive wheel on tight corners, redirecting the drive torque to the other wheel. This system is known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), thereby promotes the car’s forward momentum without negatively influencing self-steering response. The car also comes with six airbags and Hill Start Assistant. As there are only limited outlets of BMW which sell and handle MINI’s servicing, the after sales services are good.
Verdict/Conclusion: The MINI is such a car that gets noticed where ever you go. The little MINI is capable to overcome all kinds of terrains and roads, whether it maybe a slushy road or a loose gravel road. It is completely aerodynamic and ups the stakes in its performance, handling and ride quality. Not to forget, that this new MINI is segment leader in terms of aerodynamics too. Of course, the new generation MINI Cooper D 3-Door will put a smile a on your face every time you get behind its wheel. The MINI is worth every Rupee.
2015 MINI Cooper D 3-Door Technical Data:
* Engine: 1.5L (1496cc), in-line 3-cylinder, 4 Valves
* Power: 114 BHP at 4000 RPM
* Torque: 270 Nm at 1750 RPM
* Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic/6-Speed Manual
* 0-100 km/hr: 9.2 Seconds
* 100-0 km/hr: 2.5 Seconds (Braking Test – VBOX Tested)
* Fuel Consumption: 18 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Struts spring strut axle with aluminium swivel bearing and
anti-dive control (Front), Multilink axle with weight-optimised trailing arms (Rear)
* Tyres: 195/55 R16 87W
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Disc (Rear)
* Safety: ABS, EBD, 6 airbags, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction
Control, Electronic Differential Lock Control, Hill Start Assistant
2015 MINI Cooper D 3-Door Dimensions Data:
* Overall length: 3821 mm
* Overall width: 1727 mm
* Overall height: 1414 mm
* Wheelbase: 2495 mm
* Boot Volume: 211 litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 44 litres
* Kerb Weight: 1150 kgs
* Ground Clearance: 124 mm
* Turning Circle: 10.8 meters
VBOX Equipments provided by – ZEN Microsytems