MINI 5-Door Hatch Review
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
What's not so good
MINI 5-Door Hatch: what would you like to read next?
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.
The Mini 5-door hasn’t lost any of the 3-door’s charm – it’s a dream to drive. Just don’t expect it to be all that comfortable, especially on rough roads
It’s not just the Mini’s styling that comes from the past, it delivers buckets of old-school charm in the handling department, too
You can get the Mini 5-door with five petrol and three diesel engines and with either a manual or automatic gearbox.
The best all-round engine is the 136hp 1.5-litre petrol in Cooper models. It suits the Mini’s sporty reputation best, feels more spritely than the diesels and settles into a relatively quiet cruise. It’ll still return a fairly frugal 50mpg, too.
If you regularly travel long distances, pick a 116hp Cooper D diesel model. It’s a little noisier than the petrol versions but it’s slightly faster than the 95hp One D diesel model and returns almost the same fuel economy. Expect to see around 65mpg if you go easy on the accelerator.
You can also get the 5-door in Cooper S and Cooper S Works guises. These hot hatchbacks can sprint from 0-62mph in as little as 6.9 seconds but they’ll cost more to run than their slightly slower siblings.
All models come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but you can upgrade to a £1,270 automatic across the range. It changes gear smoothly and rapidly – helping take the stress out of long journeys and traffic jams in the process. It’s a worthwhile upgrade if you spend lots of your time driving around town.
The Mini puts a great big smile on your face, even before you set off. The fighter-jet-style engine start button makes every journey feel a bit more special than in some more humdrum hatchbacks.
On rough roads, the Mini’s slightly stiff suspension will have you bouncing around in your seat but the fantastically direct steering and immense grip it offers means you can dart around potholes like a well-guided pinball.
The optional £375 adaptive suspension offers a better balance between comfort and handling but the Mini’s still a little firm, even in comfort mode.
You’ll find it’s a little noisy at motorway speeds, too. There’s quite a lot of tyre roar and the pillar between the windscreen and front doors creates a slightly annoying whistling sound at high speeds.
Visibility is good and there aren’t too many large blind spots to worry about. The Mini’s relatively small size means it’s pretty easy to park, too – especially if you fit the optional £260 rear parking sensors.
The 3-door Mini received a four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested in 2014. The testing procedures have been made significantly stricter since then, however, so the mechanically similar 5-door model will offer slightly less protection than newer five-star-rated models such as the Nissan Micra.
If safety is your main concern, the optional £440 Driver Assistance pack is well worth the extra money. Not only does it offer traffic sign recognition and headlights that’ll dip themselves but it comes with automatic emergency city braking to help prevent low-speed collisions.
The Mini’s interior looks absolutely fantastic and everything feels solid and upmarket. You’ll have to pay extra to get rid of the standard, last-century infotainment screen, however