Mini has ditched its trademark offering of multiple bespoke trim options to ‘reduce complexity’ in its range line-up by offering a simplified three-tier line-up.
Following in the footsteps of other brands, which have taken the opportunity to streamline their ranges and available options in light to new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, the BMW-owned Mini brand said that it was simplifying the specification process and making the customer purchase journey easier.
The WLTP test takes into account the effect of different trim options – such as larger alloy wheels, spoilers and panoramic sunroof – on emissions as a result of added weight or aerodynamic drag.
Three new distinctive styles are now available to Mini buyers: Classic, Sport and Exclusive.
Customers can also choose from a series of option packs to further personalise their vehicle, however.
The brand said in a statement that personalisation “remains at the core” of Mini.
David George, director of Mini UK, said: “We know that customers today want a simple purchase experience, and this thinking has been central to the development of our new line-up.
“We have reduced complexity in our product offering, and harmonised options across the whole range, ensuring an easy customer journey whether in one of our retailers or on mini.co.uk.”
Prices for Mini’s new Classic specification start at £16,190 and the trim level includes 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment, a DAB digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
Sport trim starts at £20,230 in the three-door hatchback and adds a John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit and spoiler, alloys, seats, steering wheel and sports suspension.
Exclusive offers a more comfort-oriented specification, starting at the same price point.
Upgraded ‘Exclusive’ alloy wheels, chrome line exterior finish, Lounge leather upholstery, leather steering wheel, interior trim and interior chrome line finish are all part of the offering.
Other OEMs have already streamlined their model ranges to take account of the trim-by-trim test regime, as the News Insight feature in the current edition of AM magazine explores.
Seat’s Easy Move trim range treatment removes option bespoke options in favour of simplified fixed trim levels.
The brand says is responding to changing consumer habits and to the needs of millennials, but the scheme will simplify tax treatments under the WLTP and RDE test regimes.
Renault has taken similar steps, introducing its EasyLife philosophy. The move has introduced a three-trim line-up (Play, Iconic, and GT-Line) to Clio, Megane and Captur.
Cox Automotive’s Philip Nothard said that the arrival of WLTP could have sounded the “death knell” for a bespoke array of options made famous by mainstream cars like the Fiat 500 and Vauxhall Adam.
“This caused huge confusion for the sector,” Nothard said. “When a car came back into the market it was near-impossible to determine what it might be worth.
“WLTP has pretty much brought an end to all that. Along with the pressure on diesel, OEMs have taken the opportunity to slim their ranges and do away with a lot of trims and options.
“It’s a trend that is only likely to gather momentum. It makes life easier for the manufacturer and the car retailer.”