Mini Cooper D 2011 Review

July 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Back in 1959 when the first batch of Minis rolled off the production line few assumptions followed the unique vehicle. Back then it would have been slightly fanciful to assume that over fifty years later this diminutive model would be still going strong. But to think that in 2011 there would be a diesel-powered Mini that needs less than four litres of fuel to cover 100km, well that would have seemed unbelievable. Mini’s latest Cooper D can do exactly that, but achieving an exceptionally low fuel economy figure isn’t always enough. Present day buyers want fuel frugality as well as more traditional desires like comfort, style and dynamic ability. Can the updated Mini Diesel deliver in full? Car and SUV took a spin in the 2011 Cooper D to see if the future has arrived.

Cosmetically the Mini hatch shape hasn’t been severely restyled since BMW first created the ‘new’ Mini back in 2001. There have been a number of modest tweaks and the 2011 facelift continues that tradition with some subtle changes inside and out. The front end is modernised with a new bumper arrangement that has a broad lower air intake and recessed fog lamps. Use of chrome trim on the air intake adds visual width and further chrome work on the grille and surrounding the headlights dresses it up nicely. At the back there’s new LED taillights and a replacement rear bumper. Continue reading “Mini Cooper D 2011 Review” »

Mini Countryman – NZ pricing and availability announced

January 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Mini NZ has announced further details of the eagerly anticipated Mini Countryman, set to arrive in New Zealand next month.

The Mini Countryman is touted to offer the unique handling of a regular Mini with the practical space and versatility of a four-door, plus the traction of a Sports Activity Vehicle optimised by optional all-wheel drive.

Marking a new chapter in the evolution of Mini as a brand, the Countryman is more than four metres long with four doors, the option of four or five seats and a four wheel drive option called “ALL4”.

Mini Countryman pricing will start at $46,900 for the Cooper Countryman and the Mini Cooper D Countryman, featuring a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine, will start at $49,900.

All variants feature a six-speed manual as standard and offer an optional six-speed automatic transmission for an additional $3,000.

There are two all-new ALL4 models added to the line-up, which cost an extra $3,000 compared with their two-wheel drive counterparts. Continue reading “Mini Countryman – NZ pricing and availability announced” »

Mini launches new Cooper D – NZ’s greenest car

November 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Mini has just launched a refreshed product range in NZ and headlining the new arrivals is the release of the greenest-ever model available for sale in New Zealand.

Fresh from success as the most fuel efficient vehicle in the recent EnergyWise Rally, the new Cooper D with its 1.6-litre diesel powertrain now sets a record as the first Mini with carbon emissions of less than 100 grams a kilometre (99g/km).

This new green engine also delivers a significant gain of 30Nm of torque, up to 270Nm, and a power increase of 2kW (up to 82kW).  Fuel consumption is a lowly 3.8l/100km.

“The rationale for buying Mini is clear cut and is one of the few vehicles where there is no ‘head versus heart’ argument,” said the Managing Director of BMW Group New Zealand Limited, Mark Gilbert. “Mini offers a dynamic go-kart like driving experience but also offers unbelievable fuel economy and excellent green credentials.  This superb new engine delivers considerably improved acoustic and consumption properties and will set new standards for fuel efficiency in this category.”

In addition to the new diesel powertrain, fresh visual enhancements include new alloy wheel options, a range of new colours and a variety of interior treatments which can be personalised to customer requirements.

Standard safety features include ABS, DSC, driver and front passenger airbags with occupant detector, side airbags for front seats and curtain head airbags. To meet new EU pedestrian safety guidelines, Mini is now 99mm longer to allow for larger deformation zones to reduce the risk of injury in a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist. The short overhangs and Mini proportions are still maintained, retaining the go-kart style that Mini is famous for.

All Mini variants now have new tail lights with LED technology to enhance safety in low-visibility conditions and offer a more contemporary appearance. The reversing light and rear fog lights are now located in the lower section of the rear bumper.

“These enhancements to Mini will make it an even more desirable proposition than ever before,” said Mr Gilbert. “Very few models can claim such widespread appeal and what has contributed to this success is that Mini is a fun vehicle which is very enjoyable to drive.”

The new Mini range is available from $38,900 and fans can purchase a new model through any one of four different retail channels.

To find out more go to

MINI diesels arrive in New Zealand

July 1st, 2008 by Darren Cottingham


With fuel prices spiralling out of control, the MINI Cooper D and MINI Clubman Cooper D have arrived in New Zealand to ease the “pain at the pump” for style-conscious Kiwi motorists. Unavailable in Australia, these two diesel-powered MINIs are the first-ever to be introduced in New Zealand, offering fuel-efficiency and emissions levels that rival any hybrid currently on the market.

These economical MINIs join just a handful of vehicles in New Zealand to achieve ‘five-and-a-half stars’ under the Government’s new fuel-efficiency star rating system. Around town, the MINI Cooper D sips fuel with average consumption of 4.4litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, while on the open road, this parsimonious pocket-rocket is capable of using just 3.7 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (or more than 900 kilometres on one tank). The MINI Clubman Cooper D uses just a fraction more diesel; average consumption is 4.5 litres per 100kilometres while it is capable of using just 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres.

Yet the fact that the MINI Cooper D packs a punchy 80kW and 240 Nm of torque from its four-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, means fuel-savings don’t come at the expense of the trademark MINI go-kart drive experience. Lightweight aluminium construc­tion and direct fuel injection, applying the common-rail principle, combine with a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry for optimum power and performance in all speed ranges. The Overboost function also gives the new MINI Cooper D a particularly powerful and agile “kick” whenever required by briefly raising the maximum torque on both models from 240 to 260 Newton-metres.

Like all MINIs, the MINI Cooper D and MINI Clubman Cooper D offer an infinite number of options for personalisation from interior lighting to roof design. There is also no compromise on safety with each new model achieving the highest five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

Pricing for the new MINI Cooper D starts at $39,900 and the MINI Clubman Cooper D starts at $44,900. Both are available in New Zealand now.

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