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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mini 5-door hatchback 7th report

Date: 11 June 2015   |   Author:

Equipment: Six-airbags, cruise control, Mini Connected, air-con, DAB, USB, aux, Bluetooth, 8.8 inch display, front and rear Isofix, tyre repair kit or spacesaver, heated mirrors
Options:Media XL pack £1175, Chili pack £2250, 17-inch alloys £450, Bonnet stripes £80, Chrome Line interior £110, Heated seats, £215, Rear parking sensors £260, LED headlights with cornering £695
Why we're running it: To find out if the Mini is the best five-door premium supermini available for corporate drivers

While there is much to love about the Mini, cycling through menus on its infotainment system is
overly complex.

I listen to a lot of different podcasts on my commute and the car links to my iPod easily enough, but actually finding what you want to listen to is overly complex. It means that it actually becomes quite distracting looking down to the left on the central display to sift through menus
and sub-menus in order to find the right podcast or album you're looking for.

There is a bit of a shift in the way manufacturers are tackling this problem, with some opting for more touchscreen options (which can be even more difficult to use on bumpy UK roads) or voice functionality. I had a quick go with our long-term Mondeo's Sync2 voice-activated system and it played a podcast with me just saying "play Empire podcast" and correctly selected the right file.

This is in contrast to the Mini, which thought I wanted to go somewhere in Essex, after asking me to pause and voice several different commands to get to where I wanted through the menus. It's frustrating and it's not slick enough to persevere with it.

It's interesting to see how far behind car makers are compared with the technology on our phones, and there's even a contrast between manufacturers, in the case of Ford and BMW. How long will it be before they totally hand over that control to the software giants?

 

Mini Hatch 5dr Cooper 1.5D 116

Mileage                                                                7374
Official consumption                                       78.5mpg
Our average consumption                               51.0mpg
Forecast/actual CPM                                  42.2p/43.7p
P11D price                                                        £20,420
Model price range                               £14,350-£21,860
Residual value                                                     40.6%
Depreciation                                                      £12,120
Fuel cost                                                              £4125
SMR cost                                                              £1918
VED                                                                            £0
National Insurance                                                  1353
CO2 tax (tax)                                            95g/km (15%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                     £51/£102

Verdict


  • Drawing tech for satnav
  • Using a connected iPod is a lesson in patience

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