MINI drops diesel derivatives

  • Facelifted MINI range reflects British image
  • Union flag tail lights
  • And only one diesel option

It may have adopted some stylish flag motifs in the tail light design, but 2018’s MINI really reflects changing British values under the bonnet and in specification. A reduced range of engine capacities is paired with a restricted choice of trim levels.

2018 MINI Hatch and Cabriolet

Drivers in the United Kingdom are buying fewer diesels – if not directly as a result of the emissions scandal, then perhaps disillusionment with the weight and lack of refinement associated with the fuel, and the rise of low-capacity, high-output petrol engines that combine quieter soundtracks and smoother power delivery with ever better economy and emissions.

Three new MINI models reflect this trend, as only one trim level is offered with a diesel engine for both three and five door hatchbacks – the mid-range Cooper D – and the MINI Convertible has dropped diesel entirely.

Entry-level MINI One hatch models now get a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine producing 102hp, 180Nm and 111g/km of CO2 (109g/km with automatic transmission), replacing the 1.2 entry-level without any real change in outputs, though there’s a small improvement in fuel economy.

Though the manual has a lower list price of £15,760 vs £15,965 for the automatic, the auto sits in a lower BIK bracket of 22% for 2018/19 – the manual models are 24%.

The Cooper hatch gets a slightly higher state of tune, with 136hp and a small increase in emissions over the 102hp model – which increases futher with some options (but still below 119g/km regardless of transmission choice or equipment).

Next up in the petrol range is the Cooper S hatch, which retains a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 192hp – bestowing an impressive 0-62mph time of 6.8 seconds upon the sporty city car. Emissions are below 139g/km, too.

And then there is the sole diesel model…

Lowest emissions, but BIK tax penalties apply for MINI Cooper D Hatch

Previously the appeal of the MINI Cooper D would be undeniable – 116hp with 220NM, and in automatic form emissions of 99g/km. That is reflected in the performance, too, with a combined average economy of 74.3mpg and 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds.

The current policy of taxing diesel cars at a higher rate, however, means the first-year VED is bumped up a band for the Cooper D hatch and BIK is 4% higher than comparable petrol cars – 2018/19 will be 24% for the auto and 25% for the manual.




BIK rate

Monthly cost*

MINI One 1.5 Auto





MINI Cooper D Auto





MINI Cooper S Sport-Auto





Until real-world emissions results begin to filter through, the diesel supplement on benefit-in-kind rates, higher first-year VED and a general anti-diesel push will continue despite the efforts made to clean up the technology. Advantages remain for long-distance drivers, too – the MINI Cooper D is likely to achieve real economy closer to claimed figures and go further per gallon.

The same range limitations apply to the five-door MINI hatchback, and the MINI Convertible has ditched diesel entirely – coming with a choice of 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre petrol power only.

* assuming 20% taxpayer and no additional options.

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