- Fun to drive
- Great interior and exterior styling
- Holds its value
- Expensive to start with
- Still not the most practical supermini
The new 5-door Mini is here, but what do you really gain from having two extra flappy appendages? Ben Griffin headed out to the Cotswolds to review the thing for himself.
The average Mini owner is young, partnered up and has one young child. So in a bid to fill the gap between the ordinary 3-door and the larger, more family friendly Countryman and Paceman, Mini has provided us with the option of a Mini Hatch with two extra doors.
The Mini 5-Door Hatch benefits from the much-improved styling of the new 3-Door Hatch and from the front and back you would struggle to tell the two apart. Side on, of course, the extra doors and slightly straighter roof line are hard to miss.
The Mini 5-Door Hatch is only 161mm longer than its sibling, 11mm taller and the wheelbase 72mm longer. Headroom has improved by 15mm, making it able to handle six-foot passengers front and rear with few issues.
The new Mini’s interior puts a lot of hatchbacks and superminis to shame. Inside it has the recognisable circular dial theme that includes a huge round display in the middle of the dash, giving you access to various infotainment functions including Twitter, Facebook and music streaming. Meanwhile the airplane-esque switches and illuminated lights remind you how much attention the company pays to detail.
The extra doors mean rear passengers don’t have to wait for those in the front to get in and out before they can. The dimension changes result in a more spacious cabin that lets the rear passengers enjoy 72mm more legroom. There’s also a ‘proper’ fifth rear seat and 61mm more elbow room, even though the width of the car is unchanged.
Only small people will want to be in the middle though, and the doors are relatively small so larger adults may find it a struggle getting in and out.
Boot space is now 278 litres, which is noticeably more than the 3-door Hatch’s 211 litres and almost on par with the Ford Fiesta‘s 290 litres and the VW Polo‘s 280 litres. That means ample room for shopping and a few suitcases when the annual airport trip comes around.
Elsewhere it’s business as usual. The 60:40 folding rear seats can be locked slightly forward for an extra bit of boot space (if your passengers are happy sitting more upright), while a folding floor either lets you hide items under it, or can be raised when the rear seats are folded forward for a completely flat surface. Alternatively drop the rear seats, lower the floor and get 941 litres to play with.
The rear doors benefit from modestly sized door bins and the back has one central drink holder, which the rear passengers are sure to argue over. Up front is a glove box and two central cup holders. It’s functional enough to survive the rigours of daily life without denting the styling.
Performance and handling
The Mini 5-door retains its ‘go-kart’ handling prowess. The three- and 5-Door Hatch sit 7mm lower than the previous generation car and and stick to the road like glue, with the steering quick to react and suspension firm enough to inspire confidence without being too stiff – an issue with the older model.
Our test car was a Mini 5-door Hatch Cooper D, which uses a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel. It manages an impressive 116hp with 270Nm of torque. 0 to 62mph takes 9.4 seconds with the joyfully crisp six-speed manual gearbox or 9.5 seconds with the six-speed Steptronic automatic, if you’re feeling lazy.
We found the Cooper D was an enjoyable drive. It picks up the pace quickly and pulls fairly well unless you are really lazy with the gear changes. The engine is slightly noisy when you gun it, but drops to an almost inaudible hum when driven sensibly.
The optional sports seats are noteworthy. The textured material, back support and huggy nature kept us locked in place when we picked up the pace. A fat person would find them a struggle to fit in, mind you.
Economy and environment
The Cooper D 5-Door Hatch offers an impressive 78.5mpg (74.3mpg with automatic) and 95g/km (99g/km with automatic) of CO2 emissions so it’s cheap to tax and run.
The petrol equivalent Cooper manages 109g/km (111g/km with automatic) and 60.1mpg (58.9mpg with automatic).
The VW Polo SEL and its 1.4-litre TDI BlueMotion manages 88g/km of CO2 emissions and 83.1mpg, but it’s noticeably less powerful as a result. slower.
Equipment and value
The Mini 5-door Hatch Cooper D starts from £17,050 – £2,700 more than the bottom of the range Mini One. Standard equipment is relatively generous, mind you. There’s electric mirrors, air conditioning, front fog lamps, Mini radio with Bluetooth and USB and an onboard computer to help you keep track of what the car’s been up to as you drive.
The car doesn’t come with a sat-nav as standard, for that you’ll need to buy the screen (Visual Boost Radio) for £260 and the map software for a further £595.
A range of upgrade packs are available including the £1,175 Media Pack XL, which upgrades the infotainment screen size from 6.5 to 8.8 inches, while adding an upgraded sat-nav, enhanced Bluetooth connectivity and a sports steering wheel with buttons to control the stereo etc.
There are also two options packs to choose from: Pepper and Chili. Pepper (£1,150) gives you 15-inch alloys instead of steel wheels, dual-zone air-con, chrome exterior highlights, floor mats, fancy interior lights, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights, an adjustable passenger seat and extra storage compartments.
The Chili pack costs £2,250 and includes part-leather upholstery, a driving mode selector, sports seats and white indicators.
It’s possible to go nuts with the spec list, for sure. Our test car was £22,210.02, which is a lot for a hatchback but this is a premium offering with enough style to help you justify the extra cost. Just.
The new Mini has yet to be smashed up in Euro NCAP testing, so we can only hazard an informed guess as to how safe it is. A previous generation Mini Cooper achieved a five-star rating, and we’d be surprised if this wasn’t at least as tough. Plenty of airbags and a slightly larger mass should help matters, as will the fact it’s nimble, grippy and has strong enough brakes to stay out of trouble in the first place.
There’s really little the Mini 5-Door Hatch can’t do. It looks the part without getting clunky and oversized on us like the Paceman and Countryman and is fantastic to drive. The fact the two extra doors only costs an extra £600 is a bargain, especially when rivals are less generous.
Anyone who liked the Mini but needed a bit more space, then, will find the 5-Door Hatch a winner. It’s just as fun to drive as the 3-door, uses the same eco-friendly engines, has a truly brilliant interior and should hold its value better than the competition. Cheaper and more practical alternatives are available, but there’s nothing quite like the Mini to make A to B fun.
Mini Cooper D 5-Door Hatch pictures
|Engine||1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel|
|Acceleration||0 to 62mph in 9.5 seconds|