GMC Hummer EV Tesla Cybertruck vs. GMC Hummer EV 2021 Genesis GV80 2021 Ford Bronco 2020 electric vehicles Best car lease deals Best car insurance
Mini

2019 Mini Cooper Hardtop and Convertible refreshes Detroit-bound

New lighting and smarter cabin tech top the list of changes.

Mini fans, rejoice, because your little Anglo-Teutonic go-karts are getting a refresh for the 2019 model year, sort of.

The Mini Cooper and its various derivatives have garnered legions of fans since hitting the US market in 2002, and while the Mini name is no longer a particularly apt descriptor for the brand's offerings, the current F55/66 generation that debuted in 2014 has remained a popular choice among those looking for a smallish fun car.

Today, Mini announced refreshed versions of its F55/66 Mini Cooper Hardtop (both two-door and four-door) and Convertible models are headed for next week's Detroit Auto Show. The most-significant 2019 model-year exterior changes come in the form of three new colors, optional LED headlights and new LED Union Jack taillights.

We'll pause here to give Mini fans a chance to rejoice over Union Jack taillights, and everyone else a chance to cringe a little.

New lightweight wheels are available, and all new Minis will receive the company's redone corporate badge, which is more basic and flat-looking than the previous set of wings. Particularly cheeky buyers will be able to further customize their cars with custom badging and emblems as part of the Mini Yours program announced late last year.

Inside, the Cooper gets wireless phone charging as an option, as well as a new center-mounted touchscreen and a revamped multifunction steering wheel. Other changes inside include standard Bluetooth, more leather options, optional Mini logo puddle lights and further customization options through Mini Yours.

Tech upgrades include Mini Connected integration. Mini Connected offers real-time traffic with 4G LTE connectivity, Apple CarPlay support (sorry, Android fans) and automatic emergency calling. These features are supported by an in-vehicle SIM card.

Mini Find Mate also makes its debut in the hatchbacks and cabriolet. Mini Find Mate essentially uses RFID tags to allow you to track your personal belongings. We've seen this technology from other manufacturers, but it's cool to see it in something like the Mini.

While it isn't a comprehensive update concerning driving dynamics, the new aesthetics are mostly pleasant, and any kind of tech update is welcome.