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Fun, practical and economical – and the addition of two extra doors means families can now enjoy the Mini hatchback too
Darren Moss
25 September 2014

What is it?

The new five-door Mini hatchback, driven here in oilburning Cooper D form and on UK roads for the first time.

Mini is targeting a more grown-up demographic with this five-door variant. It is designed to appeal to those with more than one child or another need for more boot space and improved access to the rear seats.

To accommodate those extra doors Mini has extended the hatchback’s length to 3982mm, making it 161mm longer than the three-door version. It’s also extended the wheelbase by 72mm, while the seats-up boot capacity has grown from 211 litres to 278 litres.

That length pushes the five-door Mini not only into competition with models like the Audi A1 SportbackVolkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, but also very close to family hatchback champions like the VW Golf

As you’d expect, the five-door looks similar on the outside to the well-received three-door model. The floating roof in particular continues to help the car stand out among its rivals, while design elements like Mini’s round headlight clusters and new front grille give the car a premium look.

That upmarket theme continues inside, too, where both quality and equipment levels are good. The standard specification includes a DAB radio, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity, keyless go and electric windows all-round.

The addition of a five-door model also opens up the Mini hatchback to corporate buyers, many of whom won’t have considered the brand before. To that end, sub-100g/km CO2 emissions on the One D and Cooper D variants should help Mini get its five-door into fleets. 

So how much is it? The five-door commands a £600 premium over the equivalent three-door model, meaning the range starts at £14,350 for the One and rises to £20,050 for a top-spec Cooper SD. 

This Cooper D has a list price of £17,050, but a long list of optional extras – including heated front seats, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control and 17-inch alloy wheels instead of the standard 16s – took the total cost of our test vehicle to £22,210.

What's it like?

The simple answer is that it is very much like the three-door Cooper D, except with more space.

In almost every respect, this five-door Mini performs and handles like the three-door model we drove earlier this year. Its 114bhp 3-cylinder 1.5-litre diesel engine is bursting with torque, and emits a pleasing burble low down in the rev range. Mini quotes a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.4 seconds, and a top speed of 126mph.

The car handles in an engaging fashion, but it has the same firm ride that's prevalent in this latest generation of Mini. Happily, though, one of the few criticisms we had of the three-door Cooper D – that the car could become unsettled on undulating surfaces – seems to have been cured by lengthening the wheelbase.

There’s still the same sense of urgency when driving the Mini at speed, helped by the addition of selectable driving modes in our test car. There’s little difference between Normal and Green modes, but in Sport the steering becomes heavier and sharper, and there’s an improved throttle response.

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Problems? Well, while those rear doors aid access to the rear they are small, so getting in and out with grace if you’re an adult may take some practice. Legroom is at a premium in the rear, too, and while there is a middle seat don’t expect anyone other than a child to be using it.

There are no such problems with headroom, which is generous throughout, and as we’ve noted previously the new Mini’s interior is smartly styled, intuitive to operate and feels well built.

Should I buy one?

Yes, because despite there being cheaper five-door hatchback alternatives to the Mini on sale in the UK – a 1.5-litre TDCi five-door Ford Fiesta in Style specification costs just £14,295, for example – there are few which offer the same sense of enjoyment.

The Mini might not have previously been a natural family hatchback choice but this version, thanks to its improved practicality, is now certainly a strong contender in that marketplace.

Mini Cooper D five-door

Price £17,050; 0-62mph 9.4sec; Top speed 126mph; Economy 78.5mpg; CO2 95g/km; Kerb weight 1190kg; Engine 3cyls, 1496cc, turbocharged, diesel; Power 114bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 199lb ft between 1750-2250rpm; Gearbox 6-speed manual

Add a comment…
Chris576 6 October 2014

Designed?

They couldn't even make the rear seat fold flat. It's not really designed this is it? More sort of lobbed together.
bowsersheepdog 27 September 2014

all things are relative

i'm not a fan of the mini. i haven't owned, or even driven one, i just think it's far, far too big to justify the mini name, with the obvious connotations it brings. also it's my opinion that since the first bmw version was launched each subsequent facelift or new model has made it a bit uglier than the previous one. i'm sure it's a decent car and if it was called something else my attitude towards it would maybe be different, but as it stands i do not like it. yet i would still be content to pay double for one if the only alternative was a fiesta.
voyager12 27 September 2014

Pointless

Have at least the decency to call this mediocre design "The Austin Maxi edition". Noticed how the head lights keep creeping up the Mini's front? The next one will probably look like a frightened frog.