MINI Hatch Now Available With Two Extra Doors

What's this then?

This is, for the very first time, a MINI hatchback with a 5 door bodystyle. Coming hot on the heels of the newly launched MINI hatch, the 5 door variant will go on sale in the autumn.

So what's new?

Aside from the obvious extra doors, the MINI has grown. It's 161 mm longer and 11 mm taller (6.3 inches and 0.4 inches respectively in proper money) than the 3 door, but the width and track remain unchanged. Half the extra length goes into the wheelbase, so the 5 door has 72 mm more legroom for the back seat passengers and 30 percent more boot space - up 67 litres to 287 with all seats occupied.

Speaking of seats, there's now five of them as MINI has put a third berth in the back - though only the skinniest of passengers need apply.

What powers it?

The engine range has largely been copied and pasted from the three door. If you're not familiar with the MINI range, this means there's a 116 horsepower three-cylinder diesel in the Cooper D, a 136 hp 3-cylinder petrol for the Cooper and a scalding 192 hp 4-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S. There areno plans to recreate the MINI One in 5 door guise.

New to the 5 door range is a 2.0, 4 cylinder diesel producing 170hp, slotting into the Cooper SD specification. This will power the MINI to 60mph in 7.4s - just half a second behind the Cooper S - or return 68.9mpg on the combined cycle.

Anything else?

The 5 door is just as well-kitted as its lesser-portalled sibling, with USB interface and Bluetooth, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, front fog lamps and air-conditioning standard on all models. Options include two-zone automatic air-conditioning, heated front seats, panoramic glass roof, windscreen heating, a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system and LED headlights - the first car in the class (along with the 3 door) to feature this technology. LED fog lamps are also available.

While a six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range, all models can be optionally equipped with a six-speed automatic instead, with a sports version on the Cooper S and Cooper SD. No price is listed currently, but the auto option is 1,270 on the 3 door.

How much will it cost me?

600 more than the 3 door!

The 5 door range starts at 15,900 for the Cooper, with the Cooper D at 17,050 and Cooper S at 19,255, before any options are ticked. The Cooper SD tops off the range at 20,050.

Any alternatives?

The MINI 3 door occupies a privileged position as the chic car of choice in its class, but the 5 door moves it into different and more utilitarian territory. This puts it firmly in the firing line of B-Segment class leaders like the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo.

However, if the Joneses have gone for the MINI, the nearest alternative to keep up with them is Audi's A1 Sportback.

In a line...

Gives the MINI hatch a more practical edge.

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