The Mini 5-door’s just as much fun to drive as the 3-door car but comes with a much bigger boot. It’s no smoother over rough roads, however, and some of the optional extras are pricey
If you want a Mini but need a bigger boot, or regularly use the back seats, then the Mini 5-door could be the one for you. It’s a fun-to-drive small car that sports the same retro looks as its 3-door and convertible cousins both inside and out.
Its large round air vents, chrome trims and bank of satisfyingly chunky toggle switches make the Mini’s cabin feel much more special than the likes of the rather drab Audi A1 Sportback.
That said, it’s best to avoid entry-level One models that come with a disappointing orange and black infotainment screen. Ditching it in favour of a slick and colourful 8.8-inch unit will set you back £300, but the upgraded system’s far easier to use, looks bang-up-to-date and, if you spend £1,800, comes with 3D satellite navigation and a 20GB hard drive for your music too.
There’s plenty of space in the front and enough seat adjustment for six-footers to get comfortable. Only top-spec cars come with passenger seat height adjustment as standard, however. There’s just enough head and legroom in the back for adults to get comfortable and the large rear windows stop things from feeling to dark and dingy.
The 5-door has a larger (278-litre) boot than the 3-door and can carry slightly more than the Audi A1 Sportback, too. Fold the rear seats down in a 60:40 split and the 941-litre load bay is completely flat – thanks to its adjustable floor – and big enough to carry a bike with only one wheel removed.
Adding two extra doors turns the 3-door Mini into a much more practical, but no less stylish, small family car
The Mini 5-door’s not just fairly practical for a small car, it’s huge fun to drive, too. It’s one of the sportiest compact family cars around and will put a massive smile on your face, even on the morning commute.
Unfortunately, the stiff suspension that makes it so entertaining in the corners highlights bumps on poorly maintained roads. You’ll notice a significant amount of wind and tyre noise at high speeds, too.
The 1.5-litre Cooper petrol is the best all-rounder if you do a mix of city and country driving. It’ll return a reasonable 50mpg and is faster, smoother and quieter at slow speeds than the diesels. That said, it’s still worth considering the 1.5-litre diesel Cooper D diesel if you spend most time on the motorway because it’ll return around 65mpg on long trips.
Euro NCAP awarded the Mini 3-door a four-star safety rating in 2014 – expect the 5-door to offer similar levels of occupant protection. It’s worth noting that the tests have become significantly stricter since then. As a result, newer four and five-star-rated cars might be slightly safer.
They won’t, however, put the same smile on your face as the Mini 5-door. It’s fun to drive and feels as premium as the 3-door model, but it has a little extra boot space and some more room for rear seat passengers.