What is it?
It is, Mini says, the first Mini hatchback with five doors. That might come as some surprise to those of you who’ve seen a Countryman, but Mini says: “Ah, we think you’ll find that’s a crossover or SUV, not a hatchback.”
Hmm. Let’s suspend reality for a moment and pretend that’s true and this also becomes the first Mini hatch – the world’s most famous small car – to measure more than four metres in length. It’s also quite an expensive Mini hatch. The addition of two doors brings with it a £600 increase over the three-door Mini.
The range’s starting price is therefore £14,350. In the Cooper SD form you see here – which we’re trying because it’s a variant we haven’t tried before, and because it was what was made available to us – the asking price is £20,050; or £21,675 with the auto gearbox that was also fitted. That’s demanding territory for a Mini. It’s pushing into Volkswagen Golf territory.
Of the five-door’s additional 16cm length over a three-door Mini, 7cm has gone into the wheelbase and is channelled straight to rear legroom. The front cabin remains the same.
The rest of the length goes behind the rear wheels, making luggage volume 278 litres – up by 67 litres. For the record, a Volkswagen Polo has a 280-litre boot within its 3972mm length. A Golf 380 litres within 4255mm.