Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1397, (7 - 20 June 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1397, (7 - 20 June 2018)

Ahram Weekly

The new Mini in Egypt

It’s a Mini but requires a huge pile of money to park one in your garage 

Quite a deep pocket is what it takes to get a new car today. What if you are looking for a well-made German model? You would definitely be declared the champion of your gang if you were able to get your hands on one. When it takes a good amount of money, long lasting satisfaction is a must.

Last week Mini Cooper Egypt revealed the new line for 2018 in a glowing Ramadan night. Two cars were displayed in the event, the five-door saloon and the attractive Cabrio. The Cabrio turned heads with its unique red colour, black sporty stripes and many details down the list like Britain’s flags on the soft top and tail lights. The car is not that big, but we already know it’s a Mini so let’s not mention space. As we know the Mini is owned by BMW so we expect it to share some clothes with its sister. The Idrive with all the controls like in any BMW are there, and the toggle switches are everywhere on the dash with a stylish red backlight. The seats are a mixture of leather and alcantara, not so reliable in a dusty environment like in Egypt. Adding to that it’s a Cabrio. The back seats are big enough to put your beach bag and towels or your toddlers. The Cabrio looks so nice but never gives you that feeling it can withstand being a daily user in Egypt with the roads, weather, maintaining the soft top and assuring it will remain unharmed every time you park your car on the street. The five-door hatch is totally the opposite; it’s a car for a small family with a maximum two kids.

New Mini

The Mini Cooper lines come with a very attractive engine, the B38 3 cylinder 1.5L turbo charged from BMW. The Cooper has the same engine first introduced in the BMW I8 in 2013. In the new Mini the straight 3 engine produces 220NM of torque and 134hp with a limited top speed of 210km/h. The engine is well known to be friendly to the environment as well as your pocket. While it’s a must to feed it 95 octane, it consumes only 5,3 litres every 100 kms, with start stop that saves some juice in traffic.

Now comes the price. The base line three doors is LE480,000, while the price goes up through the lines, reaching the Cabrio at LE670,000 and up to the most expensive of them all, the Club Man which is sold at LE750,000.

New Mini

For the base line it sounds competitive among the Mercedes B class and the BMW 1 series, with many advantages. The Mini is nearly 55k cheaper, looks better, and has the same engine as the BMW, the same Idrive. But going up the Mini lines, prices start to make no sense and questions keep popping up, like what is this model offering that’s different from the previous one? Maybe this Mini is bigger than that Mini but it doesn’t make sense. So while the baseline price is appealing, for the Cabrio, the car is an eye catcher but you won’t get it unless you have already fallen in love with it. By then you will be begging to pay. For the Club Man, the competition is fierce. Even within BMW, you can get the new X1 at less the price, even a 3 series 318i or a 320i, Mercedes CLA and Audi Q2.

If someone is asking whether the Mini still has an English DNA, rest assured you will get the flag of Great Britain, if you are unique enough to get the car.

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