Review: the MINI five-door

PUBLISHED: 12:59 25 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:59 25 October 2015

MINI five-door

MINI five-door


It was a long wait, but the MINI five-door opens up a whole new market for the legendary motoring icon

A full-scale replica of the MINI hatchback hangs vertically above the entrance to Broad Oak’s Ashford dealership and, once over the threshold, I wondered whether I had strolled into a night club, TV studio or IT hothouse.

Broad Oak marketing manager Jas Jassad said that, like the cars, MINI’s “brand decor palette” allows much customisation; a reason why Broad Oak’s sister site at Canterbury might soon install a lightshow in the handover bay where customers receive the key to their new car.

As ever, however, the real key question is whether the car itself delivers: it does in the case of the MINI five-door, launched late last year. In fact, it’s a wonder anyone had to wait 14 years for two extra doors to be added to the retro-styled hatchback.

Until then, any MINI fan wanting something more family or even mates-friendly than the original three-door had to buy the gym-toned Countryman SUV (a proper four-door, but maybe too bulky for some) or the Clubman estate, with its oddball single rear door on the wrong side for the home market ie on the offside rather than the kerbside.

The five-door (from £14,535) finally solves the problem, for just £600 more than a three-door equivalent. Indeed, you are struck by the reasonable pricing of what is a sought-after premium car.

On the other hand, having decided that the MINI is more of a bargain than you thought, you then have to ensure you don’t spend over the odds on customisation – a tempting 10 million permutations are claimed across the whole MINI line-up. One choice you can’t duck, however, is whether to go petrol or diesel, but none are duffers in the MINI range.

The test car was the performance-oriented Cooper SD five-door (£20,235) with lots of load down punch and yet more higher up the range, all aided by a really crisp gear change and good steering wheel feedback; all MINI trademarks.

But you don’t have to drive it like a nutter, as there are three performance settings: the default being Comfort, with the appeal of Sport being obvious, while Eco allows you to aim for the 68.9mpg official combined cycle.

Good luck with the last, however, because you do tend to want to enjoy driving this car.

And this third-generation model since BMW revived the nameplate is surely the best of the lot; go-kart handling inspired by the 1960s original remains intact, but the ride is far superior to what has gone before.

As ever, the interior is beautifully executed and the big centre dial, once the speedo, now the infotainment centre, dominates a well-arranged, funky dashboard.

But does it pay to upgrade to five doors? Yes, with one compromise. Those rear doors are still not huge, but fine for kids getting in and out and adults will be comfy enough once inside, thanks to the five-door car’s extra 72mm between front and rear wheels. The boot is also bigger, so those upgrading for family reasons will like the extra 67 litres of boot space (278 total) and 21 litres added to the total load capacity with seats folded (941).

MINI 5-dr Hatchback

Prices from: from £14,535

Model featured: MINI Cooper SD £20,235

Power: 167bhp and 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds

Engine: 1,995cc turbodiesel

Fuel consumption: 68.9mpg combined cycle

Road tax: £20/year (zero year one)

Best rival: Audi A1 Sportback


More from Motoring

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It can be hard to imagine your little one growing up, but it won't be long until they're asking to borrow your car keys. Sue Waterfield from Young Driver, the UK's largest driving school for 10-17-year-olds, explains how early driving tuition can set the foundations for a safer, more confident next generation.

Read more
Friday, January 24, 2020

In built-up places like Brighton, there is very little advantage to purchasing a brand new car. With so few uncongested roads in the south of England - and many other parts of the British Isles, for that matter - a brand new car won't get you where you are going any faster. Nor will it be any easier to find a car parking space on the road you live on. However, second-hand cars are better in a number of ways. If you are considering buying a car in the near future, why would you opt for a used one rather than a model that has just rolled off the production line?

Read more
Monday, January 13, 2020

Lamborghini has opened a new showroom in Leeds bringing these lust-after motors to Yorkshire. Kathryn Armstrong joined them on a tour of the county's finest routes.

Read more
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Millions of motorists are convicted of offences every year - but are they all guilty? An expert in motoring law has successfully defended many cases for clients who suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Read more
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Trying out some classic cars as part of Goodwood's Revival Racing Experience

Read more
Friday, November 8, 2019

More than 200 guests attended the opening party and saw the latest Lamborghini models.

Read more
Monday, October 28, 2019

Most people probably assume that motorways are the most dangerous roads in the UK, but the shocking fact is that accident fatalities are eleven times higher on country roads than on motorways.

Read more
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Two hundred and forty women from 14 countries attended the rally at Castleton.

Read more
Thursday, September 19, 2019

More than 170 guests turned up at Porsche Bolton for an exclusive event to celebrate Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, the personal tailoring department of Porsche.

Read more
Friday, August 30, 2019

Hoghton Tower in Preston was the venue for the Bowker Centenary Family Festival, celebrating the company's 100 year anniversary.

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life