MINI USA Introduces the Entry Level MINI Cooper Signature Line

MINI Cooper Signature Line is all about MINIUSA getting serious about offering value to customers. While we’d argue there’s already plenty of value to be found (especially in the F56, F55 and F54), US sales would show that there’s clearly more that can be done. To that end MINI USA has created a package that brings a handful of key options to customers for the lowest price possible.

Think of the MINI Cooper Signature Line as a value pack for people who want a minimalist approach to a MINI. To that point the line gives you four options:

  • Upgraded paint (see options above)
  • 16” Black Victory Spoke Wheels
  • White turn signals
  • Heated seats

Normally those options would be $3100. With the Signature Line they’re just $2200 over the Cooper’s base price of $21,600 for the two door and $22,600 for the four door.

Our Take: This is a great way for dealers to pass value onto shoppers but we can’t help but be disappointed at the automatic only configuration. We would love to see a manual version of the Signature Line. Perhaps call it Signature Line Sport and add on Dynamic damper control, 17” wheels and bonnet stripes? Or maybe skip the wheels and add sport seats? Pricing would be identical and would offer performance oriented buyers a chance to walk out the door under $25k.

According to MINI USA the Signature Line was developed in response to dealer feedback, who shared our customers’ wish for an uncomplicated way to join the MINI family. Put simply this is car offers potential owners a way into the brand for a low monthly price.

That aside what is interesting about the Signature Line is that it would appear that MINI is trying to get more lower priced cars on dealer lots. There’s an entire marketing campaign ready to roll and plenty of MINI USA dealer support to sell lots of Signature Line equipped Coopers. In reading between the lines it’s clear that MINI USA is looking to increase volumes, lower it’s buyer’s average age and simplify dealer ordering.

Perhaps even more interesting we’re hearing that MINI USA is considering eliminating all packages in 2019 cars and going with “Lines” similar to BMW. There would still be plenty of options available outside of the lines but the concept would be intended to reduce the complexity of the ordering process.

We’re optimistic it may just do that. But we can’t help but feel that MINI needs to address the enthusiast in its potentially “Line” strategy. It could also help with previous MINI owners who are looking for an inexpensive way back into the brand.

Look for Signature Line cars to arrive to showrooms in Late August and early September.

  • ulrichd

    Just automatic? What happened to “Safe The Manuals”?

  • Rob Rex

    I’m surprised they don’t just offer the One in the US as a loss leader.

    • MINIUSA sources have told us in the past the biggest issue with a One in the U.S. is the price to power ratio wouldn’t make sense for the U.S. market. Meaning the cost wouldn’t be low enough for the lower power output to make sense.

      • Rob Rex

        Makes sense to me.

  • glangford

    Well that’s a step in the right direction. I’ve contended that mini is not the value proposition it was once, but is now a full fledged premium small car. This helps.

  • Christopher Johnson

    I’m sure that this will help, but hopefully, this is a sign that MINIUSA is ready to start taking some innovative actions that will help increase volume in a bigger way. Since buying a MINI in 2006, I’ve helped 5 friends and family becoming MINI owners. Based on that (admittedly limited) personal experience, I would say that MINI owners fall into two major camps: performance oriented “sport” drivers and those who want a “not normal” kind of car. While price is somewhat a factor, I’ve found that perceived “value” is the major reason for people to go with something other than MINI. This is more a concern with the “not normal” category of buyers as every “sport” potential buyer has ended up in a MINI.

    The signature line should help at the lower end, but once you get past that price point I think that having a technology version of the signature line idea would really help. Especially, since the lack of perceived value is typically due to the cost of “technology” options for MINI. I know in the few cases where I know people who test drove a MINI and then went another way (GTI and gasp Prius) because they couldn’t get the tech they “needed” in a MINI they wanted at a competitive price compared to the other cars.

  • CA-MINI

    Good idea, and I think it will be successful lifting sales volume. With regard to MINI in the future adopting the BMW “lines” approach, I really hope this doesn’t dilute or limit the ability to order a MINI the way you want it. In all of the discussion about the cars I rarely hear the fact that MINI still allows so much customization to the buyer as an asset. I think it is a huge asset and something MINI marketing needs to emphasize more. Most cars just offer 2-3 trim levels, and 2-3 major option bundles, and then some dealer add-on stuff. I think most auto consumers are frustrated with having to take stuff they don’t want just to get a feature they do, or having to give up a feature/s because they aren’t offered at a given trim level. MINI let’s you get right where you want and that’s a great thing. Anyway, for the purpose of a value oriented offering, I think the hope Signature is a step in the right direction towards bringing new buyers to the MINI brand

  • jabostick

    They’ve done something similar in canada for several years. The ‘Knightsbridge’ was a base Mini that came in two colours and had a few extra options baked in (sunroof, heated seats, and bluetooth at the time). Not sure if it is still something that’s marketed though

  • R.O.

    A few thoughts on the Signature Line program/plan. Backup Camera inclusion, well by 2018 all new cars in the US will be required to have this feature. I don’t see this as a special spec for the Signature Line MINI.

    Halogen Headlights. Come on, standard should be HID, LED as upgrade. Even the Hyundai Elantra Sport at $21,650 comes with HID headlights.

    None of the 4 colors would are appealing to me. Don’t know why a Silver or Gray isn’t one of the choices. Silver and Gray are very popular. White turn signals – really? Sure if MINI included HID headlights but with halogen. White Turn signal not really much value.

    On the “Lines” idea, problem with that (Not only BMW but other car Mfg’s too) it usually includes something buyers don’t want. For me that’s usually a sunroof/moonroof. I “hate” Sunroofs/Moonroofs and often they are included in a safety package or other line that just doesn’t fit/match the other items.

    If MINI offered the “delete” option for the sunroof as they currently do for the Countryman, and the buyer does the delete, should get some kind of credit or comparable replace option choice.

    Who knows, maybe the Signature Line program will work and increase sales in the US. Regarding the “eliminating all packages in 2019 cars and going with “Lines” – Young buyers including millenniums want customization, don’t think it will work for MINI.

  • sam

    That’s a rather small dollar savings to lock yourself into a configuration you might not want. Better to pick what you want and negotiate a better price. MINI sales are in a funk, they need to move cars so sharpen your pencils.

  • Steve Wellen

    What is the difference between a line and a package?