• Jul 17th 2009 at 6:35PM
  • 27
2009 MINI First - Click above for high-res image gallery

A new MINI is rolling out in the U.K., and it is designed to be the brand's most affordable model. It's called the "MINI First," and the two-door is only available in hatchback form. The standard powerplant is a 1.4-liter, 75 horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Its claimed 0-62 mph time of 13.2 seconds won't make it first away from the light, but it will be passing quite a few petrol stations with a combined fuel consumption of 53.3 miles-per-gallon.

Starting at £10,950 (or about $17,950 USD unadjusted for Britain's costlier car market), the First is hardly entry-level when it comes to technology. Standard features – with fuel efficiency in mind – include auto start-stop, regenerative braking, variable valve timing, and a shift point indicator. There is no word on any plans to bring this model Stateside, but if you are interested, you can check out the car in the gallery below and read more in the full press release after the break.

[Source: MINI]


17 July 2009

MINI First is first choice for value

The new MINI First will be MINI's most attractively-priced model on sale in the UK. Starting at just £10,950 OTR, the MINI First offers customers the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a unique small premium car at an unbeatable price.

Available only in Hatch form, the MINI First features the 1.4-litre petrol engine currently found in the MINI One, but with a power output of 75 hp. The frugal engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and great go-kart handling is ensured by the trademark sophisticated chassis of all MINIs. A multi-link rear axle and independent front and rear suspension systems combine with Dynamic Stability Control to put a smile on the driver's face every time they get behind the wheel.

MINIMALISM technologies including Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, Variable Valve Technology and Shift Point Display are all included in the standard package, meaning owners will be able to take full advantage of the MINI First's low running costs.

MINI First Performance data

Power (HP)

Torque (Nm)

Combined fuel cons. (MPG)

CO2 (g/km)

0-62 mph

Top speed







The new MINI First is not just a strong performer because of its class-leading chassis and drivetrain. The most affordable new MINI ever appeals to the head as well as the heart. According to independent experts the MINI First is expected to retain 50 per cent of its value after three years or 30,000 miles, representing the best residual value figures compared to any of its competitors. New owners will also be able to drive a MINI First away for a monthly fee from as low as £99 a month.*

Aligned with MINIs ground-breaking TLC package that covers service and maintenance needs for five years for just £185, premium compact motoring has never been so attainable.

As for all MINIs, customers will be able to personalise their model with a choice of option packages:

Design Package

  • 3-Spoke Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • Heated Mirrors and Windscreen Washer Jets
  • Mirror Caps in Body Colour
  • Chrome Line Interior
  • Chrome Line Exterior

Tech Package

  • Multi-function for steering wheel
  • 3-Spoke Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • Passenger Airbag Deactivation Switch
  • Radio BOOST CD
  • CD Preparation
  • Basic Bluetooth with USB Audio

Salt Package

  • Floor Mats in velour
  • Passenger Seat Height Adjustment
  • Storage Compartment Pack
  • Front Fog Lights
  • On Board Computer
  • Interior Lights Pack

The MINI First is available to order now from all MINI UK dealers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      when comparing prices in the UK, dont forget that Tax is included in the price.
        • 6 Years Ago
        On MINI.co.uk, a configured car price is shown as:

        Total price
        Net price
        VAT 15%
      • 6 Years Ago
      Comparing the US Mini Cooper base price ($18,550) and the UK Mini Cooper base price (£13,715), the $-£ difference is about 74%.

      From there we can extrapolate that from UK pricing of £10,950 for the First, if it were to land in the US it would probably be around $14,800.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Starting at £10,950 (or about $17,950 USD unadjusted for Britain's costlier car market)...."

        RTFA. :D
        • 6 Years Ago
        I read the article - that's the unadjusted price in pure dollars to pounds. My numbers are an attempt to extrapolate a probable US price based on the percentage difference between the US and UK prices.

        RTFA, and the RTF comment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So even this basic model gets auto start/stop and regenerative braking, yet those features are still removed from even a $40,000 US MINI to save costs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Have no fear, it doesn't really have regenerative braking, it has the BMW system where they just turn the alternator off for some periods during acceleration and steady-state. Also, start-stop sucks.

        Expect both to show here soon either way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What is taken off/out of the (USA) base Cooper that reduces the price this much? I thought the base Cooper was pretty stripped out (lots of optional stuff) and the engine is nothing too exciting.
        • 6 Years Ago
        U.S market base Mini Cooper comes with a larger more powerful 1.6l engine with about 115 hp and alloy wheels, but there are probably other things too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd totally rock it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a pathetic power output. Most competitors engines make about 100hp, and the specific output is a wheezing 57hp/L
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you want more horsepower, buy a model with more horsepower. What are you going to do with your horsepower anyway?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most competitors make 100HP? I don't agree.

        A Polo E makes 60HP, same with the Match . Even the 3rd model Polo up makes only 80HP.

        This is an entry level model.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Awesome. Hopefully this comes state-side.
      BTW, whats with this combined fuel consumption BS?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's the European rating system. On a US scale, this would be a bit less than 40mpg combined I think.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If this thing were in America and it retained the hill-start gizmos, I'd be sold.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Smart move.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is indeed some crazy value-per-dollar (er, pound). The cheapest Dodge Caliber you can buy lists for £13,200, and even a Chevy Lacetti (aka Suzuki Reno) starts at £10,080. Saving £1-3K on a car that's in another league in terms of style, interior quality, and chassis refinement is a no-brainer.

        Good on MINI for giving its lineup a timely, and highly relevant, mid-cycle shot in the arm.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this really so different from the Cooper that it requires a completely seperate model name? Seems more like just a different trim package for the Cooper, not a different model.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In Europe there's already a Mini One, 'Cooper' is reserved for the more powerful versions, so you'll have:

      Mini First (1.4, 75 bhp)
      Mini One D (1.6, turbo diesel 90 bhp)
      Mini One (1.4, 95 bhp)
      Mini Cooper D (1.6 turbo diesel 110 bhp)
      Mini Cooper (1.6 120 bhp)
      Mini Cooper S (1.6 turbo 160 bhp)
      Mini John Cooper Works (1.6 turbo 211 bhp)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, I think the First version is probably just a marketing ploy to lower the price without upsetting current customers, as it will cost just as much to make since it's near identical to the One version. Just a little tweak to the ECU.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think by Europe you mean the UK. There are typically different models in different countries.

        This kind of thing is done all the time in the UK and Europe. There are 6 models of VW Polo. It's done pretty much for the reason you think it is. They make a cheaper model but limit the options and such on it (and sometimes paint colors too). Thus the cheaper model brings them in the door and offers a theoretical lower entry price, but the options are limited enough that you will be heavily tempted to move up to the next model which not only offers the option you want but charges you more for all the standard features too, raising the overall cost to the customer. It does allow them to scoop up some lower-end customers and compete with the used market, but it also operates as a mild form of bait-and-switch since the profit margins are poor on the stripper models and they really want you to buy the higher-end models. US and Japanese companies do similar things, just in a slightly different fashion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Basically the worldwide edition of the italian Mini Ray used to counter the 500.
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