MINI 5 Door Review
So finally Mini have slapped a couple of extra doors onto their best-selling hatch to create the first-ever Mini 5-door. Strictly that isn’t true because the Mini Countryman has 5-Doors but according to Mini it is in a totally different segment and isn’t a Mini….. But is a Mini. You’re probably as confused as I am but it matters little because this a very significant move for the Oxford car-maker and one that will make a huge difference for Mini as a brand.
The market for 5-Door cars in the sub Golf/Focus/Astra market is huge. Most Polos, Fiestas, Clios etc are all bought with 5-Doors. Since 2003 Mini don’t seem to have really cared about that, but at some point an accountant sitting in a boardroom somewhere in Germany has noticed the huge market and thought it was about time they started to exploit it. And judging by what we have tested, exploit it they will.
Whilst many manufacturers may have just slapped on some extra doors and be done with it, Mini instead decided to re-engineer large parts of the car. The car is bigger than it’s 3-Door sibling. This means better access, more headroom, more legroom and a bigger boot. It should be called the Mini Practical.
This extra space will mean that buyers who couldn’t make the normal Mini work within their lifestyle, can now return to the showrooms. Mini is hoping that young families with an eye for style will start looking at the Mini 5-Door as a perfect companion for their busy lives. Personally they should do. Every other car in this segment that has 5-Doors, whether that be a premium brand like Audi or a more sensible brand like Ford cannot compete for sheer practicality or rear cabin comfort compared with the new Mini.
As for the rest of the car, it’s business as usual, so it’ll sell like hot-cakes.
5 Door MINI On the Road
The Mini 5-Door will come with all the usual engine flavours but only two were available on the day of my first taste of the car. The first car was the Cooper petrol model which like all current Minis, was turbocharged. It felt quick but not rampant and should satisfy the average persons thirst for performance. Gear change was slick and overall the driving experience was very Mini-like. That is a big compliment as the normal Mini is right up there for putting a smile on your face. The usual Mini quirks are there. Such as the run-flat tires which I personally do not like. Also the car can feel a little choppy on a rough undulating country B-road. That is the price you pay for a sporty-ride.
We then have the Diesel Cooper or Cooper D 5 door to be Mini specific. I didn’t expect to like this car all that much. I generally don’t like diesels in something ‘Sporty’ but I was quite shocked to be honest. It was better than the petrol. It went better, it sounded better and the throttle response was more suited to the car. The more I drove it the more I found myself thinking that you’d be mad to buy the petrol over the diesel. Add in the economy and tax benefits then it seems like the obvious choice. Either way I recommend driving both back-to-back to see which one is most suitable for you but for us the D wins hands down.
Looks are subjective and to my eyes the current Mini doesn’t look as good as the last one. That being said I think they have done a pretty good job of adding two extra doors. When we first saw the original images, something didn’t quite fit, but the production model definitely grows on you from the first second. It has all the standard Mini cues that owners love and there will be no doubt about what you are driving. Most of the changes are subtle when you look at the car from behind or straight on. Only when you look at it from the side can you really appreciate the extra length of the Mini 5-Door.
Inside The 5 Door Mini
Inside it would appear that it is business as usual up front. Having run a version of the previous generation for a while I can categorically say that quality is much improved and standard items such as DAB radio are welcome on the latest models. The optional large screen sat-nav/infotainment system is also a welcome addition and Mini say that the screen is biggest in class and it was reasonably easy to use. The quality of the screen was really very good too.
The biggest change is obviously in the back. There was a surprisingly decent amount of legroom and I do not doubt Mini’s claim of best in class. Headroom was impressive too and should be fine for all but the tallest of us. Mini have also managed to make the boot a bit bigger so the new 5-Door is more practical pretty much everywhere.
MINI 5 Door Review Conclusion
You can have your Mini 5-Door in all the same flavours as the 3-Door car. There are some things such as wheels that are specific to the 5-Door but overall things remain the same. To work out the pricing all you need to do is spec up your ideal 3-Door and just add £600 to the price which given the extra space and practicality is a bit of a bargain. You can also expect the same great residuals that you get with the normal car making leasing and finance deals better value than some cheaper alternatives.
Want one? Well the car will be launched on the 25th of October and I have no doubt that it will be a huge success for Mini.