Premium does not equal high cost. Nor does a move further upscale mean MINI will turn its back on the style and performance that has made the brand such a success over the years. Now with that out let’s get to the why, how and when.

BMW held onto MINI after the Rover debacle for a few reasons. The ability to lower corporate MPG numbers was certainly one. Another was about placing a smart bet that dipping its corporate toe in a front wheel drive small car brand would be a good idea for the future. And what better brand to do that with than the one that invented the segment.

Fast forward 15 years later and MINI has been full integrated into the BMW family. Not only every generation but every year since that 2001 R50 launch, MINIs have become more integrated into the BMW family. Some would say they’ve become small BMWs. Or you could look at it as BMW has allowed MINI to make better MINIs. Either way the level of refinement and sophistication (not to mention performance and efficiency) has risen dramatically.


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