CARS

is latest update more style than substance?

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The ride is reasonably good too, although it is worth noting that our test car had £375 worth of adaptive dampers, which perform admirably in their default comfort setting but make the car too bouncy when dialled up into their sport mode.

So what’s the takeaway from all this? That this facelift car is the best BMW Mini yet? Arguably it is, but if that’s the case then the margins are fine. If you care not for fancy lights and can live without a touchscreen there’s little to recommend this new Mini over its pre-facelift equivalent.

It’s still a very good car, just one for which the upgrades consist more of style than of substance.

THE FACTS

2018 Mini Cooper three-door

TESTED 1,499cc three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, six-speed manual gearbox front-wheel drive

PRICE/ON SALE range from £15,900, Cooper from £17,340 (as tested £24,990)/now

POWER/TORQUE 134bhp @ 4,500rpm/162lb ft @ 1,250rpm

ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds

TOP SPEED 130mph

FUEL ECONOMY 45.6mpg/56.5mpg (EU Urban/Combined). On test 41mpg.

CO2 EMISSIONS 114g/km

VED £165 first year, then £140 per year

VERDICT What might sound like significant updates on paper don’t actually add up to a great amount in real life, but as the Mini was already such a compelling package that hardly matters. In Cooper guise this is an appealing package that offers strong performance, fantastic handling and a real sense of charm. As ever, those optional extras can soon add up though.

TELEGRAPH RATING Four out of five stars

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