MINI 4G Connectivity and New Features are Coming to Every Model in March

MINI 4G connectivity is coming to all models beginning with March production along with a host of new features and functionality. This change was originally thought to be just for facelifted models (the two door, four door and convertible) is actually rolling out to all MINIs. While it may seem small, this change allows for a host of new digital functionality as well as ushering in an all new head unit. While the displays and controls may look identical, there’s a substantial upgrade to processor and graphics speed creating a more fluid user experience on all models. For the first time this means that all MINIs will have the same infotainment experience.

MINI 4G Connectivity

What MINI 4G Connectivity Means

Better app connectivity and remote services for one. Using the app you can now remotely control, lights, locks and the climate control along with locating your vehicle in real time (rather than just the last position). In all the app has been updated to include Time-to-Leave Notifications (push messages that take into account your calendar and location), Send to Car (for importing destinations from a smartphone to the car – this is improved over the current experience), Remote Services (e.g. for locking the car’s doors from a smartphone) and – in electrified MINI models – a charging timer, charging station search facility and personal efficiency status display.

But there’s much more than that. 4G gives MINI drivers advanced real time traffic data rather than the current experience which only updates every 7-8 minutes over radio. In addition the connectivity allows MINI to update maps seamlessly over the air. These map specific features will come bundled with MINI’s Navigation XL.

Teleservices such as concierge and emergency calls will be standard with the 4G connection as well. The MINI Concierge Service is all new and will be able to be a resource for MINI owners while driving. The Concierge can be contacted by telephone 24 hours a day to source information and address data, research connections and offer travel tips.

How Much Will This All Cost?

Now for the really good news. Everything we’ve detailed above comes absolutely free. The map related features obviously are bundled to the Navigation XL option but everything else you see above comes standard with every MINI sold in the US.

CarPlay is Now Standard on the Navigation XL

Unlike BMW, MINI has decided to not charge for Apple’s CarPlay. MINI’s parent brand has previously charged $300 for the right to use CarPlay in your BMW. However recently they’ve announced a move to a $80 a year subscription model (much to the irritation of BMW fans). We asked MINI USA about this and they made it clear that they have no plans to move in that direction with CarPlay and will continue to bundle it with the Navigation XL option.

standard on the larger screen and will

  • bob2001bu

    Why in the world this should be available only with new MINIs? What about 1-2 year old ones?

    • The hardware from 1-2 years ago doesn’t have the necessary power or even cellular capability.

  • Aniawn

    This news brings up two questions from me: 1. It sounds like there will be a graphical update to the 2019 model year MINIs. Is this the same graphical update we saw to last year’s Countryman and Clubman?

    1. Is it feasible, or even possible, to replace the head unit on a current F56 (equipped with Navigation XL) with the new units that are coming out?

    The more I read about the new features/upgrades coming with the LCI, the more I regret being put into a situation that caused me to order my new MINI in mid January of this year.

      1. Yes
      2. Not without $1000s in component and installation costs. This is a holistic change to the technology in the car and that could include quite a few components. Also it’s worth nothing there’s really not even a single head unit in new cars.

      Regret always happens when the next thing comes out. Feel better knowing that this is an extremely light LCI compared to any previous LCI.

      • Aniawn

        Thanks, Gabe. So what we are seeing are the upgrades from last year’s Countryman and Clubman being incorporated into the rest of the line, while adding 4G LTE and some new features to go with it. Makes you wonder why last year’s Countryman and Clubman did not have 4G LTE. I am interested in knowing where the LTE module is located (either in the head unit, or closer to the antenna).

        Thanks for words of console, Gabe. I guess I am feeling the sting of knowing that the new models will be going on sale within days of me picking my new MINI, and heartache from the sudden loss of my R53 after having it for 14 years.

    • birbilis

      Same for me here! Ordered in November with production estimate for 02/18. Most of the teleservices probably won’t work here. But it’s very irritating that I’m not getting the latest gear for a just few days…

      • b-

        So just wait a bit longer?

        • birbilis

          Unfortunately that’s not an option with a built-to-order car!

        • Sure it is… Tell the dealer you want to give up your build slot for a later build… The dealer will still take delivery on your current build and sell it once it arrives.

          You would just have to be willing to wait for the next available build slot…

    • Dani22

      I felt the same way. For other reasons, I was in a position where I needed to order my F56 in December. I knew these changes were coming and I really want some of the new features. Timing just wasn’t right for for us I guess My car arrived last week and I’m more than happy with it. Hopefully you will be too, when yours arrives. Sorry about you R53 🙁

  • AnthLC

    It will be nice if this means Mini connect works in Australia and also Apple CarPlay. But next year 5G is coming out in most countries and why I have delayed upgrading my phone. It is good Mini will finally go 4G but I have to think why the delay in using “current” tech. Mini forums explain why Mini connect fails to work in Australia is because it uses 2G which has been turned off by most teleco’s.

    Why can’t BMW design Mini connect to use a person’s mobile phone connectivity to avoid latency in adopting the lastest mobile technology.

    • Roger Sinsheimer

      I know this is an old post, but I do feel it’s worth noting for everyone — 5G is notcoming out in most countries next year, not with any meaningful coverage. It will be at least 2020 — if not considerably longer — before we see 5G in many locations. Don’t believe the marketing hype.

      • AnthLC

        My comment was more about BMW future proofing the tech they use in the Mini. In Australia 2G had long ago been turned off and was the reason why Mini connect never ever worked in Australia.

        5G is on the radar in terms of current tech it will be here this year or next for most modern countries. Believe the hype it will be a game changer. It be faster then most people’s home broadband.

        Mini just updated the Mini this year and won’t be happening again until after 2020-22.

        Surely BMW should have added 5G capacity now or the ability to upgrade in a year or so. Simple cause it will be the standard in a year or two and most cheaper makes will have it as standard on cars built by then. Like I said before if Mini connects were to simple tethered to your phone internet then Mini would be future proof.

        When you consider BMW connect works in Australia it should have also work for the Mini too.

        Also with the delayed turn around in new models for the Mini. I mean F56 came out in 2014 and LCI refresh 2018. The current Mini will be close to 10 years old when a full model refresh is available around 2022 or later. By then 6G will be on the horizon and what you bet Mini then will only get 5G.

        So if you are going to have such long turn around time in terms of model refreshes you need to future proof the Mini so tech wise it doesn’t become dated with other makers.

        • Roger Sinsheimer

          I’m with you in spirit — any time we buy hardware that’s bolted to a car we know we’re buying obsolescence.

          As for 5G — I work in the industry and I can tell you we haven’t even got an agreed-upon 5G standard yet much less hardware in the field in any kind of volume. Yes, it’s been tested under very controlled circumstances where every piece of the network including the receivers were all controlled by a single source. There are almost 100 “use cases” that all fit under the “5G” umbrella (including V2V communications, for a car-relevant aspect) and just about none of it is fixed in terms of how it will interoperate yet.

          So I can’t fault BMW / MINI for not including it when there’s no source for the hardware and no agree-upon spec’ that they can hang their hat on. As I said before, while there’s lots of hype going on the fact is that the 5G we’re hearing about in the popular press is not imminent. We’ll get there, by 2022 there will be something to get serious about.

        • AnthLC

          I was hoping this year was the year for 5G rollout as my phone won’t last that much longer and I don’t want buy a new one if 5G is just over the horizon. Supposes just need to wait a little longer. 🙂

          Yeah agree if standard not there then BMW/Mini wouldn’t be able to add it.

          I imagine if Mini does the electric Mini in 2022 and with 5G you could have you car serviced by the mechanic from home. They just connect to the car and just and adjust remotely.