New 2019 Mini revealed with Union Jack taillights and more
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I know what you're thinking; 'it looks a lot like the old one'.
And you'll be right. This is the new 2019 Mini, and its relatively humble facelift doesn't exactly reinvent the manufacturer's current design formula of chunky proportions and cute features.
But with the current Mini range entering its fifth year, a refresh was due, and the new Mini comes with just enough new design tweaks to keep things interesting.
The most noteworthy of these are those LED taillights; fashioned on the Union Jack. If they look familiar to you, then that makes sense — Mini debuted the styling cue on their Mini Electric Concept that they revealed in August last year. Soft-top convertible models can also come with a canvas roof with the Union Jack printed in.
Yes yes, the Mini is a BMW product these days — which in some ways makes the Union Jacks an ironic touch. But they're still built in England at least (Oxford, Cowley ... to be precise) so perhaps the nod to tradition and history isn't entirely without merit.
Away from the taillights, the headlights have also been given a touch up. And a new wheel and colour option line-up help further add to the new-but-still-retro look.
Performance wise, the new Mini gets very little in the way of changes. The manufacturer says that things like the TwinPower Turbo Technology and engine electronics have been given a look over, and the engine covers are now made with carbon fibre. But power figures and performance numbers are unchanged from past models — from 55kW in the entry level Mini One to 141kW in the go-kart-on-wheels Cooper S.
Really, the greatest changes are in the realm of that most millennial-focused of concepts: customization.
It's in the interior where this has the greatest effect. It retains a lot of the quirkiness we've come to expect with Minis — the massive circular central hub, the metal switch gear, the stubby gear knob. Now though buyers can reconfigure their interior trim options until the cows come home. There's also a fresh exterior option that allows buyers to trade their chrome trim for more subtle piano black.
Some of those cows could become part of the optional Malt Brown Chesterfield leather upholstery package, or if you're looking for something a little more modern there's a piano black option that gives buyers an illuminated Union Jack on the passenger-side panel. So British.
Thankfully the updates aren't all tinsel. There's a new and improved base-level infotainment system, with updates across other models including a revised Mini Connected system that includes live traffic updates, Apple CarPlay, and a personal concierge.
It might not be a grand sea of change, but for a car leaning very heavily on its own history and heritage ... perhaps that's a good thing.