MINI One D | Part Eight

Dial-a-MINI: MINI’s instrument panel with its large, central speedometer is a proud throwback to the car’s heritage.

The speedo also houses the fuel tank and engine temperature gauges, the service interval indicator and tyre pressure indicator. It is edged in a silver frame and fronted with non-reflecting glass.

The standard rev counter sits in front of the driver on the steering column – a clear reminder that driving enjoyment isn’t all about top speed, but also well-timed gear shifts and power availability.

If the optional navigation system is ordered, the speedo moves next to the rev counter, with the satellite navigation display taking its place in the central dial. The height-adjustable steering wheel has a multifunction option giving direct operation of the stereo system and the cruise control.

Fingertip control: A trim strip below the dash houses up to six toggle switches that are another modern interpretation of a classic MINI design.

The designers could have elected to use cheaper push buttons for the functions (electric windows, front and the rear fog lights, ASC+T/ DSC, central locking), but toggles offer a more practical and emotive quality. Above the toggles, the central dash houses the controls for the stereo system, air re-circulation, heated rear window, windscreen blower switch plus air conditioning and heated windscreen switches when either are specified. An LED display indicates temperature and blower power.

On the floor panel between the driver and front passenger are a lighter, cupholder and an ashtray. To the rear are control switches for the side mirrors, heated seat switches (when ordered) and the reset button for the tyre pressure indicator.

A further cupholder is also integrated into the unit for the rear passengers.

Fasten your four seat belts: MINI One D is economy conscious and a practical four-seater.

Doors offer easy access to the rear with an innovative front seat tilting mechanism that also slides the seat forward in one movement. The seats’ memory function returns the backrest and cushion to the starting position when the squab is pushed back.

Headroom, front and back, is impressive with comfortable bucket rear seats able to park two adults with ease. Rear armrests are integrated in the side trim and rear seats also incorporate three-point seat belts and adjustable headrests. ISOFIX child seat fittings are also available as an option. The rear seats can be split 50:50 and fold forward almost horizontally with easy-to-use latches accessed from the boot. All MINIs are able to carry a maximum load of 430 kilos (948 lb) and the total loading capacity with seats folded is a highly practical 670 litres. With both seats up, MINI’s boot offers 150 litres of space. The MINI One D can also be fitted with a towbar with an unbraked towing capacity of 500 kilos (1100lbs). With brakes, the trailer towing load can be increased to 650 kilos (1435lbs).
continues... | Part Nine
Published 1 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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