The Mini One has been available in overseas markets since late 2006 as an affordable entry into this premium hatch’s line-up. With little fanfare, and probably as part of the Cooper’s run-out before a new version is unveiled next year, the One has made it into local Mini showrooms.
At R198 000 for the six-speed manual it is, by far, the most affordable Mini available and rivals the likes of the Ford Fiesta 1,6 Titanium 3-door, Honda Jazz 1,5 Elegance and Renault Twingo 1,6 RS in terms of price.
It makes use of a 72 kW (at 6 000 r/min) and 153 N.m (at 3 000 r/min) version of the company’s four-cylinder 1,6-litre petrol engine – which is good for a claimed sprint time from standstill to 100 km/h in 10,5 seconds. It is also available with a six-speed Steptronic gearbox, pushing the 0 to 100 km/h sprint-time out to 12,3 seconds.
The car is also frugal, returning a claimed 5,4 litres/100 km over the combined cycle (6,4 litres for the automatic) and pushing out as little as 127 g/km.
In order to keep costs down, the One is sparsely equipped (it comes standard with 15-inch steel rims), but does offer a radio/CD audio system, air-conditioning, an alarm and immobiliser, dynamic stability control as well as ABS braking with EBD. Options include 15- and 16-inch alloys, xenon headlamps, fog lamps, rain sensor and park distance control at the rear. The interior can be upgraded with an upgraded audio system, a front armrest, multi-function steering wheel, and climate control and sport seats.
BMW South Africa has confirmed that the One will be launched locally on 1 August. This is an intriguing entry in the market as the Mini certainly offers driver enjoyment, and now also comes in as a worthy value contender.