If you like everything about the standard MINI hatchback but have been put off by the compact dimensions and lack of rear doors, then you’re in luck. This is the new MINI 5-door hatchback, and while it may be based on the same underpinnings, it’s actually substantially longer – resulting in more passenger space and a bigger boot.
It sits somewhere between the Volkswagen Polo and Volkswagen Golf, rivalling both for interior quality. There’s a range of brilliant petrol and diesel engines and prospective buyers will be pleased to hear it’s lost none of its driving fun. Just like the three-door, you can throw it into a bend, and the car will speed round with very little body lean and plenty of grip.
The beauty of the MINI 5-door is that it doesn’t sacrifice any of the standard car’s character – meaning it’s just as fun to drive, with great range of peppy petrol and diesel engines.
It might sound like a cliché, but the MINI really does handle like a go-kart. The light but accurate steering ensures the car goes exactly where you point it, while the firm – but not uncomfortable – suspension means there is very little body lean in the corners.
The engine line-up mirrors the standard hatch, with a variety of economical but quick petrol and diesel options. From launch the range starts with the standard MINI Cooper 5-door (though a slower and more economical One and One D diesel will join later), which feels plenty quick enough for most drivers. It’ll do 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds, with the automatic gearbox actually reducing that to 8.1 seconds. We’d avoid it though – as the manual is really very good indeed.
The MINI 5-door Cooper S will be the performance-enthusiasts choice, though, hitting 62mph in less than seven seconds.
If you want all the good bits of the standard MINI, but with a bit more space throughout, then this could be the car for you. From the driver’s seat it feels exactly the same, but look in the rear view mirror and you’ll notice the rear seats and bootlid are a bit further away.
It gets the same stylish dashboard and logically laid out infotainment system. On models specified with sat-nav, the big central screen oozes quality, and several neat features make it feel like a truly upmarket family car.
Take a seat in the back and you’ll find plenty of headroom and legroom – even behind a six foot driver. It’s certainly more comfortable than a Ford Fiesta, despite its stylish design.
In addition to the lengthened wheelbase, there’s also an extra 89mm of bodywork at the back – resulting in an extra 50 litres of bootspace. That means unlike the three-door hatch, there should be plenty of space for all the family’s paraphernalia. The 278-litre boot is slightly down on the Ford Fiesta’s 290 litres, but it’s a decent enough space that is easy to access.
Also worth consideration is the car’s safety credentials. While it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP yet, the MINI 5-door boasts plenty of tech that should help keep you safe on the road. There are plenty of airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, and even a pop-up bonnet to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision.