Currently reading: Mini model line-up gets major update for 2021
Revised look plus new equipment and options for 3dr, 5dr, Convertible and Electric
Autocar-Felix-Page
News
3 mins read
26 January 2021

The third-generation Mini hatchback lineup has undergone its most dramatic overhaul since being launched in 2013, ushering in new exterior styling, equipment upgrades and added personalisation options for all four variations of the brand’s core model.

The 3dr, 5dr, Electric and Convertible each get a new front-end design, with a larger grille that’s framed by a new black hexagonal surround. In line with the Mini brand’s ambition to make the “central design features more apparent by means of reduction”, the low-mounted foglights have been replaced by vertical air intakes, the chrome headlight housings are now finished in black and the bumper’s centre section is colour-coded, rather than black.

Elsewhere, the wheel arches have been reshaped for a refreshed side profile and the side indicators now use LEDs as standard. Similarly subtle revisions at the rear include the large centre foglight being swapped for a less obvious LED item and a new section of black bumper trim being introduced.

Mini design boss Oliver Heilmer said that the updated models look “more modern”, adding that the objective of the overhaul was to “purify Mini” with “less complexity” and “more individuality”.

Changes inside follow a similar mandate: the audio control buttons underneath the 8.8in infotainment touchscreen have been given a cleaner look and the chrome air vent surrounds have been swapped for black panels. The previously optional Piano Black gloss finish is now standard, as is a new leather multifunction steering wheel and a 5.0in digital display in place of instrument dials.

The powertrain options remain unchanged. The entry-level One model – available in 3dr and 5dr forms – is powered by a 101bhp turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, while the same unit is boosted to 134bhp for the mid-range Cooper. The warmed-up Cooper S comes with a 2.0-litre turbo engine producing 176bhp (down 13bhp, courtesy of its new emissions-reducing petrol particulate filter) and the John Cooper Works hot hatch tops the line-up with 228bhp. The Electric keeps its 181bhp front-mounted electric motor and 28.9kWh lithium ion battery pack for an official WLTP range of 145 miles.

Revisions to the chassis, however, are claimed to enhance the Mini’s “trademark go-kart feeling”. The latest version of the optional adaptive suspension system introduces new pressure valves into the dampers, reducing damping forces by up to 50% and, Mini claims, optimising the balance of sportiness and ride comfort.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review

Mini’s new electric hatchback won’t break records on range or usability but has plenty of brand-typical zip and driver appeal. Isn’t bad value relative to other EVs, either

Back to top

New personalisation options include added colour choices across the range, five different designs for the alloy wheels and a ‘multitone’ gradient-effect paint option for the roof of the hard-top cars.

The standard 3dr and 5dr hatchback models remain available in a choice of three trims, with adaptive suspension now standard fitment on the Sport and more kit introduced for the Exclusive.

Similarly, the Electric (which remains three-door only) can be specified in one of three trim levels, with options including roof rails, active cruise control and privacy glass. A new limited-edition Electric Collection model brings bespoke exterior colours, badging and interior trims, as well as a no-cost panoramic sunroof option. Just 300 examples are headed to the UK, priced at £36,420.

On-the-road prices have yet to be confirmed, but the 3dr’s retail starting price is £16,045, the 5dr’s £16,745 and the Convertible’s £20,705. Each charges a premium of £1400 for an automatic gearbox.

The Electric now costs from £27,920 before application of the £3000 government grant. This is expected to be the final round of updates for Mini’s core model line-up before the fourth iteration is introduced in 2022 or 2023, ushering in a smaller three-door model and, at the other end of the range, a compact crossover that will revive the Traveller name.

READ MORE

Mini details pivotal new electric models and large SUV

Mini Electric review

Mini: hatchback 'is our 911', new generation won't break formula

Join the debate

Comments
21
Add a comment…
Lanehogger 27 January 2021

The 'new' Mini is a classic example of how the outside looks of a car get worse with each new model. And this is a classic example of how a facelift can make a car look worse. 

gavsmit 27 January 2021

Horrific. Totally ruined the styling with those pointless mods. Who signs this stuff off?

But I doubt they were even thinking about whether or not this facelift (or face battering) looked any good because they were just looking for any excuse to introduce another huge price hike like all car manufacturers have been doing.

 

Jeremy 27 January 2021

How do BMW do it? Every new or facelifted MINI is worse than the previous one. At this rate the upcoming Traveller will probably look like a Ssang Yong Rhodious!

Find an Autocar car review