New dual-shift transmission is the meat of Mini's latest refresh - along with some rather conspicuous taillights
What do you need to know about the 2018 Mini? Not much. As refreshes go, this one is as trifling as a hummingbird's hoof print. The most consequential item added to a carried-over lineup is the option of a new seven-speed dual-shift automatic. This is of middling interest as it's available with the Cooper S - which, when previously selected in automatic format, was roughly as inspiring as unpainted papermache thanks to the mismatched transmission.
We'd still recommend you take the standard six-speed manual gearbox of course, but there's a decent chance that the Steptronic (which now includes paddle shifters) will do a better job of harnessing the model's 192hp than its torque converting predecessor. It won't be the most noticeable alteration though, that dubious honour goes to the union flag motif which has been incorporated into the taillights. Which is either a neat way of showing off the Mini's now standard all-round LED lights or a cringeworthy styling slip-up. Rather depends, that one.
Much of everything else is going on inside. News that the 6.5-inch infotainment screen, USB and Bluetooth (and the multi-function steering wheel) are now all standard should be welcomed given Mini's previous stinginess in this area. Ditto the mild power increase for the entry-level Mini One. You can also have adaptive Matrix headlights if you wish - an option BMW claims as the first in the supermini segment.
Otherwise there's the usual assault on individualisation, with new body finishes, alloy wheel designs, leather trim, backlit surfaces and colour lines being made available. Also, you can have the Mini logo beamed onto the ground by the mirror on the driver's side. (Well, we warned you.)
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