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The 2011 Mini Cooper: Slight Changes to Model Line Up

Mini has also made HD Radio and Sirius Radio standard

This fall, Mini will release its 2011 lineup that includes updated versions of its hardtop hatchback, the Cooper and Cooper S, as well as the convertible and Clubman models.

As usual, there isn’t much that looks different on the outside to the casual observer, but Mini does enough to make the refresh interesting as we wait on the new Countryman SUV next year.

The front and back get new bumpers, taillights and larger fog lights with a new placement. Frills include adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights for just $100 and black headlight housings are a no-charge option.

Inside, the most welcome change is altering the silver-colored plastic to matte black. One of our complaints of the Mini has always been the toy-like appearance and feel of its controls, and this move seems to mitigate that. Buttons and knobs for the climate and radio have also been redesigned. Mini has also made HD Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio standard; they were previously $500 options. Big brother BMW doesn’t do that. There’s also an all-new Mini Connected option with a 6.5-inch screen that integrates smart phone features including Bluetooth. Navigation will also be an available upgrade.

What about the engines? While the 1.6-liter four-cylinder in Cooper and Cooper S models remains the same, it has been upgraded to 121 and 181 horsepower, respectively. They’re slight upgrades, but the company promises fuel economy improvements, as well. Those figures will be released later this fall.

There are also new options for 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheels.

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